I recently had a question from a chiropractor who asked me what to do or say when a family starts the consult with ‘can you see changes yet, how are things going?
The chiropractor didn’t know how to tackle these questions, particularly because they wanted to steer the family towards wellness care, and felt by addressing these questions they were losing their focus as a wellness practitioner.
In this video I give you 3 strategies on how to move families from constant short term focussed questions to long-term health strategies.
The concept of wellness care is something chiropractors around the world struggle with every day. Our model and wellness care is that families do everything that they can to reduce the stresses in their life, including and most importantly centering chiropractic care as the active modality to bring it all together.
The restoration of normal function to the spine and the nervous system means that the body will express its true and optimal potential. We know that this is true, we see this every day in practice. But the big difference between us and our new families is that we focus on long-term function based care and we know how to recognise the big and small changes kids bodies take on the road to healing and health.
Supporting the body to function at its best is central to our practice. Yet we have an expectation that families jump from being problem based thinking to this new concept of wellness care with chiropractic the central theme, immediately after the initial consultation. We often race forward without recognising that each family has a journey ahead. And that is okay that some families will take longer than others.
When a family starts to ask – can you see changes yet? Are they improving? Can you see their body responding? They are asking the most logical questions you would ask a person trying to ‘fix’ something – which most of the time, they start care they believe that chiropractic is all about fixing symptoms. They are perfectly normal and very important questions. Particularly when most other ‘wellness’ practitioners like naturopaths will talk a lot about symptoms.
Remember –the words Wellness and symptoms are still synonymous in our society. So its very confusing to learn they mean very different things.
Here are three ways you can use this opportunity to educate your families, and continually encourage them to look at the bigger long-term picture for their children.
- Let the family know what you will be monitoring each visit. Subluxation patterns, ROM before and after adjustments, other technique specific indicators. These help you decide what to adjust each time that child is in your office.
- Let the family know how these relate to all the exams you did at the initial examination and the exams you will be looking into at the progress examination. If its pain they are worried about – talk about how pain is an important indicator of inflammation but a poor indicator of dysfunction.
- Ask the family to watch for certain changes in their child at home after starting chiropractic care. Talk about improvements in rhythms in sleep, moods and ability to cope with situations, talk about clumsiness and any improvements in movement. These are the unexpected, but often common changes parents note with their kids under chiropractic care.
Every time a parent asks a question, it is your perfect opportunity to make sure that you realign your goals and the parent’s goals towards a long-term function based approach.
I know I will sometimes have an ache or a pain and really focus on that pain resolving, does this make me less wellness focused? Have I lost my principles for wanting the pain to be gone? No – of course not. It is what I do when I am well is what really matters.
So in these early days, when families are new, support their journey, educate their minds and support them through the acute or symptomatic phase by always focusing on and discussing with them the long-term goals of care and what to focus to moving forward.
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