Posts Tagged ‘Feel Better’

MAYBE THOSE PHYSICAL FINDINGS… AREN’T…

Friday, July 18th, 2008

THE MIND BODY CONNECTION

Within our chiropractic training and culture is a diverse range of physical indicators that we observe, measure and monitor to help us to diagnose our patients’ physical state: The history is used to narrow down our list of disorders or even diseases which may be causing the problem; Posture tells us how misaligned someone’s body and spine is; Radiographs show us how much decay and degeneration has developed; Range of motion tests measure how stiff they have become; SEMG assesses how tight muscles are; our palpation skills feel where there is contraction, restriction, fixation and misalignment.

And then we apply a physical therapy to try and intervene on the physical disorder that we have isolated.

It has almost become a cliché that there is a mind/body connection. But have we tended to minimise this relationship? Or have we even missed the point of this revelation? Are we persisting with the convenient separation and compartmentalisation of these two dimensions? We say, “oh yes the mind can affect the body, and the body can affect the mind” – but in saying this do we miss the paradigm of the mind/body relationship?

In other words the mind IS the body, and the body IS the mind.

When you are feeling certain emotions like anger, resentment, guilt, frustration – your physical body is different to how it is when you are feeling emotions like love, acceptance, peace, joy, reward. And if your physical body is different, then your thoughts, feelings and emotions are different. One doesn’t lead to the other – one is the other.

Let’s take another look at our list of “physical indicators” from another point of view, to see if we can see what they might really mean in terms of the mind/body:

The History is really someone’s story about the suffering they currently feel. And we are very good at asking questions about how the suffering feels: Where it hurts, how much it hurts, how big an area does the hurt cover, when does it feel a bit better and when does it feel a bit worse? But do we miss the most important question? What does the hurt mean – to them? Here’s another way of asking this question to help those who can’t make a connection – “if this hurt didn’t go away what would it mean you couldn’t do?”, or “if this hurt didn’t go away what aspect of your life do you think would be most affected?” Do you know that if something in your therapeutic relationship and encounter doesn’t allay or release this connection between their pain and suffering, that their mind/body will resist healing?

Postural Assessment: Why does anyone have bad posture? Because they don’t know they have it! Why would anyone carry their head too far forwards when that skull and its contents are as heavy as a bowling ball? Because they don’t recognise that it is where it is – they have poor somatic awareness. Here’s a thought – they will also have a proportionately poor psychic awareness. In other words they will actually have poor somatopsychic awareness. Check it out next time you examine someone with really bad posture: Ask them how they are feeling emotionally, ask them how aware they are of each of their internal bodily functions: More often than not the same disconnect will exist.

What about those protective buttresses that are being layered down inside their body – the ones you see growing around their skeleton on their Radiographs? Ask yourself this question: How strong, thick and solid are the protective mechanisms that this person has built around their emotions and memories? What will it take to chip away this person’s emotional fortress? The resistance, slowness of their recovery and the common poor prognosis could be reflective of their hardened interaction with the world in a more general sense.

And that stiffness that has built up in their Spinal Range of Movement, that you prescribe stretching exercises to reverse. Here is my observation: Range of motion is directly proportionate to range of emotion. My saying goes like this – “concrete body – concrete mind”. Observe how flexible these people are to suggested changes in their state of mind or lifestyle, and you may see a mirror image of their body’s flexibility.

What about that tension that you see on their SEMG? You may interpret it as physical tension: And you might ask; “maybe you are working too hard”, “maybe you did too much gardening on the weekend”, “maybe you aren’t sitting up straight”? How about this one – muscle tension is proportionate to neurological tone, which is dependent on emotional state. Maybe their body hasn’t been working overtime – maybe their mind has.

And all those things you “feel” while you are Palpating: Stiffness, resistance, swelling, and misalignment. Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself while you have a direct connection with this person’s field of intelligence: “What am I feeling as I palpate this person?” You may be great at palpating, but, if you get good at feeling, then you will get even better at FEELING. You may even glean more insight into that person’s state of wellbeing in thirty seconds of palpation than sixty minutes of talk…

How does any of this help you to become a better healer, or a more profitable businessman? When you GET IT, that you are a body/mind and that your practice members are body/minds – Then you will experience greater quality and wholeness in your life, and your customers will receive greater quality and wholeness from you as a healer – and people pay for quality

(ps. If you think that this is suggesting that you have to become more of a psychologist or counsellor to be a better chiropractor – then you have missed the point – this has nothing to do with analysing and identifying the past hurts and experiences and helping someone to cognitively overcome the related dysfunctional thoughts and feelings. What this is about is that there is a whole new dimension awaiting you when you become more conscious of the mind/body synergy – what you are doing right now therapeutically will offer a much deeper meaning for both you and your practice members. In other words I am not talking about a change in procedure – but a change in consciousness.)

Find Out More About Training To Help You Make This Transition at http://www.torquerelease.com.au/TRT-Training.htm

THE PERCEIVED VALUE VERSUS COST FORMULA

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Whether a person chooses to continue or discontinue chiropractic care depends upon how much the person values the care when compared with how much they feel it is costing them.

If the value appears greater than the cost the patient will continue care. If the cost appears to become more than the value they will discontinue treatment. The more we can increase the perceived value the less we need to worry about the cost!

VALUE INCREASERS:

1) Experiencing benefits from chiropractic care. Especially if those benefits are over and above the initial complaint or the benefits expected.

2) Increased education and understanding about chiropractic.

3) Third parties (family and friends) experiencing benefits: Another great reason to stimulate referrals quickly.

4) A “paradigm shift”: Changing people’s attitudes from “don’t fix it till it’s broke”, to one of maintenance, prevention and/or preferably wellness. That is “getting the BIG idea”!

COST INCREASERS:

1) Financial constraints: The amazing thing about this factor is that the more you can increase perceived value the less important this becomes. If you want it then you will find a way to pay. However cost is one of the main reasons people discontinue.

2) Time constraints: The old saying is that “time is money”. If it takes a person more than 20 minutes to drive to your practice; then they sit in your waiting room for 20 minutes; then it takes 15 minutes to get adjusted; then it takes 5 minutes to pay and reschedule – that’s 80 minutes out of their life. And then you tell them you want to see them 3 times a week? Big cost.

VALUE DECREASERS:

1) No or slow perceived response to treatment.

2) A reaction to an adjustment.

3) ‘Chiropractic consultants’: Rumor, opinion and hearsay can always affect the attitude of a new member of the chiropractic “family”.

4) Our attitude towards chiropractic: It ‘rubs off’ you know!

5) “The law of diminishing intent”: Ever made a new year’s resolution; then a few weeks later it just doesn’t seem that important any more? Day to day stresses and commitments and the distractions of “life” seem to get in the way. That is – the original commitment gradually becomes diluted to the point of becoming unimportant:

If we constantly feed, reinforce and nurture our goals and resolutions there is less chance of them fading and getting lost in this way. It is never safe to think that a patient has got “the big idea” now, and will hence have it forever – they need constant feeding, reinforcement and nurturing of their goals and resolutions.

TWO WAYS TO GET PEOPLE TO DO THINGS:

1) Control and manipulate: This is like trying to get a donkey to move by putting a carrot in front of its nose or hitting it from behind with a big stick. The problem with these techniques is that the reward or the punishments need to be continually increased to receive the same response over a long period of time.

In our health care setting this would take claiming bigger and bigger benefits to our patients as they feel better (the carrot), or convincing people that if they don’t continue to see us something terrible will happen to them (the stick). At some point in time the carrot and the stick will not be big enough!

2) Build relationships and teach by example: This is not about getting people to do what we want them to do: It is about showing people how they can get what they want – by following our example!

Click Here To Find Out More About Practice Management Coaching…

YOUR ATTITUDE IS CONTAGIOUS!

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

The number and type of clients you see and draw to your practice are a SYMPTOM of your own attitude towards chiropractic!

1) If your attitude is that chiropractic is great for the relief of any number of aches and pains - then you will have a pain relief and crisis care practice.

No matter how many visits you try to extract from your customers, they will tend to use you only for the relief of aches and pains - you may have a PVA of 20, but this will be 20 visits of crisis care. And because you will see primarily pain relief occurring, you will justify your attitude. In other words, you will either not initiate larger state of wellbeing and general health changes, or even if they are occurring you will be oblivious; because you won’t even ask the questions that might detect that something else is going on. And your patient’s won’t think to mention any other changes that are happening in their lives, because you are the “Back Doctor”, and the other stuff has nothing to do with you.

2) If your attitude is that chiropractic is good for fixing back problems, or straightening abnormal spinal angles - then you will have a corrective care practice.

You could have a huge practice, with people seeing you for a bunch of visits in a relatively short space of time. People will be convinced and even impressed by your level of professionalism, equipment and affluent appearance. But here’s the question: How many families are you seeing, how many of your clients have been seeing you for 5 and even 10 years, how dependent are you on the next bunch of new patients to refill the appointment book and balance sheet?

3) If your attitude is that regular chiropractic helps to prevent spinal problems from progressing to be serious, acute and painful - then you will have a maintenance practice.

How quickly do your patients get to four to six week intervals in their care? Often they get to monthly visits and you haven’t even reassessed them. A couple of times a week for a couple of weeks, then once a week for a couple more weeks, and then before you know what’s happened they are booked in, in 4-6 weeks. They may be out of pain, and they may have experienced some initial health improvements, but have YOU really made any signifiant physiological and functional changes to their global state of wellbeing? Will they live longer and better as a result of an adjustment every 30-60 days, while in between they undo all your good work?

4) If your attitude is that chiropractic is an integral part of a person’s health program, having an effect on their nervous system and releasing the work of the body’s innate intelligence - then you will have a broad scope health and wellness practice.

Their symptoms, state of disease, financial position are even totally irrelevant to your belief that a regular adjustment will do them good… It’s this simple - PEOPLE WHO GET ADJUSTED DO BETTER! And they usually feel and function better too. But you don’t take responsibility for your practice members’ state of health - You didn’t get them into the state they are currently in, and you can but assist them and even coach them towards a more optimal lifestyle… You understand that each adjustment is a positive healing step forwards, and you utilise all your clinical and technical skills to determine how many steps they take backwards in between adjustments to determine the optimal schedule for their care. And this attitude is contagious, because the type of new patient that appears at your door seems to intuitively understand this philosophy, and they seem to be surrounded by a family and peer group that wants to join them at your rooms on a regular basis.

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