By Lisa Engle
Decades ago I was introduced to the idea that our souls speak in story and since, have had that perspective affirmed many times over. You’re making history in your practice and there is a story unfolding. There are all sorts of great characters involved and many that have large speaking roles to play.
Recently, in the Share Your Story article, there was reference to sharing our own stories in chiropractic. There is more to tell though, isn’t there? There is history to be written and pages still to be filled with what is nearly here. Can you imagine a practice where patient stories are shared so that people in your community are inspired to become better versions of themselves, connected to more of their health potential?
If you’ve had the good fortune to have had patients become inspired by their experience with chiropractic and really connect the dots to “get” the value of increased function beyond symptom relief then you know what I’m talking about. It DOES happen. There are practices filled with these kinds of patients, but sadly that doesn’t seem to be the normal experience I’m hearing from doctors.
Too often the doctors and CA’s are describing symptom related relationships because that is the primary focus when they are engaging with them. I am not suggesting you ignore their symptoms or forbid staff to acknowledge the “problem” a patient presents with, but rather learn to ask different questions that can steer the conversation in new directions that can leverage your work BEYOND the symptom they are currently seeing you for.
For instance, have you ever asked a patient:
· Beyond the (symptom), what direction do you feel like your health is heading?
· Are you hoping to be healthier next month than this month? If yes, HOW are you going to make that happen?
You might go onto have a conversation that includes some lifestyle support questions or simply an encouraging word that affirms that potential. Maybe you’d offer to share a time when you made a commitment to improving your health and how you did it if they’re interested. Be present and engage in a new conversation, but above all, LISTEN to what they are telling you. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by what kind of impact those few moments can be on the relationship and the value of the new knowledge you just gained to support your patient more effectively.
· What area of your life will improve when this _______ isn’t bothering you anymore?
Normalizing a life without symptoms and one that includes regular chiropractic care makes choosing to see you BEYOND the symptom easier. If it’s an athletic goal you can point to superstars that use chiropractic to bring their A game…and to the normal Joe nextdoor who does too. If it’s an allergy symptom (common this time of year), imagine a spring without allergies…what ever it is, CONNECT to them.
Show up with a caring curiosity. When you’re listening (really listening), notice when their voice gets a little lighter. See if you can sense an increase of energy around an aspect of the conversation. That lightness and energy is the opening to genuinely connecting to WHAT MATTERS to them. As you become a better listener, you’ll find that you can tune into patient’s values more effectively and begin to lead their choices so that they’re inspired to continue to share the story and journey toward health WITH you…because they want to, not just when they think they “need” you. Let’s write this chiropractic story and enroll the people in our practices to have speaking parts.
Lisa Engle is widely known for her passion, dedication and commitment to the chiropractic profession. She is famous for inspiring patients, especially mothers, to connect more fully to the expression of their health potential. With nearly 3 decades of service in the chiropractic profession; integrity, congruence, and “inside out health” is her first language. In turn, she has created a safe, effective, and reflective coaching model for mothers without the judgement, comparison, and overwhelm that often inhibits change and growth for families. To learn more about Lisa’s work or to contact her, please visit www.optiMOMcoaching.com or www.chiropracticexperiences.com