Monday Morning Motivation | Content or Context?

Posted by Bill Esteb on May 18th 2024

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It’s tempting to emphasize the content of your message when educating patients, overlooking its context. Which may produce a chiropractor- or practice-centric communication, rather than a patient-centered message.

Content – This is your core chiropractic message. Do you explain subluxation or spinal dysfunction? Feeling or function? Nerves or bones? A new meaning for their symptoms? Degenerative changes? Innate intelligence? Diet or lifestyle?

Context – This is about acknowledging the patient’s allopathic mindset. Their fear of getting “addicted” to adjustments. The financial pressure due to their unplanned bout of back pain. The inclination to expect you to do most of the heavy lifting.

Being mindful of both is important, but the context (mindset) in which your message is being received is particularly important if you seek a deep, influential connection.

Appreciate the role of their limbic and enteric nervous system, and you’re likely to have greater success in addressing their central nervous system.


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Bill Esteb has been a chiropractic patient and advocate since 1981. He is the creative director of Patient Media and the co-founder of Perfect Patients. He’s been a regular speaker at chiropractic gatherings since 1985. His 12 books explore the doctor/patient relationship from a patient's point of view. His chiropractic blog, coaching program, patient focus groups and consulting calls have helped hundreds of chiropractors around the world. Since 1999 Monday Morning Motivation has been emailed to over 10,000 subscribers each week.