All or Nothing?
All or nothing is a common misconception I hear on a daily basis. However, healthy choices are rarely all or nothing. In fact, most lasting change takes small, incremental changes over time. If you could eat one less doughnut a day, that would be better than eating that one more doughnut a day.
Treatments plans are the same way. There is the best recommendation, and then there are endless other recommendations that can still provide benefit at various levels. Ideally, everyone would do the best recommendation. However, sometimes that is not realistic give time, location, and cost constraints.
Something is always better than nothing. Think of it like this, if the dentist tells you to brush your teeth 3 times per day, and you can only do it once, should you throw your tooth brush away? Obviously not, brushing at all is better than never. You just need to know what results to expect, so you don’t have the wrong expectation given the level of effort you are applying. Same with the gym. Working out 3 days a week yields different results than working out once per month. You won’t have the same level of results. Sometimes people will say that they gym “doesn’t work”. When you ask them how often they work out, and they say, once per month. While they have been going to the gym, sometimes for years, the once a month frequency is not enough to change the muscles. Working out once a month is still better than not working out at all, but you should have a realistic expectation as to what level of results that frequency will deliver.
In chiropractic, there are many options and levels of results that can be obtained. The level of results are directly linked to the level of effort the patient participates. Because adjustments change muscle, the patients who apply more frequency have better results than someone doing less frequency. Patients who combine therapies also have better odds of success. This means a patient who does chiropractic, massage, exercise, stretching, nutrition, yoga, eats healthy, sleeps good, will have better results than patients who do just one therapy. Once an acceptable level of muscle change is obtained, frequency can be reduced to maintain that level.
When we give patients recommendations, we always give the recommendation that provides the patients with the highest chances of getting the best results. Sometimes patients can not comply with the recommendations. Does that mean they should do nothing? Obviously not. If a patient could receive a 10, 20 or 30% improvement, that would still be better than where they are now, or from doing nothing. The patient would just need to understand the level of results and have an accurate expectation. The amazing thing with chiropractic care, is that any decompression of the spine will help the patient. Any level of care will benefit the patient as some level. This allows patients to truly be empowered to choose the level of results they desire and the level of effort they would like to apply. What level of results would you like?
Dr. Michael Kwast, DC, CSCS is the CEO of iChiro Clinics in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of the book, 7 Beliefs Destroying Your Health. The iChiro team has been voted the “Best of Grand Rapids“, three years in a row. They have also been awarded the Better Business Bureau of West Michigan’s Trust Award for Ethics, and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce EPIC award for Small Business of the Year 2016