I was working on a patient yesterday. She is in her 70s. As I was lightly stretching her neck, she told me that many of her friends her age are continually complaining about their aches and pains but she can’t get them to come in and see me. This despite the fact that coming in for care, in her case once per month, has kept her feeling quite good and active for her age. Almost gone is the chronic pain she originally had that would radiate down her arms. One friend of hers in particular seems to get on her nerves because he is always complaining about his pain. I asked her if she told him that my technique does not entail any of the cracking that sometimes intimidates people. She said she did but that he told her he didn’t want to have to go to chiropractor for the rest of his life.
I have been doing this for 15 years. The top two reasons people do not seem to want to go to a chiropractor are a fear of being “cracked” and the fear of having to keep going back the rest of their lives – either because some sort of addiction has been unleashed or because they were hit with a huge care plan in which the chiropractor wants to see them three times a week for months.
For me, the first one is easily dismissed. I should emphasize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the traditional chiropractic adjustments that involve mobilizing the joints in such a way that a “crack” is produced. With my approach, however, I use a computerized instrument that gives a repetitive impulse to gently mobilize the joints. It accomplishes the same thing, but I like the specific control I have with my instrument and the fact that it tends to be a more gentle adjustment. It has the added benefit of not entailing the audible sound that sometimes concerns patients.
The second fear people have requires a bit more explanation on my part. I always endeavor to find out a new patient’s goals and accomplish them as quickly as possible. For some people, the goal is simply to relieve their pain. Other patients may have more active goals such as being able to get back to the gym. In any case, I will come up with a short term care plan to get them to where they want to be.
At the same time, there is a role for wellness care. Like the patient I just mentioned, many patients enjoy and benefit from coming in once a month or so for a “tune-up” to keep the joints moving and healthy. That is optional and always up to the patient.