Pain

Stephen LaFay, DC
December 31, 2007
Written by Stephen LaFay, DC
As chiropractors, most people who come to see us are, at least initially, in pain. They’re not at their best and they may, or may not, want to know why. They want relief and, perhaps, answers. This places pressure on us to assess their needs not only physically, but to fill in the blanks emotionally and mentally as well. And this is a growth opportunity.

Enlightening patients’ minds, and empowering them emotionally, can be almost as healing as the physical adjustments we provide. Imagine if your patients understood just the basic premise of chiropractic as written in Stevenson’s The Chiropractic Textbook, “There is a universal intelligence within all matter giving to it all of its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence.”

The English word intelligence is derived from Latin, en telios, meaning purposeful being. Since there is intelligence in all matter, everything has a purpose. That includes you and your practice members. Springing from this intelligence is the drive to learn and grow. Do you know anyone who has said, “I would love to be, do or have less than five years ago”? We innately desire growth.

But growth also brings challenges that sometimes seem overwhelming, leaving us feeling stressed and, for those of us who use the term, subluxated.

Dr. Paul Rosch of the American Institute of Stress has estimated that 75 to 90 per cent of all doctor visits are stress-related, and stress has been shown to be more predictive of heart disease and cancer than cigarette smoking. While we banish smokers outside to light up, how are we helping people with the perceptions that are stressing them? More often than not, our state of health reflects our inner struggle to integrate, heal and grow in the face of our challenges.

Saunders’ Dictionary of Allied Health defines high-level wellness as “a dynamic process in which the individual is actively engaged in moving towards the fulfilment of his or her potential.” So every symptom is feedback from an innately intelligent creation designed to awaken us to necessary changes, to grow in the way we perceive people and circumstances, and to expand into our potential.

D.D. Palmer’s original diplomas bore the message, “Practice and Teach.” Imagine the relief from the demands of patients wanting to know, “When are you going to fix me?”, if you empowered them with the insight that their pain also has a purpose. For example, if you put your hand on a stovetop, the pain would cause you to move, and this would result in learning to avoid further damage in future. Without pain, our growth could be stunted by contentment and ease. So, both pain and pleasure in our body, like challenge and support in our life, is feedback to keep us growing. Perhaps you’ve treated cancer patients whose illness becomes a wake-up call to what’s really important in life.

Enlightening and empowering our practice members will help them see purpose in their challenges and their pain. It will help them grow in their perspective and expand in their potential. As they do, your practice will transform into the practice of your dreams, from the inside out. Furthermore, you will fulfill your purpose and expand in your own potential doing what you love.

What could be more fulfilling than that?•

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