The “Patch Adams” Theory of Recovery

If you walk into our clinic, one of the first things I hope you notice is our culture.  The first thing you get is a greeting at the front door that is personal and cheerful. Then you will see our back office staff come out and cheer on patients when they’ve met a big goal. You’ll also see us dancing and joking with our patients, visiting, and overall trying to make sure the experience is fun and pleasant.

I’ll tell you a secret: we don’t do this by accident.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re not paid any extra to be happy, but during our interview process our staff is selected to make sure we are upbeat and generally fun people.  Do you know why though?  Because it matters to your recovery!

Patch Adams

If you have not seen the movie Patch Adams, it’s a wonderful movie wherein Robin Williams plays a doctor who does not just treat with medicine, but with laughter.  It’s somewhat based on a true story. Doctors very like Patch Adams led to a huge culture shift in many practices. Study after study started to reinforce what they were seeing in clinic: treating the human is just as important as treating the disease or injury.  We see this in cancer wards across the country, in chronic pain clinics, and in athletes.  Your headspace matters, and your belief in your body’s resilience, your stress levels, and your optimism about your recovery potential can be a huge assist. Or it can be a huge hurdle if everything is seen in the negative during your recovery.

The body is remarkably complex. The hormones released during high levels of stress vs period of perceived safety can affect a great deal of our body’s response to infection, pain, and healing. These factors matter just as much as “normal” treatments. We also find that human plasticity is highly affected by these states.  The more we can do to help that mood, the better your outcomes can be!

Don’t just look for a clinic with good practitioners, although we strive to be this as well.  Look for a clinic that makes you feel good about yourself!!!