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Essential: In whose eyes?

In the past few weeks we have heard conversations about whether businesses are essential. This topic seems to continue as lockdown gets tighter and tighter. Liquor shops, The Guitar Center, Dillards and realtors in Texas are just a few on the long list of businesses claiming their essential status. Then there’s orders that keep coming out of administration.

Just this week, for instance, a new order for Texas was signed by Governor Abbott regarding tighter restrictions for who can stay open for business, and who can leave their homes. Of course, as chiropractors we would like to believe that we should be flooded during this time. After all, this is about healthcare. This is about stress to the body. This crisis is something we can be a positive part of right?

Yes, the governor of Texas considers us essential.



But wait. Do my patients know that? Hmm, maybe they didn’t see that memo. So lets email, call, text, post on social media. Let’s spread the word about how we are open, how they should come in because of the care of the subluxation. They should come in because the nervous system right now is more important than toilet paper and Lysol.

Let’s prepare to be totally swamped.

Then reality sets in..crickets inside the office.

Sure, we can blame it on:

  • The media is sensationalizing this.
  • The politicians are posturing to make the administration look weak.
  • (Insert your excuse here)

However, we really should be placing most of the blame on ourselves and leaders of our profession for coming up short on what Chiropractic can do for the health of our fellow inhabitants of this planet. We as a profession have sold our very own profession short. We have not supported research that is meaningful, we have not supported a unified message about the significance of Vertebral Subluxation and therefore we are not taking our place right now at the seat of this discussion on how to positively affect the health of our people.

Listen, I get that most of us are not in position of power in our profession. However, we are in charge of what we say to our patients day in and day out.

We need to re-evaluate our conversations, our education, and the happenings within our walls of our office. Just like I tell my son: Let’s focus on what you can control, right now.

The real question Chiropractors should be asking themselves right now is this:

While the government seems to consider me “essential”,

do my patients consider me essential?

Essential to their health?

Essential to their kids health?

Essential to their well-being?

Essential to their life?

As Chiropractors in this time of healthcare crisis, we can use this trying time throughout our communities to really evaluate the education of our patients. If a patient is not coming into our office right now, it allows you to see where their mind is when it comes to the care you offer.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Maybe we were lazy in January and our conversations in the office were about the Super Bowl, the Collegiate Football National Championship, or the end to hunting season. (I can clearly remember talking much more about this than I should have).

Take this time in reflection to setup a strategy to educate better.

Let’s not shortchange our patients the truth about the nervous system and the importance it plays on their lives. Their life truly does depend on it. What was so important about that football game? I bet it all seems insignificant now, doesn’t it? Isn’t the health of your patient most important to them, at that very moment? What do you think they are paying you for, Doctor?

-Matthew M Mix, DC, ACP

President – CSTessential

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