Dr. Bell's Blog

The Biggest Mistake Most Patients Make

I wrote previously about 5 Ways To Start a New Habit . One of the points centered around making a commitment to see through your new habit consistently for 30 days straight.  I do believe this to be possibly the most important one of the five.  However, what happens after 30 days?  Does that mean you are out of the woods from your old bad habits and it is time to put it on cruise control?  Hardly.  Yes, you have overcome the first giant step, but the journey has just begun.  Let me explain...

Habits that we have done for years and years create certain neural pathways in our brain. These are like superhighways that transmit messages in our brain.  The more we perform the habit, the deeper the pathway gets.  This holds true whether the habit is a good or bad one, your brain doesn't know the difference.  The good news is that the brain is always changing, and can form new habits (called neuroplasticity).  Yes, the hardest part of change is getting out of the "rut" of the old habit, but don't forget that if you aren't paying attention you can drift back into the rut in a hurry.

This is what I see happen many times to patients in the office.  They come in having dug themselves a hole they need to get out of.  They begin care and respond extremely well.  Then one day 6 months later I will say "What ever happened to Mary"? You see, most forget the crucial part of change which is continuing your new habit.  The patients I see who do the best with Chiropractic are the ones who make the commitment to get their spine checked on a regular basis (2-4x per month depending on the person).  Without the follow through you are essentially putting a band-aid on a broken cup.  It may hold it together for the moment, but will eventually break again and usually worse than before. Does this mean you will "have to go to the chiropractor forever (my favorite question)?"  Well, that choice is yours.  Do you have to eat well, exercise, or brush your teeth forever?  Only if you want the best chance at staying healthy...

LIVE well.  BE well.