Chiropractic is good alternative care. How many times have you heard this or something similar? Do you agree with it? People who have never used chiropractic may say it. Chiropractic patients may even say it.What's most astonishing is that some chiropractors actually say it.
Chiropractic is not good alternative care. Chiropractic is a vital part of mainstream health care. Period. There is nothing "alternative" about our profession except in certain people's perception of us. But perception can feel like reality if we don't work to change the idea so people can recognize us as mainstream.
The first thing that must change to move chiropractic from "alternative" to "mainstream" is our mindset. If we, as chiropractors and members of this profession, don't view ourselves as mainstream, then no one else will. We must take pride in ourselves, in chiropractic; then we will see real change.
Take, for instance, a good business model. What makes one business more successful than the next? It is a combination of the following: a good idea / product, a hard-working group of employees and the belief that the business can succeed. You may laugh at the idea of "wishing yourself successful," but there is power in your beliefs.
One of my favorite quotes is from American industrialist Henry Ford: "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right." This is a motto I live by and share with my company. This quote gives you an empowered way of viewing yourself and your possibilities. You don't have to wait for someone else to say you can do it; you decide if you can do it.
But what about what the public thinks of us? What about slander from the medical community? What about the insurance industry's lack of total acceptance? Those are some big, important questions, representing issues you cannot control alone. Before you get to the answers, you need to take a look in the mirror. This is what you can control.
You have control over your own attitude, beliefs and actions. You may not be able to control what someone else thinks or does, but you can control how you react to it. This sounds simple, but it may, at times, require a test of your patience, your core values and your ethics. To have others believe that we are not alternative, we must first believe it ourselves.
Now back to those large questions that need complex solutions; they require us to think outside ourselves and see the big picture. To answer those questions, you need a unifying voice from chiropractic to speak our truth about the positive benefits of chiropractic. Once we have our mindset adjusted, only then are we ready to promote a clear message to others.
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) is designed to generate positive press about the benefits of chiropractic care. The foundation has made some vast strides in tackling those tough questions with media blitzes specifically targeted to affect the decision-makers in our country.
For example, during the second week of March, the chiropractic profession converged in Washington, D.C., to lobby on chiropractic issues. The following week, the research and education community of our profession hosted a separate meeting in Washington, D.C. This two-week period in March was a perfect example of how the F4CP used its media muscle to increase the profession's visibility. It placed its four monthly placements in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, along with a placement in Roll Call, the niche publication read by many members of Congress.
Think positive, think big and then support the F4CP to see chiropractic move from alternative to mainstream. The foundation is working hard promoting your profession, but just think how much stronger it would be if we had more help from more doctors – if we had help from you. As the foundation gains more support, the general public and media will advance both their acceptance and knowledge of chiropractic. Visit www.f4cp.com for more information or to become a monthly contributor.
Click here for previous articles by Kent Greenawalt.