Today I learned that in some areas of the UK the NHS is providing Book Prescriptions. It is a scheme that aims to help people with mild or moderate emotional problems to make use of high quality self-help books. It has proved to be very successful. GPs and other health professionals recommend/prescribe a therapy book which the patient can then go and borrow from the library. Through reading the book patients are better able to understand their problems and learn more about possible strategies they can employ to help themselves. This is good as it helps the patient feel more engaged and committed to the process of getting better.
This principle is also very relevant to chiropractic care. I encourage patients to get involved in their own care because getting better and improving health is a partnership. I provide some hands-on treatment at the clinic and then I send patients away to do some things to help themselves. I may ask them to do something simple, such as take a 20 minute walk each day or wrap a tea towel around an ice pack and apply it to the painful area for 10 minutes every few hours.
Sometimes I also recommend that a patient read a book, or a chapter of a book. I usually suggest the patient buys the book but occasionally I lend patients my own copies. Books I have recently recommended/prescribed are:
The Barefoot Book by Daniel Howell
Trigger Point Therapy for Myofacsial Pain by Donna Finando
Back Care Basics by Mary Pullig Schatz
Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie
Let me know if you can think of others I should consider.