How do you know if you can trust your caregivers? Every person wants to be able to trust those who attend to their health and well-being, not just with their clinical competency, but also with their demeanor and compassion.
Trust is earned. When a person walks into a caregiver’s office, he or she seeks a relationship based upon trust and honesty.
In the past, people often blindly trusted their doctors, following whatever treatments they ordered. This level of trust actually did little to foster true health and well-being. A deep, authentic development of trust between the doctor and patient is necessary to facilitate healing within a person’s life. This is what the culture is seeking today.
When a person consults a doctor, there is often a degree of fear: “Is this condition serious?” we wonder. “Can this doctor potentially hurt me or my child?” “Can I afford it?” In order for healing to occur, people need to allay their fears with valid information and a renewed respect for their innate abilities as a human being. The doctor of chiropractic and his office team supports this understanding. The doctor/ patient relationship is a sacred one. Healing is not about curing or treating a condition; rather, healing is a journey of honoring the path of physiological change. Although fear may motivate us at first, it really does not contribute to healing or adaptability.
Often the caregiver lives in a state of fear as well: “Is this person going to follow my recommendation?” he wonders. “Will they pay their bill?” “Might they sue me?” “Will I know the right thing to do?” If the caregiver and the patient are both resonating in a state of fear, healing cannot occur. Both doctor and patient must create relationships built upon compassion and transparency. This happens one interaction at a time, one visit at a time, and one action at a time. Anything interfering with this relationship will cloud the possibility for achieving health. Insurance reimbursements, managed care, regulations, compliance—all are intended to improve the system and provide better healthcare, but they often interfere with the relationship and break down trust.
It is the responsibility of the patient to remember that she is the consumer and the one responsible for her own health and well-being. Patients should use the doctor as a coach, teacher, and consultant to learn more about their body, how it works, and how the doctor can serve them. Caregivers should strive to facilitate the patients’ trust in their bodies. They also should support patients in the choices they make for their own well-being, and that of their family.
We live in a time where people feel victimized by their bodies. Often people think of their bodies as flawed machines that continually need to be fixed from the outside. People often believe that the body is deficient in many of its chemicals, and seek outside answers to their bodily challenges. Patients seek pills, powders, and potions to treat, fix, or cure their ailments. The chiropractic philosophy offers a different perspective that honors life in the body. It teaches that the innate intelligence within the body knows more about what it needs than anyone on the outside, and more than any educated person. Learning and understanding the chiropractic story opens a new world of trust and respect for oneself. It allows personal empowerment through our own innate potential.
Empowering people and their families is one of the greatest ways to build and foster trust. When caregivers tell people what to do, trust is replaced with fear. Caregivers should inspire people with knowledge and compassion, allowing them to uncover the best path for themselves. It should not be a caregiver’s place to judge another or to force them to live within their paradigm.
Heath and healing is a journey for both caregiver and the recipient. With trust, this sacred relationship will grow our vitality and our possibilities.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #52.
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