By Lynn Rivard, Principled CA
Have you ever noticed how we feel when a patient comes to our office for one or two adjustments and then never shows up again? How about when we walk with someone through two or three months of the healing process, watch them get well and then are disappointed when they drop off from the practice? I have heard some people say that those types of patients just don’t “get it”, or that perhaps the office or doctor is out of focus and that is why the person has chosen a different path.
It can be a very self-defeating cycle, when we start to take someone’s right to choose how they will utilize Chiropractic – and use it as a tool to measure our success.
Isn’t that kind of like getting someone an awesome Christmas gift, and then getting mad when they do not use it as often as you wish or the way you want them to? Sure Chiropractic is different than a power tool or an easy bake oven, but the point is that every person has a right to choose how they will live their life, or what they will do with the awesome life-changing information that they receive. I believe in the power of an adjustment – even if it is only one.
When a patient discontinues care it is easy to feel like it was something that we may have done or that we could have been lacking in our communication skills or that we were perhaps out of focus. But the truth of the matter is, each and every person that comes through our doors does so because that is what they are meant to do at that time. Maybe they came to receive info, and though they will never return, they will some day somewhere, repeat what they learned about Chiropractic to someone else who’s life will be saved by the power of an adjustment. Maybe that one adjustment will change their life so dramatically, that they become a better person overnight without even realizing it.
Though the adjustment may never get the recognition it deserves, it still will have served that person.
When we stop looking for that recognition to validate what we do and have faith that when a person is adjusted their life is in some way enhanced, then we release ourselves of the burden of guilt when someone does not reach their health potential. We then can feel proud and put that invaluable worth on all we did that day to change mankind.
It can be enough that someone’s life is changed a little. The adjustment makes them better than they were the day before – one step ahead, it may not be to their optimal health potential – but a little is better than nothing. After all, every human being is a work in progress. Try this – if your office has a tendency to get discouraged or if you personally take it on your shoulders when someone “bails” – try when someone calls to discontinue care to lovingly encourage them, tell them you respect their choice and wish them only the best and that you are just a phone call away should they need you.
Try not aggressively following up but keep positive thoughts about them in your mind, or keep their travel cards up front with you. Watch if the power of being positive and having a loving and gracious attitude about them not coming in, can be what makes the phone ring out of the blue and it is them telling you that they are ready to come back. Try it and see – you just might be amazed!
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