Intellect or Emotion?

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One of the most difficult obstacles in building a practice involves an aspect of practice member education.  We maintain that education is the key to practice building and education addresses the intellect of a person.  Here is the problem:  People are motivated by the depth of their emotions, not the height of their intellect.  Our approach to chiropractic is directed toward people’s intellect.  We do not promote chiropractic as a cure-all nor do we talk about miraculous cures that occur under chiropractic care.  Both of these approaches play on peoples’ emotions.  We don’t promise you will never get sick.  We don’t use the scare tactics of medicine, telling people how many people die each year from this or that disease.  We simply don’t appeal to peoples’ emotions. 

Instead we appeal to their intellect, to their rational mind, by explaining to them that the body works better with a good nerve supply.  We explain the logic of the idea that if vertebral subluxation reduces the body’s ability to work at its best, then correcting vertebral subluxations has to enable the body’s innate intelligence to be more fully expressed and for the body to work better.  It would be nice if we could conclude from the above that correcting these subluxations could enable the body to heal anything and everything.  It would be nice if we could promise 100+ years of life or that people would never get sick again.  However we can’t do that.  There is no proof that will happen.  Logic and reason says that you will live longer, all things being equal, but then that can be said for exercising, eating well and getting the proper rest.  It would also be nice to assure people that they would never suffer from heart disease or cancer or whatever but we can’t do that either because vertebral subluxation is not the only factor in the cause of disease.

So do we resign ourselves to only reaching those people who can relate to us on an intellectual level or do we compromise our philosophy and do what many of our early pioneers did, promote chiropractic as a cure for everything? (I might add that they really believed that chiropractic got sick people well but our philosophy has evolved and as our thinking has become more logical, we realized that was a faulty assumption.)  There is no doubt that given enough time and a good educational program, the logic of our philosophy can be embraced by enough people to build a successful practice and more important, contribute to the lives of the people in the community.  So how do we motivate them emotionally while we give them the logical understanding? 

I have found over the last 40 plus years that the best we can do to touch people on an emotional level is to teach them how fantastic the human body is, how it has an inborn intelligence that can run it, heal it and keep it healthy.  Therapeutic healing arts only relate to the body’s weaknesses and failures.  Chiropractic addresses what is strong and well, actually perfect in the body.  We need to get them to understand more and more about this amazing body and get excited about the prospects of what it can do and do better with a fuller expression of the innate intelligence within it.  That has to elicit excitement in the people we come in contact with and allow us time to build their understanding.

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