…and Focus determines Results
One of the most important determinants of success in any endeavour is focus. We tend to attract what we focus on and the more we focus, the more it grows. Our success requires focus. This is why it is important that the doctors, coaches, advisors and fiduciaries we work will possess a focus that is consistent with the results we are looking to achieve. When what WE want is very different from our doctor’s (or any other advisor) the outcome often leads to frustration, disappointment, and failure.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to give a lecture to trainer Tom Irvine of Quest Personal Training Studio’s fitness class at St. Lawrence College. I have been speaking and demonstrating NSA for his classes for years. This time, I chose to speak less about what I do and more about the different approaches in chiropractic and what the differences were. After all, I did not want to turn a potential future chiropractor off of the profession if they were not personally interested in MY focus in practice.
With so many techniques and systems within chiropractic, the best way to break down our differences was where we place most of our focus. I defined 4 distinct groups:
1. Pain and symptom treatment focus. These chiropractors aim to ‘fix’ your pain and symptoms and do so as quickly as possible. Success is defined as the pain going away and treatment is focused on achieving that goal.
2. Pain and symptom prevention focus. These doctors feel that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so focus more on stopping problems before they happen. This may be in the form of regular ‘maintenance’ care and prescribed exercises. Success is a lower frequency of problems in the future. A doctor in this group may sacrifice the quick ‘fix’ of a symptom to ensure an injury more fully heals to prevent a future flare up.
3. Optimizing function focus. While pain and symptoms may be addressed, the focus is on getting your body functioning at its’ optimum. This may include optimal movement, immune system function, and in the chiropractor’s case definitely optimal nerve function. This doctor recognizes that pain and symptoms can be a part of a well functioning body so will not treat them at the expense of the whole. Often, these chiropractors are “subluxation-based” and recommend regular check-ups to ensure being in tip-top shape.
4. Evolving strategy focused. These doctors recognize that a living human is not a static entity and that there is an opportunity for everyone to develop new strategies for health and life. They know that once function is optimized, there is still another level to go. There is no ceiling to our potential for awareness, adaptability, resourcefulness, vitality, and happiness. The goal of these chiropractors is to help their practice members develop never-ending refinement. They also recognize that new physical strategies can impact our emotional, mental and spiritual lives. These doctors see pain and symptoms as a calling for more awareness and new strategies, not something to do battle with.
Of course, most chiropractors do not fit into only one of these categories. They do, however have one in which they place the most focus. One is not better than the other but they will definitely get different results. In my experience, when you start to take care of optimal function and evolving strategies, the symptoms often take care of themselves.
The great thing is that you get to choose which one fits best for you. A great way to find out what your doctor’s focus is to ask them what their highest vision for you in care. This also applies to any other coach or advisor you employ (a financial advisor focused on getting you out of bankruptcy will get very different results than one focussing on building your legacy for generations to come)!
Make sure your doctor’s focus is consistent with yours. What I look for in any coach is someone who is a little bit beyond me. Someone who will stretch me just beyond my comfort zone and makes sure I am learning something new. If you can identify your health focus above I would encourage you to choose a doctor 1 level past it.
“The more presence and congruence you possess, the less force is required in any endeavour”
– Dr. Donny Epstein