The world wants to be healthy, right?
No, they don’t. I’ve found that this is just not so.
In case this is our first rendezvous, I’m Mindy Drake; I’m a chiropractor and I author this blog. I’m just a baby chiropractor, a rookie, if you will.
I graduated from Palmer College in 2008, but post-graduation it quickly became clear to me that most people are really not too interested in healthy.
Blind optimist that I tend to be, this surprised me a little bit, and also worried me because I was banking on healthy as my product.
It seems that in chiropractic school, we feel a little bit too safe. We haven’t given up on healthy in school, and if we’ve been in school a day or two, we’ve been reminded that only the Innate Intelligence of the body can heal us.
So we get the nervous system checked and we do lots of interesting things like Master Cleanses and raw food diets, Cross Fit, tonal work and chiropractic adjustments.
We assume if everyone else knew what we knew, they’d amass in droves on our doorsteps, lining up to have the electricity reconnected, the brain-to-body power turned up.
And yet they generally don’t. And they’re really not on the verge of doing so. Even if we grab their ear with invest in yourself and get healthy, they’re just really not into it. So what’s up?
In my opinion, the United States is pretty jaded about ‘healthy’. They’ve had enough of ‘healthy’. They don’t want to hear about one more thing they should be doing to get ‘healthy’.
Dr. Marcia Angell, former and resigned editor of the New England Journal of Medicine often points out that we spend literally trillions on ‘health’ care- we’re first, by far, in spending in that regard.
Yet, the World Health Organization ranks us 37th in terms of quality of care and fairness of distribution. We’re spending trillions on the stuff that’s supposed to work, and billions on the stuff that might, maybe, possibly if I take 28 supplements work, and yet most of us are chronically tired, stressed, sick, and getting fatter by the minute.
No dice. No healthy. Yawn.
I’d officially argue that the boring part is the ‘idea’ of healthy. The general public consensus on getting healthy means way too many things we’d rather not do. It’s way too much work.
The general idea of getting ‘healthy’ means bushels of broccoli and other bitter green things, and no white carbs, and no Starbucks, and no alcohol, and no cookies. It means hours instead of minutes of intense, heart pounding, gasping exercise.
It means taking time out of one’s very busy schedule to get chiropractic checkups, and practice yoga, and actually let the body rest and heal. Who has extra time, energy or willpower for all of that?
No, thanks. Maybe I’ll consider it if my insurance company will pay for it, but I’m trying to keep my head above water here, and I really have no time for healthy these days.
Basic marketing theory seems to say that people are attracted to the benefits, not the features, of the things they buy.
People buy emotions, not reasons.
I’m no marketing expert, but it has recently dawned on me that health is actually a feature of responsible choices- a reason for consistent self-care.
It’s the boring, functional, factual part of wellness that no one really cares about. We all want to care about it, because we know we should, but most of us don’t have the cash to throw around for some ‘healthy’ thing that may not deliver what we really want.
No, its the fun, emotional benefits of something healthy that drive the multi-billion dollar ‘health’ industry, and most of that industry is selling ineffective and often harmful shortcuts.
But it doesn’t matter. They’re still generating billions in revenue because they get this.
If like me, you’re a chiropractor, or someone who promotes non-interference and empowerment of the body’s self-healing mechanisms, it’s time for us to get this, too, because our product really does deliver the healthy.
The secret our floundering , problem-dependent economy is not excited to share is that the most effective health care is self-centered responsibility, and it’s really not for sale.
Real healthy is in you already. You really don’t have to buy it, and clearly, trillions cannot.
You just have to let it out, or rather, stop strangling it. Unless you’re broken or bleeding, the best doctor you’ll ever meet is inside of you, breathing your lungs, beating your heart, electrifying your nervous system, and getting you well, without fail, minute by minute, for the rest of your life.
If your product is empowerment and education instead of enslavement, your product is free, or maybe a small investment that promises priceless returns.
Where can we go without our bodies?
But we can never forget, humans crave emotion, not reason, and the packaging is crucial.
Some packaging advice: from what I’ve seen, chiropractic seems to sell best when clothed in ‘skinny, sexy, smart, young or rich’.
Embody some or all of those emotional benefits, and you may be able to convince people that healthy is actually incredibly interesting.