We have come to accept that recovery is indeed a difficult and challenging process.
And sometimes, things just don’t fit.
This article was rewritten to reflect on the two one-star Google reviews we have received and what that means for you.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
I took up the $54 promo that includes adjustment, recommended by a Friend who mentioned that Jesse is doing great work. READ his site to know his methods are exercise based, not just cracking. I was keen to know in details what his services were that are different from others. What I did not expect on the first session was just a 45 mins Q&A that made you feel awful at the end of it. Throughout the session, every explanation Jesse made, he will ask “do you get it?”. I totally get it that uneven shoulders, bad posture and occasional shoulder pain should not rely solely on adjustment (duh), obviously it is for aesthetically and overall health reasons for me. He also point out that I am NOT suited for chiropractic since it didn’t work out for me previously – again point noted. Since I am not an expert in this field, Jesse was indeed very knowledgeable and informative, but can come across as arrogant and stand off-ish (at least for me). However, I left feeling informed, confused and disrespected all at the same time. After the session, he gave me 2 options – 30 mins rehab program that he said “he’s happy to” or an adjustment (which was in the $54 promo unlimited for a week). And I responded that “I am not taking any options. Thanks for your time”. Obviously, I am not keen to have someone talk to me like an idiot. Do note that this review is solely based on his attitude and arrogance during my 45 mins Q&A, NOT his work.
This was the first one-star review I received a year ago. It was truly an unfortunate situation. By providing opportunities for questions and clarifications, I ended up making a client feel awful.
This was not the indeeded outcome.
What I was trying to do?
If we look at the latest clinical guidelines from The Lancet, exercise PLUS education is the crème de la crème approach to managing low back pain. A separate (less authoritative) study had also made the same recommendation for shoulder pain and neck pain.
What I was trying to convey was that exercise and education is the best treatment approach for this client. Since chiropractic adjustments had previously failed, there is no reason to believe it will work differently this time.
At the end of the day, we — you and I both — have to consider that what is best for you may not necessarily be what you are ready to hear. This is where the tricky part is.
Regardless, we are genuinely open to negotiating on what may work best for you in your own interest.
Good results may not be what you are after
This was the one-star review we received a couple of weeks ago:
I would have given 0 out of 5 stars if I am given the option
I visited this place last year for a shoulder injury and I stopped halfway on a sour note
Here are the following key points to take note for prospective clients
– The therapist is impatient and at times talk down to you when he wasn’t satisfied with the reply you are giving him. At times I do feel disrespected as a paying customer that I am being treated like an NSF. He will probably dismissed this behavior as part of his abrasive nature of communication, but you do not treat a paying customer that way
– He felt annoyed at my lack of progress and probably hinted that I am being negative on my part not to see the positive signs, when I am merely being honest with him. From then on, he ignored me and we never arrange for a follow up again from the third session onwards
The reason why I waited so long before giving this review is because of the way he confronted a previous negative review which shows how sensitive he is to criticism. But I just feel a need to voice out to give the public a more balanced perspective from both ends
I have to admit the second review did a couple of things right.
First, I am indeed impatient (something I am constantly working on to improve). I think this exact personality trait also happens to be the one that significantly contributed to the success of most of my clients’ recovery.
Second, I am also indeed terrible at customer service. We will discuss more about this later.
But the most, most, most important question is what are you paying me for? To get results or to good service?
Because this client had super impressive results in his limited time with me, you can read more at his progress below.
Here are my takeaways for you:
1. Research on what you are getting into before booking an appointment
This may sound come across as obnoxious but that is not my intent.
We put a lot of content online (over 200 pages on our website) and uploaded several Zoom chat recordings with our previous clients so you can have an idea of how we work. In the Zoom conversations, we deliberately highlighted the frustrating and less pleasant aspects of working with me.
All of this so you can have enough information to make an informed decision.
I have explicitly written about how chiropractic adjustments is not a long-term solution and I am ridiculously vocal about it. This is not merely my opinion — I provided research references so you can fact check my claims for yourself!
Now that you have also read our two one-star reviews … consider yourself warned!
2. We really do prioritse results over feelings
I talk a lot about delivering results.
If you go through my Google reviews, you will see that people talk a lot more about my work rather than who I am as a person.
In fact, a number of them mentioned their progress with me in measurable/tangible goals. This is what I am about.
These results do not come without a price. Yes, it does take hard work from the client side.
It also requires me to be laser-focused on your recovery goals.
In fact, a national study revealed that patients who reported being most satisfied with their doctors actually had higher healthcare and prescription costs and were more likely to be hospitalized than patients who were not as satisfied. Worse, the most satisfied patients were significantly more likely to die in the next four years.
I blogged about how there’s a difference between social versus task relationships and how some practitioners have now resorted to doing what the patient wants rather than what is best for the patient. This is really because healthcare has somewhat heavily emphasised keeping patients happy.
As much as I do appreciate that have a therapeutic relationship, I also do understand that you are paying me for recovery outcomes — not for me to say nice things to you so you can feel better about yourself.
That is the tradeoff for having an opportunity at super stellar results. You get the hard truths as hard as they come.
You really don’t want to pay me to be nice. I’ve seen it. It was a waste of money.
3. There is only so much support we can give
This is largely in the context of the second review. I have responded directly to the review on Google and here’s what I had to say:
Thank you for your review.
During your first session, we noticed that you were reluctant to put your body weight into your affected shoulder in the resting crawl position. We spent quite a bit of time discussing that putting some weight into your affected shoulder in the position was unlikely to further injure your shoulder. After some encouragement, you managed to do so without further causing any pain or discomfort. Our session ran overtime.
On the evening of your first session, you reported an improvement in your range of motion. At this point, we advised that it will take 4-6 weeks before we can be sure of your prognosis.
On your first follow-up (2nd visit), we noted the following improvements:
– 10% improvement in day-to-day overhead movements, which you described as “less stuck”
– Pain during laptop usage improved from every 1-2 hours to only 1-2x/day. The intensity was also 50% less than before.
– Morning pain shortened from 10-15 mins to 2-3 minutes. Symptom intensity also improved by 20%.
– Reaching for lower objects were pain-free (previously 5/10).
You did experience an increase in symptoms following the second visit. However, you reported that the aggravation had improved and that you were able to do the prescribed exercise with no issues and with no worsening of your symptoms.
Some time between your second and third (final) visit, you requested that we pushed harder for our sessions because of the limitations of your insurance coverage.
You were also advised to bring a notebook to take down notes to reduce forgetting. This was on top of the post-session notes we sent as well as our responses to your WhatsApp enquires about your condition.
Prior to your second follow-up, you reported that the pain intensity had “gone down a lot” and that you can “sleep better throughout the night”. You also mentioned feeling “a lot better”.
On your second follow up (3rd visit) and final session with us, we took into account your symptom aggravation moved into a different recovery approach. You were advised that it will take longer because they were “very low intensity”.
In view of the insurance coverage issue that you mentioned earlier, we suggested that you send video updates so we can monitor your progress closely and reduce the number of sessions you will require.
According to our records, we did reply to all of your messages.
We do appreciate that recovery can be a challenging period. We had offered support by spending extra time with you, following up with your progress between sessions, providing advice between sessions, and even offered to monitor your progress via WhatsApp and video updates when we heard about your insurance claim being denied. We do now appreciate that the support we offered you was insufficient. For that, we do apologise.
We hope you have found a therapist that could better support your needs and helped you achieve your recovery goals.
The client who left the second review only saw me for three sessions over about two weeks and his sessions were about a week apart. Given the short time we had worked together, the results were great.
I.e., if you want better results than this, I am highly unlikely to be able to meet your expectations.
His case also showed how much time and effort I invest in every case I take on. The amount of information I was able to provide in my response, despite his last session being over 6 months ago, tells you my meticulousness.
I really don’t fluff around.
All of that aside, from my own response, I can see how the support I offered was perhaps too material — extended consultation times, extra check-ins before sessions, trying to save the client some money — and not enough empathy and emotional support.
If you are telling me I need to do better for EQ, I am not going to contest that. And it is something I actively work on in hopes to improve patient outcomes.
I am genuinely thankful that I have also been described as friendly, helpful, encouraging, compassionate, and “easy to get on with” on various Google reviews.
And that a client specifically said, “flexible enough to tweak the exercises to my capabilities and schedule” and “Jesse gets in touch with you between your appointments … to motivate you.”
I would like you to know that working with me comes with certain brilliance but also certain limitations.
I would also like you to know I am trying but that doesn’t mean my best will be enough for you.
Given that the amount of good reviews I have far outstripped the negative ones, I must at least be doing something right, right?
Jokes aside, I do totally acknowledge that I have more room to grow. And perhaps with age, experience, and perhaps a few more one-star reviews, I may be the better chiropractor I am not quite yet.
At the end of the day, whether you choose to see me or not does come down to your judgement. I can tell you as much myself as possible but it does come down to your decision.
I am not here to win you over. I am here to help you make an informed decision.
If you think I am not a good fit, do drop me an email or WhatsApp and I am happy to make a recommendation based on your preferences. Alternatively, check back in three years. I may have become a better chiropractor by then.
WANT TO GET STARTED IMMEDIATELY?
Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.
Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.