5 Tips for Helping Chiropractic Patients Change Behaviors
We consist of four things: Our mental self, our emotional self, our spiritual self, and our physical self. To make a change, to shift a belief, or to touch a life, we must connect with all four aspects of a patient.
This may mean taking your chiropractic practice to the next level and going deeper with treatments and therapies. Treating a symptom is much different than helping a client create lifelong change by changing a nonsupportive behavior.
How we change behaviors now
Simply throwing facts and statistics at a patient is not going to motivate them to change a behavior – no matter how harmful that behavior is, or how beneficial making the change will be. Showing chiropractic patients an x-ray alone or discussing why their energy is not flowing optimally will most likely not change a behavior, at least for the long-term. What you’ll experience is the patient will change their behavior for a little while — usually until the pain stops — and then they will quit coming in.
To change a patient’s harmful behavior the chiropractor must connect with the patient on all four levels; mental, emotional, spiritual, physical.
Many of us talk or may share an x-ray with a patient and show them how their injury or pain is blocking flow – causing the physical experiences they are having. Showing the patient the x-ray is fine, but you must take that to the next level. Explain to them how this blockage is what’s causing them to miss out on baseball games with their kids or preventing them from fully enjoying their work or missing out on opportunities in life. Make it real and if you can touch on an emotional aspect of their pain. “It must be difficult not being able to golf with all your co-workers. How is that affecting your job?”
As healers, the x-ray may make a strong connection for us simply because of who we are – it doesn’t necessarily cause a connection with the majority of our patients. You have to take that a step further and connect with them on another level.
There are several ways you can do this:
- Tell them verbally
- Have them touch and feel something such as an anatomical model. Use metaphors and dramatizations to actively involve the client.
- Provide them with handouts or written materials explaining their condition so they can digest the information at a later time and possibly research the information online later.
- Have them move if they are experiencing physical symptoms. If they have a hard time standing on one leg because of lower back pain, have them stand on one leg so they experience the pain again. The pain reinforces the message you are giving them.
- Have them repeat specific messages you want them to walk away with. THEY have to say it, not just listen to you.
Finally, for you to be present in all four quadrants I recommend you empty yourself before you do a treatment to allow spirit to work through you. Empty yourself so your beliefs and problems are not in the way – allowing you to fully serve. If you’re thinking about your next patient or all the emails waiting for your response you are not fully present.
If you experience problems with chiropractic patients coming in for an appointment or two and then not coming back, it may be because you are not connecting with them on all four levels. Try incorporating these techniques and see what a difference they make.
About the author
Founder of A Marketing Connection and The Copywriting Institute, Kelly Robbins, MA, is an award winning author, copywriter, energy worker and healthcare marketing coach/consultant. Kelly is a blogger for both Chiropractic Economics and Massage Magazine and is the author of Marketing 101: Why Successful Alternative Healthcare Practitioners Specialize as well as co-author of The Practice Evolution Success Kit. She also publishes The Healthcare Marketing Connection, a free e-zine on healthcare marketing tips. Contact Kelly to receive her free report, “5 Critical Mistakes Healthcare Marketers Make that Lose Sales and Plummet Profits” at www.AMarketingConnection.com or 303-460-0285.