Posts Tagged ‘Problem’

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

Practice Tip - CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN WHAT PEOPLE THINK AND WHAT THEY DO

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

There is compelling scientific evidence that what people know about diet and how they eat are in many cases two different issues? I’m sure you have observed that this void between knowing and doing crosses over into all health behaviours?

1) The acute antalgic low back or torticollis crisis patient who promises you that they will keep seeing you forever for maintenance care if you can only help them get out of agony; who then discontinue somewhere between visit two and six because “they are fine now and will ring if they have any further problems”.

2) The reactivating patient that confesses that they were feeling great while they were doing the exercises that you taught them, but then they just forgot about them because they didn’t have any pain. And then they ask you “why does this problem keep coming back?”

3) The osteo-arthritic retiree that starts complaining of increased aching and stiffness, and when you ask them if they are still taking their Glucosamine, they respond “Oh I finished the bottle and thought I’d see how I’d go without them for a while”.

4) You meet an old regular practice member who discontinued 1-2 years ago, and when you ask them how they are going they give you the long list of ailments, diagnoses and prescriptions that they now take, and then pass comment “you know when I used to see you I didn’t have any of these problems”.

There’s a push in our profession right now to adapt us into risk-factor screening machines, who then pass appropriate educational brochures to those at risk, and warn them of the dangers of not changing their ways. Think about this: Most people who are overweight already know they are overweight; most people who are unfit already experience the effects of it; most people experiencing symptoms of Diabetes are aware of the symptoms… They don’t need you to identify the symptoms of their condition. They need help closing the void between their awareness and their behaviour!

If you want to be a wellness practitioner let me tell you a major paradigm shift you are going to have to make - It’s not about you, it’s about them. Wellness is a personal journey of lifestyle choices leading towards better life and health outcomes. You can’t make the decisions for them - if you try to then its not wellness - it’s medicine.

Here’s four questions that you must ask your practice members to make massive changes in your wellness relationship:

1) “What is your biggest health priority right now?” Their choice not yours.

2) “What are three things you think you could do to improve this area of your life?” Their choice, not yours. But this may be the point where they ask you for your educated opinion.

3) “What information do you think you need to help you make this change?” This is the point where they will most likely give you permission to feed them with resources.

4) “What would you like me to do to make sure you follow through on your plan?” This is where you help them to make some commitments, set some goals for them to achieve, define some measures for monitoring their progress, and set a time-line for review.

Click Here To See How Wellness Coaching Is Done…

Are You Relieving Your Patients’ Emotional Pains And Strains?

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Are You Relieving Your Patients’ Emotional Pains And Strains?

Whether or not we all agree on the theory that Subluxation is the cause of ALL illness - most DCs agree that there are three primary causes of Subluxation - Physical, Chemical and Mental.

At our TRT programs I ask the participants to rank these factors, and we always get 100% agreement - Emotional factors are by far the most common cause of Subluxation. So how does this revelation impact your every day clinical conversation and your adjusting procedures? Let me put this another way - what system/s do you have in place in your practice to identify and correct the emotional component which is causing most of your practice members, the majority of their problems?

What happens in your practice when someone is responding slower than you would expect, they keep exacerbating their condition, or you keep identifying the same recurring subluxations?

Here’s what it sounds like in most chiropractic offices: “Well Fred, what did you do on the weekend - did you do any gardening or lifting? Tell me about your office chair at work. How many hours do you spend in front of the computer? Are you doing some exercises? What position do you sleep in? Tell me more about that car accident you had 55 years ago.”

Notice something missing? Where were the questions to identify the emotional cause, let alone the second most common cause of subluxation - chemical? Physical, physical, physical…

Do you want to be a wellness chiropractor and not a back doctor? Then you need to connect with your practice members on an emotional level. This has got nothing to do with counseling or psychology, and it’s definitely not about finding new referrals for the Beyond Blue program. But it is about providing your customers with a more holistic service…

Next time you find yourself in the above scenario, stop yourself before you blow the opportunity for a learning moment, and try this instead…

“So Fred, why do you think that your body is having trouble getting better as fast as YOU would like?” Fred’s usual answer will be “well I d’know, your the doctor?”

“Have I told you that there are actually three causes of subluxation? There’s the obvious one, the physical stuff that happens to you and that you do to yourself. Then there’s chemical stuff; you know, all the toxic stuff that we eat and drink, and all the poisons that exist around us in our homes and in the environment, like allergies. Then the one you might not have thought of before, is the mind - this is actually the most common and the most severe cause of subluxation. Fred, can you think of any mental or emotional stuff in your life that might be creating stress inside your body?” Now don’t drop the ball, stay silent until Fred comes up with some ideas… Then adjust him as per usual.

Like I said, this doesn’t have to lead to a psychotherapy or hypnotherapy program; just the therapeutic power of the identification and connection of HIS emotional stuff with his subluxation will astound you….

Click Here To Find Out More About Chiropractic Coaching…