Have you ever intended to make a change only to find yourself right back where you started shortly thereafter?
Perhaps you had a low back pain and your posture was off and you wanted to change your structure, so you visited a chiropractor?
Perhaps you wanted to change a behavior such as quitting smoking or exercising and eating healthier, so you joined a gym?
Perhaps you were feeling anxious or depressed and you wanted to change your perception so you consulted a therapist?
Often when making changes such as these, we often find ourselves frustrated that it is so difficult to make the change.
Have you ever experienced this? I know I have.
Why is this? The answer can be found in a model called The Triad of Change brilliantly created by the developer of Network Spinal Analysis, Dr. Donald Epstein.
The Triad of Change illustrates that in order for there to be a change, three things must be congruent: Structure, Behavior and Perception.
- Structure = What we have – our body, our home, our business, our schedule, our relationships, our finances, etc.
- Behavior = What we do – our actions, habits, movements, posture, facial expressions, etc
- Perception = What we think and feel – what we are focused on, the meaning we give things, our thoughts and feelings, etc.
For every Structure, there is a corresponding Behavior and Perception.
For every Behavior, there is a corresponding Structure and Perception.
For every Perception, there is a corresponding Structure and Behavior.
In order to make change in one of these “sides of the triad,” the other 2 sides must be in congruence.
Let’s use the three examples I made at the beginning of this article to illustrate:
Let’s say you have low back pain and your posture is off, so you visit a chiropractor to get help in changing your structure. In order for there to be a change in the structure, there will need to be a congruent change in your behavior and perception. The change in behavior may be more effective bending strategies and doing some stretching. The change in perception may be rather than looking at the pain as something wrong, looking at it as an alert signal from your body to do things differently.
Let’s say you want to change a behavior such as exercising and eating healthier. In order for there to be a change in the behavior, there will need to be a congruent change in your structure and perception. The change in structure may be finding a coach who can create and support you in an exercise and dietary routine. The change in perception may be from “I hate exercising!” to “Although its uncomfortable, I am getting stronger and more flexible every day…and I love that!”
Let’s say you are feeling anxious and depressed and you want to change your perception. In order for there to be a change in the perception, there will need to be a congruent change in your structure and behavior. Have you ever noticed that when feeling down, that your posture tends to be hunched over, head and neck forward and down? The change in structure may be to change your posture….to hold your head up and bring your shoulders back….perhaps working with a NSA practitioner to help you with that change. The change in behavior may be to take deep breaths and get yourself active in something you enjoy such as painting or exercise.
So you can see from these examples, that in order to make an effective change in any other sides of the triad, there must be a corresponding congruent change in the other two sides.
In my Network Chiropractic practice, A Place for Healing, whether a person comes to me to change there spine (structure), start exercising or quit smoking (behavior) and/or feel better physically or emotionally (perception), we always look at the other 2 sides of the triad to make the change.
So how do we effectively use the Triad of Change to make substantial, long-lasting change? We will explore this tomorrow in our next blog entry.