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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Nelson

Choosing The Right Chiropractor For You - and why it matters.

I had to fire a patient this week. Not because there was anything inherently wrong with him, and not that there is anything inherently wrong with me, but we simply were not a good fit. And what may be even more surprising to hear, is that wasn't the first time. And it wont be the last.

In every industry there is an understood reality that every person in that industry varies in personality, skill, specialization, and so on. Every industry, except, for some unknown reason, chiropractic. For some reason there is the opposite assumption with chiropractors; that we are all the exact same. Now this can be for the good, in the positive assumption by an individual who had an amazing experience with a chiropractor who then rants and raves that all chiropractors are amazing. This assumption can also be used in the opposite way however, in the idea that if someone has one bad experience with a chiropractor, that we all must be terrible, and goes on to tell the entire world to avoid us at all costs. This latter assumption was one made by Joe Rogan that sent a ripple of pissed off emotion, including my own, from his scathing review of our entire profession based on a his single chiropractic experience with a single chiropractor. You would think that someone who is supposed to be so health minded and "informed" would have a better ability to objectively realize that he may not have liked that chiropractor, but that doesn't mean that all chiropractors are shit. After all, if you hire a personal trainer and he turns out to be terrible, does that mean all trainers are terrible? The answer is obviously, no, thats a super stupid assumption. Unfortunately, it is a stupid assumption Joe Rogan made, and it is one often made in my industry.

As a chiropractor, we basically have one chance with a new patient to make a positive experience, or else not only will they not return to our clinic, but its likely they will never return to another chiropractic clinic again. Ever.

Its for this very reason that I have worked tirelessly to craft a one of a kind experience, and provide as much service and insight as I can from the very first day someone steps foot in our clinic, and every day onward. I started my own practice because I felt there was one BIG thing missing in all forms of medicine, including allopathic, as well as chiropractic. That big thing is communication.

For allopathic medicine, there is almost zero communication. "We will call you if something shows up in your tests" is about the best you can get. But in chiropractic? Well, sadly most times its not much better. I cant count the number of times someone has told me "I had no idea what he was doing and then he just grabbed my neck and twisted it".

You see, I am extremely confident that the chiropractor in question knew exactly what he or she was doing, and I am also confident that he/she did the correct adjustment as required by the presentation of that patient; however, do you know who DIDN'T know that? The patient. You know who is the most important person who needs to know that?

Ding ding ding. You are correct! THE PATIENT!

Almost any horror story that you have heard from a friend of a friend's cousin's sibling about a chiropractor could have been avoided if the chiropractor did one simple thing- take the time to communicate what he/she is doing, why they are doing it, AND explain to the patient the process of change that will occur in their bodies FOLLOWING the adjustment. This is an important one.

When I hear someone say "the last chiropractor totally screwed up my back, I was in pain for days after the adjustment", this again comes from a total and complete lack of communication.

The body has rules. Those rules are universal and uncompromising. One of those rules happens to be that change is often uncomfortable while your body is adapting to it. Another rule is that inflammation of tissue causes pain.

What do you think we are dealing with 90% of the time? Injured and damaged tissue.

Know what one of the other rules of the body is? HEALING TAKES TIME.

Chiropractors are not human shaped Advil's. We are professional technicians trained in aligning joints which will allow them to heal and function the best they can either following an injury, to prevent an injury, or to maximize the efficiency and communication of the body for optimal health and well-being.

WE know that, but do you know who doesn't know that unless we explain it in thorough detail to them? ---> THE PATIENT!

This is why I created Element. I wanted to provide a healing experience unlike any other. The office is different by design. From the colours of the logo, to the vibe of our space, to the clinical process and treatment. All aspects are hand crafted to create a personalized experience, and something unlike any other medical experience you will ever have elsewhere. And guess what? People love it. We are the highest rated chiropractic clinic in Edmonton based on Google reviews, and we have constant new patients flowing into the clinic. But here is a point that is really important to remember. Despite all of this, WE ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE.


Despite working tirelessly to bring this vision to life, and despite the huge success we have had in such a short time, and the amount of amazing people that we have worked with who are blown away by the space and service we provide, there are some people that really aren't going to vibe with it.

Some people that really aren't going to vibe with me.

Some people that will come in and decide they preferred their old chiropractor. Or some people that regardless of the philosophy we teach and embody, will simply see things a different way. Some people where despite my best efforts I will refer them to a colleague that may be a better fit or a different specialization. And THAT IS A GOOD THING!

We aren't all the same. In fact, I created Element SPECIFICALLY to be different! I created Element to fill a void in our Healthcare system that I felt was obvious, and that I knew many people would want and appreciate that void being filled. But if you do anything with conviction, you will always have people who do not agree, or do not vibe with it.

That is the nature of art. All I can do, and all anyone else can do, is work every single day to be the absolute best at who and what we are, and offer our masterpiece to the world with love. The right ones will sync up, and the others will move towards something else that better aligns with them.

This is the process and purpose of life- to offer the best of ourselves to change the world however we can. But remember, if you are doing anything worthwhile, especially if it's new or different, the extent in which one person will love it, another will hate it. This is the nature of the universe. The universe works in balance. So be your best you, share the masterpiece that you are with love, work every day to improve, and find your tribe.

And remember, you are not for everyone and everyone is not for you. Chris Cornell from Audioslave has been voted time and time again as the greatest voice in rock music history. But guess what? There are some people that strongly disagree.

I'm one of them.

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