My husband surprised me with a gift this weekend. He booked an appointment for me to check out a new yoga studio near my home. He signed me up for a free one-on-one session and a class.
Upon entering the studio, I was greeted kindly by a woman who I believe is the owner. She had me fill out paperwork and then began to explain the concept of energy and how yoga helps to release trapped energy.
We entered the yoga studio, where she had me begin by “tapping” on my belly. She explained how this releases serotonin and promoted healthy digestion. This went on for about 10 minutes.
I stood in a circle with about 9 others and we counted to ten while tapping our bellies. It was not what I had expected, which had me outside of my comfort zone.
Then we began class and as time went on, the room became stuffier and stuffier. The people in the class breathed heavy “cleansing breaths” and all I could think about were germs and the fact that I could smell the others’ breath.
I didn’t want to spend another minute in a place where I wasn’t comfortable. I left about 10 minutes early. Upon getting home, I felt pretty good physically. I think there was merit to what was being done in that tiny stuffy room, but no matter how much it would benefit my health– I was uncomfortable. There’s no way I am going back.
This, like many things in my life, makes me think about dentistry. Sometimes, just by not knowing what to expect, your patients may be out of their comfort zones. Your patients are much more likely to commit to treatment if they are in a comfortable room that smells nice. They are much more likely to stay loyal to you if they never feel judged or out of place.
Just because you are comfortable in your practice, doesn’t necessarily mean your patients feel the same way. I challenge you to invite a friend to your practice for a free cleaning. Ask them to secretly rate 5-10 aspects of their visit. This feedback can lead to tremendous growth.
(Sidenote: I will be trying a new yoga studio this week. Its website has photos of a larger studio space and members look closer to my age. There are a variety of classes from which to choose. I’m hopeful it’ll be a better fit for me.)