Pink Slime in Chiropractic: 2 Observations to Chew On

Pink slime is all over the news lately! And it reminds me of something going on in the chiropractic profession.

In case you have not heard, pink slime is technically called lean finely textured beef and it’s produced under the watchful eye of USDA inspectors and according to strict federal rules. It’s an additive mixed in to ground beef done for economic reasons, creating more ground beef for less money by utilizing the scraps and trimmings that would normally be discarded.

Smart business!

Don’t worry, I’m not advocating you eat more meat with or even without pink slime, but there are some interesting lessons here about additives.

So how does this relate to chiropractic business? Well, there are some who believe chiropractic care should be delivered pure and with no additives – these people are called straights. And then there are those who believe there are helpful additives that can enhance chiropractic care – these people are called mixers.

The straights argue that chiropractic works so well that any additives will diminish its effectiveness and confuse the public about what chiropractic really is.

After 30 years in the chiropractic profession, operating a large multi-DC family practice, I’ve come to the following conclusions on this matter:

1)      Some patients do well with nothing more than a chiropractic adjustment. There is a time and place for straight chiropractic.

2)      Some patients don’t get what they want with nothing more than a chiropractic adjustment. There is a time and place for mixing with additives like exercise rehab, nutrition, massage, myofascial release, lifestyle modification counseling, and other modalities.

It all comes down to intention. What is the intention of doing straight chiropractic or mixing? Is it to help the patient, impress the patient, or make money? If the intention is good (helping the patient) then both straight and mixed chiropractic has its benefits. Both patients and doctors are not dumb. For the doctor, the focus has to be foremost on helping the patient. I had great success with taking the time to explain to patients what I see wrong with their bodies and what was needed to help them. Some needed nothing more than an adjustment, and some needed more than just an adjustment.

And to those who fear that patients will want to forgo a chiropractic adjustment and instead choose just the additives, I can tell you that I never saw that happen even once in my long career. When explained correctly and thoroughly, nothing supersedes the chiropractic adjustment, and patients want it, but many at times need a bit more than that.

And to you straights who think all is well with your strict approach, I can tell you about many people I’ve met who will never go to a chiropractor again because of that kind of fanaticism. As Greg Stanley likes to tease “Some DCs want us to believe that the hip bone is connected to the universe.” LOL!

Are there some doctors who abuse the additives just to make more money? Yes, but it’s the exception not the rule. And misbehavior like that will catch up to them. If you, doctor, are guilty of that – STOP IT IMMEDIATELY!

In regards to pink slime, there is a time and place for it both in meat processing and in chiropractic. The gross sounding name is more of a problem than the additive itself. People are not dumb; explain what your product is and let them choose.

Thus, it comes down to intention.  Doctors and meat processors with integrity will have good intentions with their products.

Hey doctor. I don’t care if you are a straight or a mixer. I do care about your intention.  Your patients are expecting and deserving that you to have it right.

Practice on!

Dr Tom Potisk

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Categories: business management, practice management


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