The power of positive thinking has long been researched. One thing to keep in mind is that power of positivity from a healthcare stand point.
A major factor in patients feeling better and actually getting better has to do with the thoughts going on between the ears. When individuals come in who have been told they have degenerative disc disease or a disc bulge in their neck, many times they will own the diagnosis. “Well I don’t know how well I am going to respond because I have this.”
If you are going to a good, research based chiropractor, they will know where to go next. Many times in the office, we will receive some push back from patients who have first seen their primary care provider several times and had several advanced imaging studies done when we start to explain our approach to care. They may say, “Well I tried all of this stuff and nothing worked” or “They have done every test in the book and told me there is nothing wrong with me.” The trouble with this is that people feel as though their symptoms are being dismissed. Like everything is in their heads. We are not supposed to just deal with pain and learn to live with certain symptoms because “that’s just the way it is.” It's not.
It is human nature to crave validation of our feelings and to be touched. Research has shown that many who visit a chiropractors office after seeing their primary care provider are shocked by the extent of the examination. Some will say, “Wow, no one has ever actually touched me where I hurt. I just tell them what is going on and they give me a pill or set of exercises to do at home.” Masking symptoms and not getting to the root cause of their pain or discomfort.
Another problem is the lack of patient education. A doctors office is a vary intimidating place for many. This creates an environment where questions are not answered because they were never asked. When reviewing exam findings, patients may leave even more confused than they were when walking into the office; resorting to Dr. Google or Web MD for all the answers. As information is becoming more readily available, it is becoming more difficult to weed out the good sources from the bad sources. Bad press from good press. Just as in everyday life, every opinion or article you read should be taken with a grain of salt and an open mind.
Here at the office, patients must first believe that our process is different and that we can and will help them. Until they buy in, results won’t be seen. Adjustments can only help to a certain extent. Many patient specific take home exercises are given with the expectation they will be done. Putting patients in charge of their care is a powerful thing.
If we ask how your exercises have been going at home, we can usually tell right away if they have been doing them or not. Not only from the tone of how you respond, but also how the tissues feel when working on them! Patient also get super proud when they come back into the office having done their exercises and are happy to report they really feel like they are helping. Once they have bought the process and understand we are doing everything we can to make them better, the positive energy begins to flow and healing begins to show.
We have also tried to create a very warm and welcoming environment in the office. If you are excited to visit your chiropractor because you know you will be leaving feeling better than when you walked in, that positive thinking helps speed the healing process as well.
Stress, both physical and emotion, plays a large role in the recovery process. As a society, we work long hours and have to juggle many things throughout the day. From kids to bills and student loans to lunch meetings, we have a lot on our plates. Americans reportedly work longer work weeks, take less vacation time and feel overall more stressed than some other large countries. They aren’t missing work or taking vacations because they want to look good for their boss or don’t want to miss out on an opportunity for promotion.
This creates a negative energy which can present itself in many different ways. Chronic pain and tight muscles is one of the biggest side effects seen in patients. Getting a proper assessment and finding a way to bring some positive thoughts into your life, you will begin to help others decrease negative thoughts which will only further improve your life.
Think happy, be happy. Be happy, act happy. Act happy, spread happy.