Just a Bump

In the office, I often use an instrument called an Activator to make adjustments to the spine. This instrument – cold and steel – can look menacing to a child, even if they are not the one getting adjusted! So whether I’m about to adjust them or their parent, I usually let them feel what the impulse will feel like by clicking it against the pad of their finger.  “That’s it?” they often say or, “That tickles!” And all is well in the world. Following the introduction, it doesn’t usually bother them anymore. But a couple of weeks ago, I heard an unusual comment from a child watching his mother get adjusted. He said, “That doesn’t do anything.” What do you mean, I asked? “That doesn’t do anything. It’s just a bump.” I sometimes hear similar comments from adults who don’t understand the instrument. “How is that doing anything? Don’t I need a ‘crack’?”  No, people don’t need “cracks.” They need “adjustments” – with or without the ‘crack!’ But the child’s comment did get me to thinking… if people don’t understand the complexity of what’s going on beneath that little hammer, then why would it seem special? Playing billiards also seems like “just a bump” until you actually learn more about the complexity and skill involved in playing the game well. There’s a famous little story that illustrates the point of how all taps and bumps are not created equal. So, once upon a time, there was a big important ship on the ocean, and all of a sudden, the main engine failed. They tried and tried to fix it, but they just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They called in the engineers, etc., and they couldn’t figure it out, either. So they finally called in the specialist – an old engineer who had spent most of his life working with engines. He inspected the engine top to bottom, and then he got his little tool bag, pulled out a hammer, and very carefully hit the engine on one spot, and the engine came back to life. The old guy left, and a couple of weeks later, the invoice arrived. It was for $10,000! The ship owner was shocked and called to dispute the bill. “$10,000 just to hit a hammer??!” he exclaimed. The old engineer replied, “No, $2 to hit the hammer, and $9,998 to know where to hit the hammer.”  This story reminds of chiropractic because it really is about specifically applying forces to the body at the right time and place for the purpose of restoring function. Random tapping, bumping and cracking don’t produce very consistent results. But to the untrained eye, I now realize that even specific adjusting can appear random when out of context! So, thanks to a 6 year-old, I will be more attentive to educating on the what and why of the adjustment! And no, adjustments do not cost $10,000 in my office. (Maybe when I’m old…)  😉 

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Insurance vs. Chiropractic

So, anyone who gets chiropractic care and also has “health” insurance has noticed by now that coverage is shrinking. A lot. But is this really a bad thing?  Honestly, I think it’s inevitable, and the reason is that they’ve never really covered true chiropractic in the first place.  What they have covered is basically medicine, performed by a chiropractor. What’s the difference? Well, think about it.  What is insurance, anyway? It’s something that you buy in the hopes that you will never actually have to use it.  It’s protection against horrible things. I have life insurance. Do I hope to use it? Hell no. I have car insurance. Do I hope to “get to” file some claims? Hell no! I have malpractice insurance. Do I hope to use that? I hope I NEVER do! Even medical or dental… I love my dentist, and I like my MD, but… to be honest, I hope to hardly ever have to see them for treatment. But what happens when you have “health” insurance that “covers” chiropractic? Do you want to use it? HELL YES! Why? Because chiropractic is AWESOME, and because getting adjusted helps you to stay healthy, happy and energized.  If you were “approved” for 50 visits to your medical doctor per year, would you go? Uh… no. Why not? Because all they have for you is drugs and surgery. Who would want that every week..??  But chiropractic? Yes, please. I have been getting adjusted since I was 19 years old. I’m in great health thanks in part to my weekly wellness adjustments. So… back to the topic… how did chiropractic, this awesome life-enhancing thing, get tangled up with insurance, this scary thing that you only buy because you DON’T actually want to need it? It’s because some short-sighted chiropractors a few years ago thought that it would be a good idea. They thought that maybe if they treated chiropractic like medicine — like something that “injured” people did only for a short time until they were “better” — that it would help the profession.  Instead, it just confused people, and now people think that chiropractic is for “back pain” and that insurance should cover it! Insurance can never cover real chiropractic — real wellness care. It just doesn’t match what insurance is all about!  It’s not a sustainable business practice for them, and it doesn’t match what I do in my practice.  So why pretend?  And that is why I am not, and will never be, a part of any insurance network. I didn’t dedicate my life to become an advil-with-arms! They’re not interested in your HEALTH – only your statistical odds of getting DISEASE.  Who’s interested in your health? It has to be YOU, and you’re the one who has to take care of it. (But we’re here to help, too.)  🙂

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The first thing that usually happens to me when there’s a sudden huge loss of data is PANIC.  [Yes, I am referring to the recent snafu with the office website!] OMIGAWD, what am I going to do?  How am I going to make up for all that lost work!?  But you know what?  Often, what follows is a strange kind of calm and relief…  It’s kind of NICE to have one less thing to think about, isn’t it?  I guess the closet Buddhist in me loves the peace and quiet of zero.  It gives one fresh time to think and reflect anew.

And what better time to think and reflect than Thanksgiving?  Despite the politics of the original American holiday (please, no politics!!!), I think it’s great to have a national day devoted to gratitude.   What am I grateful for?  MANY THINGS.  Near the very top of the list, I am grateful for ChiropracTIC and for the knowledge that ALL HEALING COMES FROM WITHIN.  The real doctor walks in with the patient.  As the world becomes more and more complicated (and as American “health care” becomes more and more convoluted), I am grateful to know that health and disease both spring forth from 4 simple factors, every time: trauma, toxicity, nutrition and emotions.  If we always go back to the basics, we can always find our way back home to good health and balance.

I’m grateful that health comes from within, and I’m grateful that happiness comes from within.  With that, no matter what the external conditions are, we can always do better and feel better.  Perfect? Well, don’t hold your breath for that one… but “close enough to round up to perfect” ?  🙂

You only have to spend a few minutes thinking about what you are grateful for to know that it gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, but did you know that there’s also ample scientific evidence that gratitude has some serious health benefits?

Check out this article for further reading on how gratitude affects your health.

And on that note, I bid you a Happy Thanksgiving, and I’m grateful for YOU.

DK signing out!

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