Our Words Define Us
I was talking with a client this week about his care. He continually used the word 'treatment' and I cringed. It's one of the words that I despise using in my line of work. It got me thinking about how important our language and verbiage is. But first, let me tell you why I can't stand the word treatment in my office.
To treat or treatment, in the terms of health care, is care given for a specific illness or injury. You might be thinking, why does this irk me so much? It all comes down to what can be achieved by a Chiropractic adjustment. An adjustment doesn't give care for a specific illness or injury. What it does do is allow the communication of the nervous system and the brain flow without interference. This means the goal of the adjustment is to improve the body's ability to send signals. When this improves then the function of the body as a whole improves. This may mean that the illness or injury that you came in for improves. Or not. It may mean that you sleep better, have improved energy, digest better, feel looser, less pain, just to name a few. Technically, the improvement is a side effect of the care provided and the care is not given for a specific illness or injury. It may seem like semantics and inconsequential, but when we are specific about WHY we are doing something, we can truly evaluate how it is affecting us.
At Primal Practice we use the terms adjustment instead of manipulation, care plan instead of treatment plan, and client instead of patient. All of these words are specific to empowering our clients to be an active part of their care. An adjustment is specific impulse to stimulate the nervous system to create change versus a manipulation which is more global with an intention to move stuck joints. A care plan is focused on you as a whole person rather than reducing you to treatment plan looking at a singular piece of you. The term client is used in lieu of patient because you are part of the process and your health is your responsibility. Our job is to be on your team and help facilitate the health that your body is already working on. Too often as patients we default to taking a back seat and letting somebody else have the responsibility for healing us. Healing never works that way. Your body is the one doing the healing and being present and engaged to this fact is important for the process.
We are defined by our language. Just as we take care with other parts of our life, using our words to support what we are trying to achieve is part of the process. At Primal we strive to create an experience that allows you to be heard, to be actively part of the process and to be excited to take your health to a greater level.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. What words do you use or avoid in your life/work/relationships to support what you want to achieve?
Peace, Love and Wellness
Creating Requires Addition
Trying to make change in our lives is hard. One of the biggest goals that people have is to be healthier. Being healthier can encompass a variety of different things, but it usually boils down to three. Look better, move better and feel better. There are many different avenues to take to achieve any or all of these goals, but for the most part the first thought is what can I stop to attain X, Y and Z goal.
When we decide to do something to look better, move better or feel better (or a combo of all three), in essence we are creating greater health for ourselves. But generally, we are deciding first to eliminate or subtract something to achieve this result. For example, "I'm going to quit sugar, alcohol or fried foods etc', 'I'm going to stop bingeing on inane shows at night and go to bed earlier', 'I'm going to stop slouching and stop sitting for many hours in the day'. All of these statements focus on what can be stopped with the goal of creating health. But here's the thing we can't create anything by subtraction. By the actual definition of create we must produce something to bring a result. To create we must add to our lives. Therefore, to create health we must add healthy behaviors and habits into the mix, instead of removing ones we don't want. If we take the examples from above they become, 'I'm going to eat vegetables at every meal.''I'm going to be in bed by 9pm every night.''I'm going to get up from my desk every hour for at least 5 minutes and walk around, I'm also going to make an appointment with Primal Practice Chiropractic to learn how I can improve my posture.'
These statements all focus on the addition of healthy behaviors and this is what creation is all about. By implementing this way of thinking and behavior modification, the natural consequence is that you don't have as much time or energy to continue with the habits that aren't currently serving you. They fall by the wayside with much less fuss and fanfare, and it can seem like a Jedi mind trick if in the past you've been trying to quit things to get the result you want to create.
What healthy behavior do you want to add into your life? Let me know! And if you need help, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Peace, Love and Wellness
I have been asked on more than one occasion if we see men in the practice. While for the most part, we see women and children, we do have awesome male clients who are getting awesome results. This month Edward is our Practice Member of the Month! Edward came to the office through the gym that my husband owns and operates 5 Valleys CrossFit. Staying fit, performing in the gym and keeping healthy are all super important to him. I'll let him describe his experience at Primal Practice, but I love that he prioritizes his adjustments because they allow him to do all the things that he loves at a level that surpasses an un-adjusted Ed. :)
"I initially came into Primal Practice because of knee pain. It was preventing me from going to the gym and was constantly nagging me throughout the day. Since getting adjusted my knee pain is gone, my hips feel infinitely times better when I squat, I can squat significantly more weight because of this, I am less achy when I get out of bed, and when I injure myself my body recovers much more quickly than in the past!
I continue to choose chiropractic care for myself because I came to Liz in the past for my knee pain and it helped. I stopped coming for a couple of years, but found myself not performing to a level that I liked, as well as having my knee pain reoccur. It seemed a natural choice to return to what worked in the past, Chiropractic care with Liz. Since starting again I feel much better while receiving care than not!"
People chose Chiropractic for many different reasons. But the one thing that is consistent among the people who continue to chose care regularly for their health, is that they notice their body works better when they are adjusted.
Thanks for being a part of Primal Practice and sharing your story Ed. We appreciate you!
Peace, Love and Wellness
There are a ton of misconceptions about Chiropractic. Everyday I'm in my office I get to witness powerful stories from clients on what they are experiencing through their care. Some are just what you might think - resolution from low back and neck pain and then there are days that surprise me! Even though I intellectually know what's possible, sometimes seeing really is believing. That's why I've decided that once a month I'm going to dedicate this blog to telling stories about what has happened in my office. One of the biggest reasons for doing this is that our current health status is dismal. We are told that we are victims of our circumstances and genes and unless we get on said medication there is no hope for us. I call bullshit. This next story is the epitome of the healing power of the body!
My client, whom I will call Jessica, came to me with a primary complaint of mid back and rib pain. At the first visit I'm mostly interested in your health, not your pain, but how your body is functioning as a whole. So, diving into Jessica's history I find that her health is not good. And as a young adult, it doesn't bode well for the rest of her life. Hormonal issues (so common, but not normal!), aches/pains, medications for all kinds of things, mental health issues, and a general apathy that she has any power to change her lot in life. It was so sad to see! The great thing was that she was motivated to do something different. When we talked in depth about how Chiropractic may be able to help her, I knew she was struggling to see past the pain that she came in with, but was open to actually getting to the root cause rather than continuing to mask the symptoms.
Jessica is a great client. She sticks with her care plan, is open to the changes we talk about, and even though her pain went away within the first few adjustments she saw the benefit to her system as a whole for continuing care. It took about 3 months before I saw the severity of her hormonal issues. She made it into her appointment but looked like death mildly warmed up, and that is being generous. I knew at this point I had to look a little deeper with what was going on with her nervous system. Within the technique that I use, Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT), there is a branch that looks at the organ system and how that may or may not be working. Her system was showing dysfunction at the uterine level. No surprise here. Jessica has endometriosis, as well as previous uterine cysts, and the ultrasound that she just had showed the presence of more cysts.
For anyone that has experienced cramping during their periods (sorry guys!) you know that laying in a position other than the fetal one is pretty uncomfortable. I performed the adjustment that Jessica's body needed and suddenly laying flat wasn't so bad. The pain that she had within her lower abdomen receded, the shooting pain that she was having up into her stomach was gone and color returned to her face as well as a smile. When she got off the table the tears came because it had been over a week of unbearable pain that impacted her life, work and school. Personally, I was blown away by the immediate change. The power of the body when it has the right message to heal is AH-mazing AF!
I want to put a BIG disclaimer in here that I did not cure Jessica's pain. The adjustment I gave was not intended to take away her pain or mask her symptoms so she wouldn't feel them anymore. The intention behind each adjustment is to increase the body's ability to heal through improved connection of the nervous system. It may seem like semantics, but it's not. I didn't know that adjustment was going to immediately take Jessica's pain away. But, I did know that the adjustment would improve the connection and with better connection comes better function. When that happens, what seems like a miracle can happen. I joke that I have magic hands, but it's just that, a joke. The magic is in your body. It's always been in your body and always will be. The issue in our current paradigm is that we are so busy searching for the magic health bullet, we stop searching to give our body what it needs to run as efficiently and healthily as possible. Part of what it needs is a clear connection between the brain and the body and that my friends, is achieved through Chiropractic care.
Curious to know more? Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or book a free consult!
Peace, Love and Wellness
Our annual Treat Yourself event is back and even bigger! We had amazing success last year, and made this year bigger and better. All ticket sales go to the Ronald McDonald House right here in Missoula. They provide emergency housing for families with kiddos in the hospital and moms with high risk pregnancies. They are an amazing resource in our community!!
For more information you can check out the facebook event or purchase tickets!
Stranded on the side of I-90
I was so excited. Yesterday, I had planned a trip to Fairmont Hot Springs. After a busy couple of months with family in town, we finally had a weekend with just us. I crave this time. Time to connect with on a deeper level with those that have the biggest piece of my heart. So I planned this quick trip. An easy drive over to Fairmont, swim and soak, stay the night and then back home again. What is the old saying, 'when you make plans, the universe laughs'? It definitely laughed right in our face. We got 30 mins from Fairmont when our car decided it had had enough and just stopped. Luckily, we were able to pull off an exit before getting stranded. Just over 90 minutes later we were back in Missoula after being towed home. What is actually wrong with our car still remains to be seen, but I'm sure it's either a costly fix or us looking for a new car, also not a cheap endeavor.
Looking back on how we had taken care of our car, we are kind of embarrassed. We missed the last service and oil change, and our record with being on time with our car maintenance was pretty dismal. It's no wonder we are now looking at a costly exercise to get us to some new wheels. This is so indicative of how many treat their bodies. Many wait until their body is not only rattling and groaning, but actually screaming before taking action. When we wait until something is seriously wrong, the road back to health is going to be long, time consuming and a significant investment.
I see this frequently. When I hear 'my health is pretty good, I just take this and this medication, my energy tanks in the afternoon, my PMS severely effects my ability to function one week every month, and I need a sleep aid to actually get any sleep etc etc.' Symptoms are your bodies check engine light. They are your back up camera beep beep beeping, telling you that you're about to hit something. Our bodies are amazing. They will continue to adapt to terrible maintenance for longer than you would ever put up with someone treating you poorly. They continue to strive for homeostasis every single day. Many band-aid the warning signs - over the counter NSAIDs, prescription drugs, CBD, alcohol/tobacco and a concerted effort to ignore, but eventually you will be shown in no uncertain circumstances that a cover up is never the answer.
Taking the time to care for your body in a way that will allow you to thrive isn't easy. It takes time, effort and dollar bills. A clear and connected nervous system, daily movement, quality nutrition and a healthy dose of self efficacy is not the norm in our society. Lack of symptoms is healthy. Hell, symptoms controlled with medication is healthy. But it's not. I encourage you to take a hard look at yourself. Get the facts of your health and then make the necessary changes, because there will definitely be changes to be made. I truly believe how we do one thing, is how we do everything, so I'll be taking a deep look at how I'm taking care of myself. If I can't take care of my car so it doesn't break down on the side of the road, there are obviously pieces of my own health that I'm missing. Stay tuned to hear what they are!
If you need help, reach out. I would love to help you achieve your health goals and make lasting change in your life. Not only do you deserve it, but your family does too.
Peace, Love and Wellness