Many chiropractors think that imparting knowledge will change what a patient believes and thus their behavior.
That may be just as wrongheaded as a patient believing that they'll only need a visit or two. Or that when the symptoms subside, they will be permanently "fixed."
But teaching rarely changes a belief. Experience is far more effective.
That's why predicting the likelihood of experiencing a return of their symptoms is so important.
That's why giving context and meaning prior to their experience of their likely relapse is vital.
That's why making it easy for patients to discontinue their care without shame or guilt is essential if patients are to experience the distinction between a "diet" of chiropractic and using it as a long-term lifestyle adjunct.
Many try to short circuit this learning process because it could take years for patients to have the personal experience necessary to embrace a new belief.
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, in-office consultations, 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.