Success in Practice: What Does it Take?
Bob Simmonetti, DC
There are many
ingredients needed to be successful in chiropractic practice. Some are
related to character traits, others to business acumen and to a great
degree your success in practice will be determined by how you view your
role in our health care system.
After being in practice for nineteen years plus I am not naive enough to
think that this article will be so extensive that it will cover all that
“it takes” to build a thriving, fun and profitable practice. However,
success leaves clues and there is definitely proven factors which must be
present to build a prosperous practice. My desire is to break down these
factors in a series of articles and help to insure your success in
practice. So here we go!
Before you ever open your doors the most
important single factor which will determine your success or failure is
how do you view your role as a doctor of chiropractic. Do you see
yourself as a pain relief specialist? Do you see yourself as a
musculoskeletal rehabilitation specialist? Most chiropractors state that
they do not treat symptoms and that they correct the cause of health
problems. This is a good thing because society is fed up with the medical
approach that specializes in treating symptoms and conditions. In fact
our society is rapidly moving towards and will demand a health care
system that emphasizes wellness and prevention.
It would behoove you, the upstart
practitioner, to view yourself as a “health coach”.
That is, you should be knowledgeable of all of the proper
lifestyle choices to promote health and at the same time you should not
hold yourself out as someone who treats conditions with any of these
lifestyle choices or any other adjuncts. You see treating conditions or
symptoms is a losing proposition for the doctor of chiropractic for
several reasons, foremost because of the aforementioned trend in society.
The other reason is because medicine does it quicker and better. Another
often-overlooked reason is that treating symptoms or conditions is not
The doctor of chiropractic should imbue
and teach healthy lifestyle choices. At the center of the lifestyle
choices is having a nerve system free of interference. This must be the
most important lifestyle choice emphasized by the doctor of chiropractic.
It is not something to be considered only after symptoms or a condition
exists. Would you consider eating good foods only after you were fifty
pounds overweight and had stomach pains? Keeping my three children’s
spines functioning free of subluxation is what I do before they have a
“condition” develop. Keeping spines in my office free of subluxation is
one critical factor that will determine my success in practice. If my
emphasis is on treating symptoms or a condition, once it is gone so is
Does size REALLY matter?
By Dr. Andrew A. De Saro
This is a daunting question that has
plagued men for ages. Often thought is the concept that the bigger
something is, the better. Our society certainly makes us think this when
the highest accolades are given to the construction of the tallest
building, the design of the longest bridge, the richest person, or the
practitioner with highest patient volume per week. Little value has been
placed on a person’s character, it’s all about what they can do. All too
frequently we become prey to the bigger is better mentality and neglect
the beauty or richness life has to offer, despite the quantity. So, what
becomes of us when we use this way of thinking? How do we begin to
realize and see our interconnectedness with one another?
In our practices we have many kinds of
patients. I would like to show the distinction between two categories.
Many patients have amazing stories about their recovery after beginning
care with us. This makes it very easy to see and instantly measure the
impact we had on their life and vitality. You may have seen a patient who
came into your office shuffling along unable to take a normal step
without pain and then carefully maneuver onto your adjusting table ready
to receive what only you can give. After such an encounter the patient
rises and is able to move in ways they couldn’t, even before the pain
brought them to your office, not to mention the pain is gone now. Truly
Amazing! Now let us consider the patient who hasn’t experienced the
“amazing” transformation that Chiropractic has to offer. Many of these
patients come to the office, get adjusted and regularly repeat this some
weekly, others monthly, but continue without the result experienced by
the previously described patient.
I am willing to say, no, I am willing to
guarantee that every patient, every time experiences the miracle of life
right on your table in your office. As chiropractors it is inherent in
the work we do that we will touch, move and inspire others through the
process, but more importantly it is who we be. Whenever these thoughts
cross my mind I always think back to a story told by a chiropractor at
Palmer Lyceum a few years ago. The story goes, a woman came in to see
this chiropractor because she had been having trouble moving without pain
in her lower back, pretty common. As she began to develop a relationship
and trust with the chiropractor she began to tell about her husband who
had knee pain and that it must be getting worse. She went on to say that
her husband has been abusive and the beatings had become more intense, he
even took their three year old daughter’s favorite doll’s head off in
front the girl. So the woman’s plea to the chiropractor was that if he
could do something for her husband’s knee pain maybe things would get
better. The chiropractor told her he would do what he could and so the
husband began care. In a couple of weeks on a visit the woman rushed into
the office while her husband was getting their daughter out of the car
and told the doctor that there hasn’t been one abusive episode since care
begun for the husband and that he hasn’t had a drink either which the
doctor wasn’t aware there was a dinking problem. Best of all, the woman
said with a tear going down her cheek that last night he put his daughter
on his lap and read her a book, something he had never done. When you
fail to see the impact you have made through your hands and your love,
remember that you have impact beyond your reach and sight.
To answer the question “What impact do I
have” I would like to share BJ Palmer’s “An After Thought” from 1944.
“A slip on the snowy sidewalk, in Winter,
is a small thing. It happens to millions.
A fall from a ladder, in the Summer, is a
small thing. That also happens to millions.
The slip or fall produces a subluxation.
The subluxation is a small thing.
The subluxation produces a pressure
on a nerve. That pressure is a small thing.
The pressure cuts off the flow of
mental impulses. That decreased flowing is a small thing.
That decreased flowing produces a dis-eased
body and brain. THAT is a BIG thing to THAT man.
Multiply THAT sick man by a thousand, you
control the physical and mental welfare of a city.
Multiply THAT man by a million, and you
shape the physical and mental destiny of a State.
Multiply THAT man by one hundred thirty
million, and you forecast and can prophesy the physical and mental status
of a nation.
So the slip or fall, the subluxation,
pressure, flow of mental impulses, and dis-ease are BIG enough to
control the thoughts and actions of a nation.
Now comes a man. Any one man is a
This man gives an adjustment. The
adjustment is a small thing.
The adjustment replaces the
subluxation. That is a small thing.
The adjusted subluxation releases
pressure upon nerves. That is a small thing.
The released pressure restores
health to A man. That is a BIG thing to THAT man.
Multiply that well man by a
thousand, and you step up the physical and mental welfare of a city.
Multiply that well man by a
million; and you increase the efficiency of a State.
Multiply that well man by one hundred
thirty million, and you have produced a healthy, wealthy, and better race
So the adjustment of the subluxation, to
release pressure upon nerves, to restore mental impulse flow, to restore
health, IS BIG enough to rebuild the thoughts and actions of the world.
THE IDEA that knows the cause, that can
correct the cause of dis-ease, IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST IDEAS KNOWN. Without
it, nations fall; with it nations rise.
THE IDEA is the BIGGEST I know of.”
How small do you seem to be? Does the size
of what you do only measured in the effects seen? I challenge the idea
that what happens on the adjusting table is merely a musculoskeletal or
neuromuscular manipulation and not a true life altering miracle Is there
such a thing as a small miracle? What makes one miracle better than
another one? Who ranks miracles? Any life-giving act expressed with love
through touching another is a miracle that knows no limit to size or
impact on the lives’ of the people involved. When you give that
adjustment, in that moment you feel the entire body give way and relax
while you relax and become present to the innate. The person turns and
looks at you taking their first breath without the subluxation causing
dis-ease in their body with sheer gratitude and says “ Wow, I needed
that” or “Ahhh, I didn’t know it was that bad”. This is THE true miracle
of life, giving life and fully expressing life.
So, in my world, the Chiropractic world,
it’s not the size of the miracle that matters but the life you make with
the your miracle. When all of us become the same family at NB and touch
the thousands or the one hundred thirty millions of people that we touch,
we create a new nation, a better race for posterity. Be apart of the NB
family and join us as we create a new race, a new world forever.
ICPA and New Beginnings Extravaganza Just Days Away
Come join us at Now You Know April 29 thru May 2, 2004 and experience
a practice-changing event in chiropractic philosophy, science, and art!
Come share the excitement of both New Beginnings and the International
Chiropractic Pediatric Association Extraviganza!
Experience Chiropractic Philosophy: Keynote Philosophy Speakers: Drs. Guy Riekeman,
Bob Hoffman, C.J. Mertz, Pasquale Cerasoli, Bob Braile, Eric Plasker, Tony DeMarco,
Jay Handt, Peter Kevorkianand the rest of the New Beginnings Philosophy Team.
Science: Enjoy the validation of Chiropractic Philosophy with our Keynote
Science Speaker: Bruce Lipton, PhD. Make informed choices on Vaccines: "Immunity
and Chiropractic" presented by: Stephen Marini, D.C., PhD. Hear the ICPA Research
Update with Joel Alcantara, D.C, ICPA Research Director.
Multiple I.C.P.A. Technique Workshops including Webster Technique Certification.
Plus special ICPA Family Practice Panel. Drs. Claudia Anrig, Tony Carrino,
Jeanne Ohm, Carol Phillips, Armand Rossi and Jim Thompson.
years event will be held at the
Conference Resort Long Branch, New Jersey. For more details
visit their websites at