I had worked at a homeless shelter for 2 years giving free chiropractic care to the down and out in Hamilton. The man in front of me had come in for back pain. I always asked these men the same question at their intake exam:
“What is the vision of what you want to do with your life?” His response tore my heart: “I have failed at everything I have ever tried and I’m not even sure if I want to live anymore.”
As you can imagine if people have LOW or NO vision, like the above example, their investment of time and money into health disciplines like nutrition, exercise, spinal health and relationships will probably be VERY LOW to NON-EXISTENT. Consequently, their health will be very poor, as it was with the above man. The BEST way to get healthy is to NEED good health because of your vision for amazing health.
If we NEED our bodies to be healthy in order to accomplish our BIG dreams, then we MUST take care of them.
Vision is EVERYTHING. As a chiropractor for 20 years now, I realize that the MOST important piece of information we can glean from the New Patient exam is precisely what I asked that man: “What is your vision for your life?” We then ask: “What do you miss MOST due to your poor health right now?”. Finally we ask, “If this condition was left alone for 5 years and did not improve how would that affect your life?”
EVERYONE has a vision and desire for CRISIS care. This puts us in a place of “no choice” meaning that we MUST fix the problem, no matter how long it takes or how much it costs. Crisis care may be the 30 year old Dad who can’t work as a mechanic due to sciatica. His wife and kids will starve if he can’t get his spine fixed. No choice. It may be the 65 year old widowed grandma who has hip pain and can’t play golf. Her Tuesday and Thursday night golf league is what she lives for and she can’t give it up. No choice. These people will ALWAYS proceed with their corrective care plan.
The BIG SOLID YELLOW differentiating line is this: once the crisis is gone, do people have a vision for ongoing wellness care? This may mean weekly or bi-weekly adjustments for life. The answer to this question depends on their belief. Will on-going wellness chiropractic in some REAL way help me achieve my dream of being healthy until I’m 90? If they can’t see how chiropractic may help do that then they will NOT continue into wellness care. This same decision making process will determine whether they work out for life and eat healthy food for life.
The first pre-requisite here is that you have a VISION for good health which means a compelling REASON as to why you need good health. This varies for everyone but could be grandkids, travel, ministry work, sports and golf, taking care of sick family etc.
The second pre-requisite is understanding how a healthy spine will get you there. A spine that has good mobility and structure IS that key to amazing health in older years. A spine that is immobile, mis-aligned, arthritic and decaying will rob people of their ability to fulfill their dreams especially in later years.
Recently at my clinic my patient, a 60 year old lady, had her adjustment and then sat on the table and announced that she got an award from her Gym. She had hit the 1800 mark. She had done 1800 workouts over a 13 year period of time. WOW!! It just so happens that she finished 10 years of wellness care with me; close to 300 adjustments. She is one of the healthiest and most joyful people I know. She always comes in with a smile and is praising our team and her husband and her kids and friends. She has a VISION for wellness and believes that chiropractic is a large part of the HOW to be optimally healthy.
Ultimately as humans we have two choices when a health challenge robs our ability to do what we love to do. The first choice is to LOWER our vision and NOT fix the health issue. An example would be the 70 year old who decides to quit golf because it causes him extreme back pain every time he plays.
The second choice is to MAINTAIN our vision and dream and to FIX the health issue. This would be the 70 year old man who follows through on a corrective care plan and then ongoing wellness care for 20 years and continues to play golf until he is 90!
The most important question for the patient is: “What vision do you believe will allow you to have the most abundant and healthy life possible?” Life-time wellness chiropractic care OR symptom-based crisis-relief care? If you believe life-time wellness care is best for you then find that chiropractor that also believes this.
Without a compelling vision for your life, you may not need good health. If you lose your health you lose everything. If you lose your vision you also lose everything. They both go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.
Guest Blog by Dr. Mark del Cantero
Dr. Mark Del Cantero has been a structural corrective chiropractor for 20 years now in Ancaster, Ontario. He has helped thousands of people to not only restore their health but to maintain it and achieve high levels of health and vitality. He not only takes an interest in spinal health but also in nutrition, exercise and stress management.
He graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College as a Chiropractor in 1996 with clinical honours and has since taken all of the core courses in Chiropractic Biophysics Technique. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Toronto in 1990.
He has been a speaker at various venues including Warrior Coaching and dozens of groups locally in Hamilton.
He lives with his wife and three children in Ancaster, Ontario.
You can find Dr. Mark at:
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