Young,Black, Woman Chiropractor Series: Part 1
I tried to think of the adjectives, those are probably most of them. I've been contemplating this journal entry for a long while because I often wondered how people would receive my reality of being a young, black, woman chiropractor.
A little about me, I started off allopathic with governmental nutrition and went all the way left. In 2009, I became a holistic wellness consultant, learned and practiced many ancient healing modalities in between then and 2013 when I became a licensed chiropractor in Georgia and New York. I've practiced chiropractic, healing work and consulting in seven countries and much of the US. I practice locally in south downtown Atlanta and consult/strategize with many chiropractors and chiropractic students (mostly women) who are looking to be an attractive force in the world while creating practices that honor their full purpose in life. In short, I help people discover the evolution of their truth and live with integrity.
It's just not the same for us.
Now this isn't to say that it's not any different for any other group of people. I can only speak on my experiences and express my version of truth. Yes all people have to work at it. This series expresses how we do.
Sure, we graduate from the same school. We study hard, if not harder. We are taught the same "business strategies". But when we graduate, life is truly different for us-not harder or easier-just different. Some of us are the first of the family to graduate with a doctoral degree. Running a black owned business is different in general. We have more fans than investors and the conversion rate realities are simply different. We are charged to be the inspiration for the youth. All of this, while being beautiful, can create a little pressure. Many of us have dreams of taking care back to our communities. Without question, finances are different and many of us have different responsibilities. Friends and family entitle themselves automatically to free and discounted services. It's expected. And for a cash practice, things just cannot work that way. Not taking insurance for integrity reasons is a complete foreign concept. Shoes and clothes should be financially invested in, but healthcare is a different story. (This is true across the board I am sure).
Realistically, life is just not the same for those of us who didn't grow up in places where chiropractic care, or even healing in general, was a staple. And for many of us that were exposed to chiropractic, she didn't look like us. So we must first introduce it. Most, not all, black people are just not interested in coming to a chiropractor (if they even know what a chiropractor is) unless something is wrong with them. Of all the things to invest money in, true wellness care is just not an automatic priority. The first question is typically "how much does it cost/do you take my insurance" and no matter how much you've been taught differently by people who don't understand our culture, everybody is not ready to invest in themselves. Yes, we can be easily manipulated, especially with the savior complex. "Do you have this problem? I can fix it!" So what about the chiropractors like me who choose not to practice condition based care? We have to be the example. People watch what we do. So whatever we do, we must operate in excellence. The beautiful thing about black people is that we refer. If we believe in something, we will try our hardest to make sure the world knows about it.
So how do we successfully bring healing care to our communities? Along with being the example of wellness, we have to build trust. We must stop trying to manipulate people into receiving care to pay our bills. We have to be fluid with money. We can't suffocate it and expect people to readily be ready to invest. It's conditioning for us to hold on to the money that we receive. Be aware that people are intuitive. We have to truly care. We have to understand that healing is a process that requires time. We have to form authentic relationships with other healers and create the healing communities that we desire. Our dis-eases are different. We have to learn how to be authentic, discover our truths and operate in them. We have to take on leadership roles and always be willing to learn. But mostly, we have to invest into other people if we want people to invest into us.
I chose another route and I'll go into a little more detail in the next post. I facilitate healing with many influential people globally, that's the way that I decided to practice when I was in chiropractic school. I facilitate excellence with the people of influence so that they may influence their communities to operate in excellence. In my local practice, I facilitate healing with corporations, and yogis, and thought leaders, and bloggers, and other healers ... you get the point. I work in many places where people fail to realize that I am the doctor. I've worked in many places with white male doctors that receive much more respect than I do. So what do I do? I attract with my spirit and change the atmosphere. I let my soul do the speaking while my hands create the magic. I own my presence and create the reality that many of these influencers have yet to see. Different? Yes. Harder? No.
It's different for us. It doesn't have to be harder, we just have to know what we want and take time to learn from those who practice with the same amount of integrity with which we intend to facilitate care.
[A note to the students: School is the time to create reality. You have the responsibility of being an excellent chiropractor as soon as you put your hands on your first patient in student clinic. Learn how to attract people to you when you are in school. Human beings are not your test dummies, you can hurt them. You continue when you graduate. Graduation is neither the end or the beginning, it's just the next step. Life happens, you should have a vision, mission, and purpose that is built to sustain and honor the fluidity of life.]
The series continues. Part 2