Getting Sick People Well

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We all know that most people come into a chiropractic office with musculoskeletal problems rather than organic diseases.  I wonder why, when people with medical conditions do come, we do not see the multitude of miracle cures that B.J. and old-time chiropractors write about. 

Chiropractic has positioned itself as a treatment for musculoskeletal conditions so organic diseases are not within the public’s perception of chiropractic.  Even those people with organic diseases who do visit a chiropractor usually do so because they have a back problem and have never considered chiropractic for their diabetes, allergies or ulcers.  Objective straight chiropractors do not want to present chiropractic as a treatment for disease or its cause so they often avoid discussing disease altogether.  Similarly, because we do not talk about disease, many people who only think in the disease-treatment paradigm never consider chiropractic care.  It is vital then that we as objective straight chiropractors find a way to get across to sick people that they are better off with and need chiropractic care.  We have not and we are not marketing chiropractic that way, at least not with any degree of success.

Another reason why we are not seeing more people with medical conditions is that medicine is becoming more effective in treating the conditions or at least their symptoms.  Surgical procedures are becoming more effective and safer.  People are instant relief/instant gratification-oriented and there is nothing that gives quicker relief from a gall bladder problem than removal of the gall bladder! People are not oriented toward keeping organs that make them hurt.  They don’t consider the far-reaching effects of not having a gall bladder and are not led to believe there are any.  New drugs are being developed that effectively treat conditions.  Remember there is a difference between treating the condition and its symptoms and correcting the causes and restoring health.  If you treat the symptom or remove a medical cause, the individual may go through life thinking they are healthy or believe they need to do nothing more than treat it medically.  Of course, medicine has never and probably will never do anything to restore health.  The treatment of disease has really nothing to do with health.  Health is not in the medical objective.

The second issue relates directly to the above.  I believe chiropractors are not seeing the miraculous cures that old-timers did for a few reasons.  The major one is the fact that medicine has been so successful in controlling disease and alleviating its symptoms.  In the early part of this century medicine was often very ineffective.  Consequently, the person suffering from a disease sought the care of a chiropractor earlier in the course of the condition.  Today, with modern therapeutic measures, the symptoms of disease can be covered up more effectively for longer periods of time.  By the time the patient realizes that medicine or the therapeutic measure is not working and they seek the care of a chiropractor, it is often too late.  Limitations of matter have become factors during the intervening months or even years of therapeutic care.  For example, a person with a gastro-intestinal problem may treat it for years with over-the-counter drugs and then prescription medication.  By the time they realize that those things are never going to cure them, the body has passed limitations of matter.  Chiropractors are seeing patients initially for musculoskeletal conditions, but for other medical problems, chiropractic care is still a last resort and it comes later than it has historically and often too late to enable the body to heal itself.

It seems to me that using terms like “chiropractic gets sick people well” and “chiropractic corrects the cause of disease” is part of the problem.  If we instead impress people with the need for lifetime chiropractic care with no regard for their perceived present state of health, we do not have to worry about seeing miraculous cures.  If we see people who are healthy from a medical standpoint and help them to stay well, we need not concern ourselves with cures.  Further, if we convince people of the truth, that their bodies will always be better without interference in the nerve system, then they will be more likely to come before limitations of matter are an issue.  We must begin to market what we do more effectively so that we can see everyone regardless of their perceived or true state of health.  We just have not yet found the key to doing that. v15n1

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