Why did you choose to become a heath practitioner? Because you like to help people feel better? Assist them with their pain, their distress, and their issues? This is a common – and reasonable – response. Taking away someone else’s pain can be a highly gratifying experience. But are you really helping them?
Surely, as a health practitioner, this is your job.
To take away the pain. They like coming to see you. You like helping them. It is all as it should be. Maybe they keep coming to see you on a semi-regular basis, like your car needs a light tune up. If so, that’s great. Or perhaps their condition is chronic, and a good number of regular sessions is what’s required for a long-term sustainable result. You are both definitely aiming for that time when those regular sessions won’t be needed. If so, great.
What are they really getting out of it?
But do they keep coming to see you because you aren’t really getting sustainable results? Maybe they improve after your consultation but is it isn’t really moving them forward?
In short, are you just a crutch?
Are you someone who keeps things from falling apart, but doesn’t really improve the situation either? First, of all congratulations for helping these people, even if it’s just to that point. Congratulations, too, for managing to create a strong relationship with your client so that they are continuing to seek assistance.
Are you giving them tools to help themselves between treatments?
Are they using those tools? Are they learning to help themselves?
The best thing you can do
One of the best things that you can do for your client is offer manageable, positive lifestyle changes. Changes that would directly impact your client’s health is. Why? Because when you do this you empower that person to shift from reliance on a practitioner to self-actualisation. For example, there are practical things your client can do to help themselves with physical pain management – read more here.
What are they assuming?
So many new clients of mine have walked into my clinic with the assumption that they can’t directly influence their own health. Many have also felt it their health situation was a done deal. That coming to a practitioner like myself may can only hope to prevent things from getting worse. And many practitioners I have worked with have ended up feeling the same. But if both the practitioner and the client believe they have the potential to contribute to positive change then positive outcomes – even surprising ones – can happen.
If you can do wonders in one hour…
…then imagine the powerful magnifying effect that can occur with if your client starts choosing more healthy behaviours? All of a sudden instead of clients feeling good for a few days after a consultation then sliding back to their original state they can come back to you feeling better than the last time. This means each time you see them there is a potential to move them further ahead in their picture of health.
How do I do this?
Depending on your modality there can be a whole range of advice you might be able to offer to help them make some changes that will enhance their health outcomes. Not only that, you also have the ability to create strategies for them to help them over come the barriers to creating positive changes in their lives.
What if it doesn’t work?
If something you suggest doesn’t seem to work or they don’t act upon it how can you adjust your approach, maybe it’s time to let go and let another practitioner help. Instead of giving up at some point what would it be like to keep seeking solutions expand your skill set and practitioner network.
Never giving up creates a limitless potential…
….in both you as a health practitioner and in your client’s health. Learning to overcome the barriers we face such as our own skills, client compliance and ego mean you can become a great asset to the community instead of just a crutch.
What can you do to truly empower your clients today?
Author: Jeff Shearer, Ethical Practice
10+ years helping natural medicine practitioners to greater practice success
(whatever ‘success’ is to them)