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Unexpected Successes in Practice

Updated: Apr 30

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Why Your Chiropractic Patients and Practice Can Improve in Multiple Ways

If you continue to work on improvement, you will see results. That’s just physics -- a reduction of Newton’s laws, which state that causes create effects.

And if you keep improving what you are doing to make the improvements, the results will be even better. That, too, is physics. (See pages 47 and 256 of the Goal Driven Business!)

However, the results may not always be what you expect, at least not at first.

For example, you start adjusting your patient for their lower back pain. When they started with you, they also had a limp. After several visits, they stopped limping, but their back pain, while better, was still annoying. In time, their back pain was relieved as they continued with their care.

But what about the fact that their limp is gone, their gate is excellent, and they can walk and even run more easily? Didn’t anyone notice?

I mentioned this to someone who coaches people on weight loss. She understood immediately what I said. She referred to it as Non-Scale Victories. NSV’s, she called it!


I have been following the graduates of our first Practice MBA program carefully. I am delighted with the results, but they were not entirely what I expected. I had expected and hoped that practice numbers would increase! Well, this has been happening, in fact, in some cases, Best Evers in years.

But other pleasant surprises have been showing up. For example, chiropractic doctors mention how their offices are calmer and friendlier than before. Another acupuncture office is successfully bringing on a second associate, and another is expanding its marketing reach in entirely new and innovative ways. Even old system problems that have been buried for years are arising and getting resolved.

These and other practice improvements were not directly addressed in our training. I have been consulting for over 30 years and have never seen results like this.

I was at first puzzled by what was happening. I think I finally figured it out. Here are three reasons:

  • The Hidden Ripple Effect. Imagine a pebble dropped into a calm pond. The initial splash is visible, but the ripples extend far beyond the point of impact.

  • Holistic Growth. Improvement is rarely isolated. Improving one component in a system improves other elements.

  • Consistent Weekly Improvement. This is the biggest reason. The function of management and leadership in a practice is powerful, even if only worked on for a few hours per week. This is what we did for over 3 months, both doctor, manager and the team.

Imagine what would happen if you stuck to your exercise program consistently for a year! Yes, you might lose weight, build muscle, and improve your agility. But can you imagine how it might also affect other areas of your life?

But, like exercise, practice improvement gets put off too often. We focus on urgent practice issues, but because improvement, while important, is NOT urgent, we can tend to put it off.


We also aren’t inclined to notice nonlinear beneficial outcomes.

  • Our Instinct is to Look for the Negative. The sympathetic nervous system that governs our fight or flight response has evolved over the millennium as a survival mechanism. We are looking for poisonous snakes on the road and other possible threats.

  • We Also Have Tunnel Vision. We tend to focus on just our specific goals. This is essential but limits our perspective. We miss peripheral benefits.

So, one of the lessons I have learned from our Practice MBA program is that if we continue to work ON improving our practice and ourselves, if we just keep at it, successes will occur – often in multiple areas. When they do, they should be recognized and appreciated.

Keep improving – your office, your patients, and yourself!

That’s our goal!



If your practice building efforts aren’t taking you to your goals,

there are reasons -- many of which are hidden from you.

Find out what they are and how to sail to your next level by getting and implementing my book, The Goal Driven Business.

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The Goal Driven Business

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