Let’s cover an issue that many doctors often struggle with handling. You are doing your chiropractic “thing” and a patient suddenly says, “Dr. Bob, I couldn’t see you last week because I had the flu. I thought that if I was routinely adjusted, I wouldn’t get sick anymore.”
So how do you react? Do you panic or feel anxious? I am sure most of you have experienced this question in one form or another—and it made you suddenly feel a little uneasy. This is when you, a well-adjusted doctor with a university degree and tons of experience who has studied the art and science of chiropractic, start to babble defensively. Have I missed anything?
We all tell our patients that chiropractic will keep them well—that is the chiropractic wellness paradigm. Our care is hinged on the fact that what we will provide our patients with amazing health, and that’s the truth.
However, sometimes the body has other ideas, and patients need to understand this. Let me explain with an example. When a child gets the flu, he or she experiences a runny nose, coughing, fever, swollen and glassy eyes, loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, etc. Parents have been conditioned to believe that this means their child is really sick.
Yes! This is sickness at its best. But you need to look at this from a very different perspective: all of those symptoms have an amazing reason for being. They are not random. The nose runs to excrete the virus, for instance. The child may have diarrhea to excrete the bug further. Fever is the result of extra work produced by the body as defense mechanisms are brought in to fight the invading organism. The lacrimal glands produce continuous tears to cool down the cornea so its heat-sensitive protein makeup is not damaged, which is why the child looks glassy-eyed. There is no appetite because the body shuts down digestive cycles and shunts all energy to defense.
All these activities are designed for one purpose only, and that is to restore health and remove the invading organism. That puts this whole “sickness thing” in a very different light. It means that all these things are not random symptoms that need to be treated.
It does not mean that the child is sick. No, it means that the body is doing exactly what it was designed and programmed to do. This is not an example of “sickness.” This is an example of health! It is what should happen! Granted, it may not be pleasant—your child may not like it, but it is an expression of health.
So, when confronted with questions about “sickness,” remind your patients that there is an innate intelligence ruling their bodies. Ultimately, that innate force knows what is best for that body at that time. It also knows that all body systems need to be exercised regularly in order to function at optimum levels at all times—that is the expectation, isn’t it? Just like any other part of the body, the immune system also needs to be exercised.
I personally feel we have a built-in “clock” which activates the immune system, temporarily lowers our immune guard and response, and we are then attacked by a bug of some sort. The response is a sudden activation of the immune system to fight off the invading organism. But what your patients need to understand is that this is not sickness. This is an expression of health—the body doing exactly what it is programmed to do. This is a good thing!
Next time a patient gets “sick,” then you need to say, “Wonderful!”
At first the patient may look at you as if you’ve just lost all your marbles, but once you explain this process, he or she will understand what you mean and think that you are amazing—and you are! Your patient just needs to understand that having the occasional flu is a very important part of keeping healthy and that the body will not be at its best without it.
So, relax and tell your patients the truth—they will totally get it!
Dr. Ogi is a Practice Coach and teaches the Practice Evolution Program. He is an international lecturer, a pediatric and x-ray specialist, researcher and clinician. It was Dr. Ogi and Dr. Larry Webster who started the whole pediatric awareness and movement on the planet – when it comes to kids, he has no equal. He can be reached at [email protected] or www.practiceevolution.com