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