By Lyle W. Sherman, D.C., Ph.C.
Originally published July 1954
Have you ever heard people say "My hasn't he gotten old looking since we last saw him?" Chances are the people who say that have aged just as much. As we grow older we do not see the change in ourselves because it is such a gradual process. We forget how we looked a few years ago. Perhaps it's just as well we don't remember. A few days ago a patient said to me "You don't get credit for nearly all the things you do." I asked him what he meant. He said "We tend to minimize our troubles when they begin to disappear. It's so gradual we soon forget just how we felt at first unless somebody reminds us." That is very true.
Not very long ago another patient of mine had the unfortunate experience of receiving a severe blow on his head in an accident. After the cuts and bruises healed and the hurts were gone, he still complained of having dizzy spells. One day he asked me, "Do you think I'll ever get over this dizzyness?" I said yes, but you won't know when it happens. He assured me he certainly would know when it happened. I saw this man professionally about every two weeks or so for the next two or three months. One day I asked him how the dizzyness was? He thought a moment and replied "It's gone, I don't know just when it left. I doubt if I would have thought of it again had you not mentioned it." This is truely a natural thing.
One day I took several patients in to talk to a young lady who was to do some public relations work for us. She interviewed them about their progress under chiropractic care. One lady, as I introduced her and read over the original case history, interrupted me saying "You have the wrong patient doctor, that's not my history." Showing her own signature to her, and reviewing the history brought back to her mind the old symptoms. She was dumbfounded to think that she had forgotten all those things that were wrong with her.
As we grow back to health, as we assuredly do under chiropractic care, the least of our troubles or symptoms disappear first, then some more, and so on until all are gone except the worst of our symptoms, and even as they begin to disappear, the lesser symptoms are forgotten. This was brought home to me repeatedly when I used to read over the patient's daily case reports in the B.J. Palmer Clinic. At first the large case report form would be filled, reporting his aches and pains, but as the weeks went by there would less and less on his report sheet. Finally he would be handing in only a written line or two, complaining of course, forgetting the things that had already cleared. As the main symptoms gradually left he was probably wondering why he even came in the first place- must have been out of his mind- guess the pain in his stomach wan't as bad as he thought. Yes, it happens more than we think, every day in every chiropractor's office.
Those of us who keep a detailed chiropractic history of each case, have an opportunity to remind our patients of their past symptoms when it becomes necessary in the management of their case. What about those of you that do not take time to take case histories? Many times both you and your patients will wonder just what the symptoms were in the beginning. Sure it isn't necessary to take a case history to remove the cause of disease, but I'll wager that many will eventually believe that there is some truth to what medical writers have been saying, "that in those people who say chiropractic got them well there wasn't really anything wrong, they just thought there was." Sure, in the beginning the patient knew there was plenty wrong but as time went on and health gradually returned, they do forget. Of course, many cases do remember how sick they were and are very grateful for the return of health. They tell others and they in turn get well. However, there are very few patients that do not forget to some degree the advice of their chiropractor when he councils them about caring for themselves properly; to report periodically to their chiropractor; to not over do again; to remember that even after they think they are well it takes time to build reserves that are necessary before abundant health can be theirs.
Some of you wonder why certain patients do not seem to appreciate what a wonderful thing you did for them- well, tell them, they've forgotten. I am sure this statement won't make sense to the person who is sick but it will to the man who has gotten well through chiropractic.
Dr. Sherman was Assistant Director of the B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Clinic in Davenport, IA and went on to practice in Spartanburg, SC later in his career. He was instrumental in research efforts to advance the development of scientific chiropractic procedures and upper cervical care. His "Pattern" work with the Neurocalograph Instrument revolutionized the management of patients desiring better health.
I share this as testament to the often-misunderstood practice of chiropractic. It is not a quick fix or a miracle cure. It is a scientific way of attaining better health naturally; so natural in fact, that we often do not realize our own progress. But we do get better in time and can maintain our progress if we stay the course. That is a very exciting thing!
We are taking the following precautionary measures in our office to ensure our office is an Oasis of Health:
We are open our normal business hours
No more Patient Clip Boards or Signing-In for the next few weeks to minimize cross-contamination (ie people touching less stuff in our office)
Chiropractic Tables Are Cleaned Between Each Patient
Children's toys have been removed from family room
Bathrooms are cleaned 2x/day
Surfaces in the office that are commonly touched areas are cleaned multiple times per hour (door handles, chairs, sink knobs, etc)
Patients that are sick are requested to stay home
Patients who are well are encouraged to make their appointments... chiropractic adjustments decrease stress on your body and increase immune system function
Staff that is Sick will not be allowed in the office