The Healing Journey: Lessons in Patience and Humility

In June 1987, Dr. Steve, a newly minted graduate from Palmer College of Chiropractic, eagerly established his practice, Advanced Chiropractic Clinic, in his hometown of Bloomington, Illinois. Equipped with the latest technology and techniques, Dr. Steve was confident in his ability to make a difference. However, an early encounter with a patient named Janice taught him a valuable lesson about the limits of technology and the importance of patience in the healing process.

Janice’s case seemed straightforward at first. She had been involved in a rear-end car collision, resulting in neck and back pain. Dr. Steve’s examination revealed no serious injuries, just muscle strain and ligament sprain. He devised a treatment plan involving spinal adjustments, ice packs, and exercises. Despite his confidence and rigorous training, Janice’s progress was frustratingly slow.

This frustration led Dr. Steve to experiment with a device called the Genie Rub, an electric massager received as a bonus from his equipment supplier. The idea was that the device’s vibrations would enhance blood flow, reduce inflammation, and accelerate healing. However, this attempt to outsmart Mother Nature ended in an awkward and humbling experience.

During a treatment session, as Janice lay prone on the table, Dr. Steve used the Genie Rub on her back. Suddenly, Janice jumped up and slapped him, accusing him of inappropriate touching. Dr. Steve was shocked and bewildered until he realized the power cord had brushed against her inner thighs, leading to the misunderstanding. After explaining and demonstrating how the device worked, Janice understood the mistake and they resumed the treatment.
However, the Genie Rub wasn’t done causing trouble. As Dr. Steve continued to use the device, its intake fan sucked in Janice’s long blonde hair, causing another painful and embarrassing incident. It took several minutes to free her hair, and while Janice was forgiving, this incident reinforced the lesson about the limitations of technology and the importance of respecting the natural healing process.

This experience taught Dr. Steve that no amount of technology or advanced techniques could replace the body’s inherent ability to heal at its own pace. Research supports this: the healing process is complex and influenced by numerous factors, including age, overall health, and lifestyle choices. For example, a study by Dario Gregori et al. (2002) found that age significantly affects the healing process, with older individuals showing slower recovery rates compared to younger individuals. Furthermore, lifestyle factors such as smoking can impede healing by reducing oxygen levels in the blood (Bender et al., 2013).

Moreover, the concept of patient compliance is crucial. Research indicates that patients who adhere to their treatment plans, even when the treatments are placebos, tend to have better outcomes. A study by David J. Bangsberg et al. (2000) found that patients who fully adhered to their treatment plans experienced significantly better health outcomes compared to those who did not comply.
In his eagerness to help Janice, Dr. Steve underestimated the power of Mother Nature and the body’s natural healing capabilities. The use of the Genie Rub, though well-intentioned, was a misguided attempt to accelerate a process that requires time and patience. The incidents with Janice were humbling reminders that the role of a chiropractor is to facilitate and support the body’s healing, not to rush it.

Ultimately, this experience reinforced the importance of patience, humility, and respect for the natural healing process. It reminded Dr. Steve that as a healthcare provider, the most powerful tools are not always the latest gadgets or techniques, but understanding, empathy, and the ability to guide patients through their healing journey with patience and care.
In conclusion, the this was a lesson in recognizing the limits of technology and the importance of respecting the body’s natural healing process. It was a reminder that no shortcuts exist in patient care and that true healing requires time, patience, and a deep understanding of the human body’s incredible ability to heal itself.


Gregori, D., Giordano, A., Colombo, F., Scarinzi, C., Giuliani, M., Berchialla, P., … & Merlo, F. (2002). Health-related quality of life in different degrees of severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease, 57(1-2), 6-11.
Bender, A. T., & Brown, C. J. (2013). The influence of tobacco smoking on the relationship between physical activity and lung function in US adults. Preventive medicine, 57(3), 152-156.
Bangsberg, D. R., Hecht, F. M., Charlebois, E. D., Chesney, M. A., & Moss, A. (2000). Comparing objective measures of adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy: electronic medication monitors and unannounced pill counts. AIDS and Behavior, 4(3), 283-291.

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