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The patient who won't give up
I have this thing called the 4 treatment package that I usually encourage patients to buy. I do this because they will need at least 4 treatments if their problem is chronic and/or mild to severe, which comprises the majority of my patients. Some patients agree to it, some choose not to. Once in a blood moon someone comes in with an acute pain issue that happened less than a week ago and one treatment is likely all they need. But these are few and far in between. I want patients to commit to their health and that's why I give them a discount for the treatment package; I actually get the short end of the stick, but I think them getting better is my bigger goal as a Chinese Medicine Doctor. Unfortunately not all patients fully understand this even if I explain to them.
On average most patients do about 8 treatments, or 2 rounds. They stop usually because they feel better(not 100%, but 70-80%) and think this is enough to get by, while they don't want to pursue other issues they concurrently might have. Others lack patience because their eyes are more on how much they're spending versus what they are getting in return for their health improvement. Considering how chronic most problems are many patients are under the understanding that getting better should be faster than getting sick, which is sadly NOT THE CASE because that's not the way the body works(I wish it was). But some individuals are really motivated and have so much trust and confidence in me that they're willing to push me to my limits. I think I have to thank them because it gives me the opportunity to show what our medicine is truly capable of.
For example, recently I have a patient that just finished 16 treatments, or 4 rounds of visits. Until she just told me that I was not really aware of this fact.
In the beginning she came for back pain, then after that was largely dealt with we moved on to her headaches. Then she told me how bad her knee and calf was, and even at this time the headaches were not yet settled. Her lower leg was a real challenge to treat, but after some trial and error and some introspection I finally was able to push the treatment to another milestone. From the beginning to the end essentially everything(or almost everything) in the book was thrown at it, acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, more acupuncture, more Chinese Medicine, cupping, etc etc. Right now her back is an on-and-off thing, her headaches are much better, her knee, which was the absolute obstacle in her health, has improved dramatically, and she even told me that her feet used to be cold, but now they're warm. This is not the end, she's got other issues she wants to tackle. I'm all up for it.
I don't think it was my ability; I think it was her perseverance that gave her the relief she was after. I encourage patients to really invest in their health and the practitioner if they are at all serious about turning their health around.