Are You Still Enjoying Practice?

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In the last issue, I asked whether you were still excited about the principle, the philosophy, and the idea of “changing the world” with chiropractic. Judging from the response there are relatively few chiropractors still excited. Those that did respond were mostly students or new practitioners which I appreciate but I would expect. Can you imagine starting in practice without a healthy dose of enthusiasm? Although recently, with all the negative garbage students face in school, I suppose students are less and less excited about chiropractic. It is a credit to those students who do still want to change the world.

What was apparent from the response, or lack thereof, is that those in practice for a number of years have lost much of their enthusiasm. Perhaps all those that still are enthusiastic about chiropractic have become practice management consultants. The other possibility is that no one is reading the Pivot anymore!

So, are you still enjoying practicing chiropractic? Or for some, have you ever enjoyed being a chiropractor? Of course, I am talking about more than going into the post office or your neighborhood bank and having a clerk or teller address you as Dr. “So and So.” That is good for your ego but in comparison to the years and dollars spent on your schooling, it is small reward. You may be making an acceptable living but even that is becoming more of a challenge these days and the hassles are becoming greater and greater in order to make that living. Besides, there are many ways you can make a good living without the initial outlay for education that a chiropractic career requires. An auto assembly line worker with as little a high school diploma can make over $85.00 an hour. And if you are not enjoying practice, the question becomes why not?

You probably did not think when you got into chiropractic that part of your everyday activities would be fighting with insurance companies or hiring a person to handle that one job alone. You probably thought that it would be a lot easier to get people into the office. In fact, you may have been led to believe that people would just flock to you. I am sure you did not expect that practicing chiropractic would be such a scary undertaking. Even if you heard that every person who walked in your door would be looking to sue you (See Point Counterpoint), you likely dismissed it as over reacting or just plain nonsense.

Becoming a chiropractor is not an easy task. College, chiropractic school, opening an office, and building a practice all take time and money. That effort and cost should have a reward and more than just a financial one. Perhaps part of the problem is that as a chiropractor you have “forgotten your first love.” Or maybe you never had that first love. For me, that first love was being introduced to the chiropractic philosophy, to the idea that there is an inborn wisdom in the body which has the ability to heal and run it and that we can allow for the best expression of that intelligence by correcting vertebral subluxations. I was fortunate to be introduced to that idea by Reggie Gold as a 19-year-old freshman in chiropractic school. Granted, there are no Reggies teaching in chiropractic schools today and in most schools there is no one at all teaching philosophy. That is the reason many never had that first love. I have had numerous students and chiropractors read my books and write to me saying, “I never heard this in chiropractic school.” Many chiropractic students today are introduced to the profession via a chiropractic student recruitment program. Many have never spoken to a chiropractor and it is not at all uncommon to find chiropractic students who have never been themselves adjusted. They have never known the philosophy and its practical application in a chiropractic office let alone fallen in love with it.

I would suggest that if you no longer enjoy being a chiropractor or have never enjoyed it, that perhaps you need to fall in love again (or for the first time) with the philosophy. When you realize what you are doing, releasing the power that animates the living world, you can get pretty excited about your day-to-day activities. If going to the office is not something you enjoy doing, try immersing yourself in the philosophy. Read some positive reinforcements. I would suggest you start with Higher Ground and Still Higher Ground if you have already read Chiropractic Philosophy (see p. 6 for a special offer on these books). I would further suggest that you begin to write about what you do as a chiropractor and address those writings to your practice members. Tell them about correcting vertebral subluxations to allow the innate intelligence of the body to be expressed more fully. Tell them how important it is for them and their families and for the whole world for that matter. Tell them how fantastic the body is. You have to be in absolute awe of the body, how it is designed and how it works, to get excited about chiropractic. And then you have to tell people how honored and excited you are to be given the task of correcting vertebral subluxations to allow the body to work at its best. People need to know that a chiropractic office is the only place they can receive that service.

The more you understand what chiropractic, straight non-therapeutic chiropractic is, the more excited you get about it and what you are doing as an objective straight chiropractor. The more excited you are, the more you will just naturally convey that excitement to your practice members. The more excited they are, not about getting their back pain relieved, but about what chiropractic is really about, the more you will enjoy them coming in the office regularly and the more you will enjoy practice. It is the hope of the Foundation that this coming year will be the most enjoyable and successful one for your practice ever. If there is anything we at FACE can do to help you, please feel free to contact us. v24n2

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