Monday, December 29, 2014

A Message to the Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop (drinking organic green tea), when I overheard a couple of college students talking about biochemistry, and then physiology.  I assumed that they were studying for careers in the healing arts.  Later, the buzzword “chiropractic” came up and, being just a few feet away, I could not help but eavesdrop.  What I heard was disappointing.  It was the same old gobbledygook started by the American Medical Association (not stirring things up; just a fact) that permeated throughout the public in the old days.  Despite an anti-trust lawsuit won by the chiropractic profession 25 years ago to stop the libelous, slanderous perpetuation of negativity by the AMA, you can still see the lines drawn in the sand between medicine and chiropractic today.

I suppose it makes sense, to a degree.  The two paradigms are, after all, based on fundamentally different philosophies.  It’s just a shame that, in order for one to be right, the other has to be wrong.  Earlier in my career, in trying to find a balance between sharing the unfortunate truths about the allopathic/medical model of healthcare and condemning it, I veered far too strongly toward admonishment.  I hope that time has mellowed my approach and is reflective in the education that I provide both verbally and through the written word.  After hearing the students bash my profession as “unscientific,” I made it a point to walk by their table before I left, introduce myself, and hand them my card and a scrap piece of paper with some suggested reading.  Such little gestures can be powerful agents of change to the uninitiated.

However, to those of us that have been initiated and that have been trying to help our families, friends, and peers to make changes, we have a responsibility to increase our efforts.  I recall, a year ago, when Mollie and I were watching my former protégé turned colleague, Dr. Josh D’Allasandro, give us a dry run of the New Patient Orientation Class that he would go onto use when he opened his office in February 2014.  At the end, after he had explained the offer that he would make to people learning about Upper Cervical Care for the first time, he said something that I’ve said a hundred times before in our office: “…if you don’t want to make an appointment, then that’s OKAY.”  I highlighted the last two words because something struck me that night, which prompted me to ask myself, “Is it really OK?”

Of course, I remain adamant to the idealization that making decisions about your health should not be driven by fear.  I don’t want somebody to become a patient at Triad Upper Cervical Clinic because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.  That’s a lousy foundation upon which to build a doctor-patient relationship.  All the same, Upper Cervical Care is not a luxury; it’s an essential.  Remember my story?  I wouldn’t be who I am today without Upper Cervical Care.  It was the missing piece of the puzzle to me getting my life back.  It has played the same role for so many of you.  So, again, I posit and slightly rephrase the previous question: “Is it really OK for us to stand idly by and watch people suffer for another moment longer than they should, solutionless and without guidance?”

Throughout the year, I’ve written in many a newsletter about how we need to modify black and white thought processes about health-related matters.  Let’s do that one more time for 2014.  There is a gray area, here, that I believe we’ve been neglecting.  In regards to Upper Cervical Care, we either spread the word or keep it a secret; we tell someone a thousand times with as many rejections or just once and leave it be (if we say anything at all).  Why don’t we, moving forward, push a little harder when the person we’re telling is in dire straits?  It would be wonderful if everyone were completely ready for something different before walking a non-medical path, but sometimes, the best way to get the truth out there is just to clearly and definitively state it without reservation of how someone else might feel about it or react to it.  Those students at the coffee shop?  They need to be spoon fed new information.  The chronically ill recipient of half a dozen diagnoses on several medications per day?  Maybe it’s time we not so easily concede, constantly giving them the ball instead. 

I met a woman at our Dinner w/ Doc recently that clearly needed help in the present and not several months or years into the future (she might not have that long at this rate).  She said, “I’m not ready, yet,” when we prompted her to come get evaluated.  I asked, “With all due respect and with genuine concern, why aren’t you ready yet?”  She didn’t have an answer.  But the ball is in her court.  I decided to no longer be “OK” with everyone who wanted to wait until the perfect time (if any time) to explore their vast array of “other” options in healthcare beyond medicine.  Our system is, arguably, broken beyond repair.  To sit back and watch people go down with a sinking ship?  I’ve reached a point in my life and career where that’s no longer “OK” with me.

Many of my patients will vouch that “Dr. Chad listens.”  I am always listening.  I’m hyperaware.  Just as I hear the students try to piece together their understanding of complicated body chemistry and spew false rhetoric about chiropractic, I hear such statements as “I’ll give Upper Cervical Care a try” or “my friends just don’t get it” or “I just want to think about it for a little while” or “getting adjusted won’t help you get over that cold.”  I thoroughly observe.  I see the kids that visit the office with their parents and don’t follow through with getting them checked, the reluctance to stop bombarding their children with medications despite the statistics that we offer, and the hesitancy to fully embrace a different model of healthcare.

I want each and every one of you that personally remains skeptical to read this message clearly – and pass it along to the skeptics that you encounter: if you give your body the chance to be well, then I promise that you will regain your health.  It may take time, but you’ll get there.  Remember that the biggest difference between Upper Cervical Care and the other holistic approaches is that we aren’t aiming to treat the body; we are helping the body heal.  People don’t get truly well by being treated; they do so by healing.  As we exit 2014 and enter 2015, I am personally enhancing my goal to practice as I preach, to lead by example, and to make lasting change in this community.

Are you ready?

Thinking good things for you, as always,

Dr. Chad

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