To My Future Client: A Letter from a Singapore Chiropractor

I wrote this piece on the night of 10 April 2019 after a client told me she wouldn’t be coming anymore. I didn’t expect that.

Hello there,

I know you are in pain. I am too, actually.

I felt it might have been unfair to expect you to open yourself up to me, a complete stranger, so I have decided to share my pain with you. You know, to even the scales a little? I’m not trying to compare who is in more pain. I definitely do not assume to know what you are going through.

I just want you to know you’re not alone. 

It’s 12:05am now and I’m in bed thinking about what I can do to help you. The truth is that I don’t know. I know what makes you better: Exercise. I have proof! I know it is the first-line treatment to most – if not all – musculoskeletal pain. I know it performs waayyyyy better than aaaaaallll the treatments available in the market today. I know how to formulate a kickass plan to get you better. What I don’t know is how to get you to believe me. Even if you do believe me (thank you btw), I don’t always know what it takes to make you do the exercises that will help you.

Guess what? A client fired me today

I probably deserve it. She came three times and her results were – in all honesty – mediocre. I was upset when she told me she was not coming back. I got fired. I don’t blame her. She didn’t get better. That is true. It doesn’t change that the most difficult part of my work is to hear people tell me, “you can’t help me anymore.”

and I am hurting inside. 

There is a constant dilemma in me to decide if I should give you what you want. Everybody loves a chiropractic adjustment, a IASTM or dry needling session. (But they don’t work! Not in the long run anyway.) Me? I love for people to get better. The second thing I love most – in all true narcissism – is when I am rewarded for it.

The truth is I am not perfect.

Exercise is not sexy. I don’t know how to sell exercise in a way that converts to sales. Tell me, what will it take to get you to pay me to exercise your pain away? When people do book in, I don’t always know how to motivate them so they keep compliant to their prescribed exercise program. Do you promise to do all the exercises? I don’t have all the answers. Sure, most people get better. But when clients – like the one today – fire me, I know I’ve missed the mark. (You should know I may fail you.) There aren’t many of them so far. Maybe three or four. But that is enough. It makes me sad.

But should I stop trying?

She didn’t do her homework. Not for most parts anyway. She knew she wouldn’t get results if she doesn’t work for it. I told her! She didn’t play her part! She deserved it. It is her fault. Right?


If you become one of the clients who left my care because I can’t convince you to keep trying, I apologise. I failed you. I am not good enough for you. They did warn me. Pretty much everyone in the industry mocked me for trying to do the right thing. “It won’t work”, they kept saying. “You’ll fail.” Nobody believed in me. And that hurt too.

You also shouldn’t stop trying, you know?

It’s been one year and a quarter since by the way. I think sometimes we just need to give ourselves time to hurt. And, you know, the voices inside you telling you to stop trying? You should gently but firmly walk away from them. Be in control, show them who is in control. You can do this.

Sure, it’s tough. 

You probably don’t know this but I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s our secret. I don’t get paid a wage. It’s tough. Sometimes I question myself if this is worth it. I keep trying. I failed. I failed again today. Let’s be honest, you’ll probably fail too.

But you’re not alone

We all fail. That is not the problem. Be self-compassionate and compassionate to others. It matters. I know it’s a lot to ask of you. It’s not my right. Yes, we are hurting. I don’t claim to understand your pain. I only want to say, you’re not alone.


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