Monday, April 05, 2010
As my practice expands, I have the opportunity to treat people from many different cultures and communities. With clinics in Tempe
, at Skydive Arizona
, and now at the Lion’s Den Mixed Martial Arts Center
, I get a wide range of people through my doors. Skydivers, special-forces military personnel, professional MMA fighters, recovering drug addicts, professional photographers, office workers, cancer survivors, expectant mommy’s-to-be. I’ve had the blessing to help all of these people with acupuncture and cold-laser therapy. While the speed of their recovery varies, they all have had one thing in common. They have truly all WANTED to get better. While this may sound obvious at first glance, it isn’t. For some people, there is a feeling of “medical entitlement” in that regardless of what they do to their bodies, they expect their doctors to “fix” them. This is often reinforced with the co-pay system of health insurance.
When patients come to me for treatment and are willing to pay the cost of treatment up-front, even if they get insurance reimbursement, they are much more willing to get actively involved in their health improvement. Whether it’s for fertility, quitting smoking, or back-pain, patients who are truly committed to getting better respond to my treatments quicker. There’s a sense of partnership, and through that, a feeling of empowerment that my patients experience during their course of treatment. When the patient shifts from a feeling of helpless isolation to being an active part of a team, their attitude, and ultimately their speed of recovery dramatically improves. For some patients, this “active participation” feeling already existed when they first came to see me. For other patients, it grew out of positive outcomes after their first couple of visits. In either case, they DO respond… sometimes even faster than I expect!
How do patients get involved? I recommend do your own research. Get educated. I encourage my patients to ask questions. I often brag that my patients are the smartest people I know. Listen to what the practitioner has to say about diet, exercise, or other possible life changes. Yes, it does take work, but all of these things help patients play an active role in their healing… and after all, isn’t that what we are all about?