Using Analogies to Educate Patients

The correction of subluxation for the removal of interference to the mental impulse and the philosophy behind is often a new or poorly understood concept for many in the public who view chiropractic as a treatment for neck and back pain.  Subluxation centered chiropractors work diligently to educate their patients about subluxation and the philosophy behind their care.  Analogies can be a useful tool to help educate those patients.

The Heimlich Maneuver

One excellent analogy is the Heimlich Maneuver1.  Under most circumstances, we are able to clear our airway of obstruction (an interference) by coughing.  But there are occasions when innate is not able to clear the airway by coughing as the force from the cough is not sufficient to clear the obstruction.  When this happens, an outside force is needed which innate can then use to clear the obstruction.  There are several ways this serves as a good analogy to explain the subluxation and the adjustment.  The subluxation, like the blocked airway, is an interference, which must be removed.  An outside force is needed as innate cannot generate sufficient internal force to remove the interference and the outside force does not fix the issue but gives innate the resources to do so.  Noteworthy also is that an adjustment, like the Heimlich Maneuver, should only be applied when needed.  No one would wish to have the Heimlich Maneuver applied to them every time they cough.  This nicely reflects the difference between the idea that adjustments are great and you should get adjusted as often as possible and that an adjustment is only needed when there is evidence of interference.

Personal Experience

This analogy has proven very helpful in my office with the overwhelming majority of people saying that it made great sense and helped them to better understand the subluxation and the adjustment.  We need many resources in our patient education program and a good analogy can be one of your resources.

1 Many thanks to David Koch D.C. for originating this analogy.

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