Posts Tagged ‘Change’

WHY ATTEND TORQUE RELEASE TECHNIQUE TRAINING?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

There are SO many chiropractic programs and techniques available to Chiropractors nowadays – Alphabet Soup you might say. For this reason it is imperative that each DC choose programs which are going to give them real value for their money. Nobody wants to attend a program which gives them one take-home strategy which they will use on one patient a week; or worse still leave the class and never implement a single aspect of the training. Below is my list of reasons to attend Torque Release Technique based on feedback from previous graduates of what changes the most in a DC’s life after attending a TRT program…

1) Better results with the majority of your patients – so many programs tell you that they are going to help you get better results with those “problem patients”. Isn’t it perplexing how we forget about the 80% that are getting good results and focus our minds on that 10% that isn’t responding: And we’ll spend big dollars attending a program that will help us get better results with the people who provide us with a small proportion of our income!! What if you could attend a program that will convert your good results to great results – imagine what will happen when 80% of your practice is getting better results?

2) Absolute certainty that you are adjusting the subluxation which most needs to be adjusted, at that moment in time, with the correct vectors and contacts – by contrast most other systems give you a list of possible subluxations, and then you either adjust all of them or make some subjective decision as to which ones you will adjust on that visit – and then there’s a bunch of systems that place no value or priority on what needs to be adjusted (if it pops then it must have needed it) – near enough is not good enough.

3) Increased retention – Because most other systems are linear and mechanistic they don’t adapt to the change that is happening: They see patient plateau at some point in the care program – plateau is the biggest enemy of retention – TRT is non-linear and vitalistic – in other words; the adjustments adapt and evolve as the patient’s nervous system goes through plastic changes – this means that patients keep getting significant changes after each adjustment – and excited patients stay and they refer.

4) Very quick analysis system that helps to cut down the number of adjustments needed each visit while still giving the best results – It IS possible to give someone a high quality adjustment in less than 2 minutes.

5) Less physical strain on the DC’s body – many DCs are paying a personal price physically and mentally due to how hard they are working to give their patients great adjustments – TRT is very easy physically and very orderly mentally – you get to the end of the day with energy still left over for your family and interests.

6) Every DC who has ever implemented TRT to some degree has increased their practice volume, while often reducing their working hours – TRT is very helpful for DCs wanting to practice high volume.

7) It is the first analysis and adjustment system to be totally neurologically based: The indicators we use are neurological indicators, the analysis system we utilise is neurological, and the Integrator adjustment is a neurological intervention.

8) It is the only system that breaks Chiropractic out of a mechanistic model: Most systems talk about the nervous system in terms of the outcomes, but then regress into biomechanical speak, assessment and intervention – “I’m a wellness Chiropractor and I straighten spines” – NOT! – a straight spine does not guarantee wellness – only improved neurological function guarantees wellness.

9) It is the only system that offers a completely vitalistic application of our vitalistic philosophy – totally congruent with the 33 principles and yet current with quantum science: Mechanism is not a subset of vitalism; it is a subset of reductionism. Vitalism requires a respect for the life, spirit, energy and intelligence of human existence – does your “treatment” release human potential, or does it impose your belief of what angle a cervical curve should be?

10) Increased understanding of the emotional component of subluxation – how emotions contributes to subluxation – how subluxation impacts on the emotional component of the nervous system – and most DCs see bigger changes in patients emotional states when they use TRT.

11) Totally congruent with WELLNESS practice – many DCs say they are wellness DCs, but basically have a practice full of people who come for regular check-ups – a wellness practice can only be measured by improved state of wellbeing in the clients, not by how often someone gets adjusted – TRT DCs find that their practice members go through major shifts in their state of wellbeing.

12) The level of satisfaction with the Integrator is much higher than with most other instruments – most DCs use their instrument as an alternative to manual adjusting – when all else fails or when they feel it is not safe to adjust manually. The opposite happens when DCs use Integrators – they are usually shocked to find that they actually get better changes and feel their adjustments “hold” better when using an Integrator. And those recurring subluxations that used to be back again every visit suddenly seem to clear and no longer recur.

13) They discover a massive demographic of new patients who would never see a “bone cruncher” but love the low-force approach – Like it or not – the manual adjustment has been the vehicle with which most DCs have produced great health changes in their customers. But at the same time the manual adjustment suffers from a very poor public relations history: From comedy shows, to fanatical and very vocal cynics, to a large segment of the general populace – there is a huge number of people who question “cracking backs” as being of little therapeutic value, and of much unnecessary risk. When you use a low-force adjusting approach – you enter a new game – and you find a whole new marketplace.

14) Enjoyment, fulfilment, passion and excitement seem to happen in DCs lives. It amazes me how many DCs are actually struggling in practice emotionally – and are in a state of disappointment, boredom or burnout. We get so many phone calls and emails a few months after a TRT program with amazing stories of renewed practices, revived enthusiasm, and unexpected but well-deserved rewards

POSTURE - THE SIMPLEST AND MOST POWERFUL PRACTICE TOOL

Monday, October 29th, 2007

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words!

Many Chiropractors analyse their new patients’ posture, and then scribble lines on a stick figure chart that is supposed to represent the person’s postural distortions? Try showing the hand-drawn diagram to the person - IT WILL MEAN NOTHING TO THEM - And it’s not a very convincing communication medium. Try showing the diagram to another chiropractor - I bet they won’t even understand what the markings mean. Then try using this diagram at the re-exam - How could you objectively measure, let alone demonstrate to the client that any sort of change has occurred?

Some others have entered the twentieth century and have started to take digital photos of their practice members’ posture. I’ve seen some who print the photos and then draw lines all over the picture to highlight the problems. But the question remains - How can you objectively track and demonstrate the changes that are occurring in their posture? And, how could you store, file and retrieve all those images?

There is a twenty first century technology that is cheap and effective for storing, analysing, calculating, retrieving, and comparing digital postural analyses - And it takes about the same time as a traditional postural assessment…

Click Here To Find Out More…

Practice Tip - CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN WHAT PEOPLE THINK AND WHAT THEY DO

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

There is compelling scientific evidence that what people know about diet and how they eat are in many cases two different issues? I’m sure you have observed that this void between knowing and doing crosses over into all health behaviours?

1) The acute antalgic low back or torticollis crisis patient who promises you that they will keep seeing you forever for maintenance care if you can only help them get out of agony; who then discontinue somewhere between visit two and six because “they are fine now and will ring if they have any further problems”.

2) The reactivating patient that confesses that they were feeling great while they were doing the exercises that you taught them, but then they just forgot about them because they didn’t have any pain. And then they ask you “why does this problem keep coming back?”

3) The osteo-arthritic retiree that starts complaining of increased aching and stiffness, and when you ask them if they are still taking their Glucosamine, they respond “Oh I finished the bottle and thought I’d see how I’d go without them for a while”.

4) You meet an old regular practice member who discontinued 1-2 years ago, and when you ask them how they are going they give you the long list of ailments, diagnoses and prescriptions that they now take, and then pass comment “you know when I used to see you I didn’t have any of these problems”.

There’s a push in our profession right now to adapt us into risk-factor screening machines, who then pass appropriate educational brochures to those at risk, and warn them of the dangers of not changing their ways. Think about this: Most people who are overweight already know they are overweight; most people who are unfit already experience the effects of it; most people experiencing symptoms of Diabetes are aware of the symptoms… They don’t need you to identify the symptoms of their condition. They need help closing the void between their awareness and their behaviour!

If you want to be a wellness practitioner let me tell you a major paradigm shift you are going to have to make - It’s not about you, it’s about them. Wellness is a personal journey of lifestyle choices leading towards better life and health outcomes. You can’t make the decisions for them - if you try to then its not wellness - it’s medicine.

Here’s four questions that you must ask your practice members to make massive changes in your wellness relationship:

1) “What is your biggest health priority right now?” Their choice not yours.

2) “What are three things you think you could do to improve this area of your life?” Their choice, not yours. But this may be the point where they ask you for your educated opinion.

3) “What information do you think you need to help you make this change?” This is the point where they will most likely give you permission to feed them with resources.

4) “What would you like me to do to make sure you follow through on your plan?” This is where you help them to make some commitments, set some goals for them to achieve, define some measures for monitoring their progress, and set a time-line for review.

Click Here To See How Wellness Coaching Is Done…

WHAT IF YOU WERE ONLY ALLOWED TO MAKE ONE ADJUSTMENT?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Imagine if every Australian was allowed to receive one adjustment per week, and that adjustment was covered under Medicare? But here’s the condition: You can only deliver one adjustment per week, per person, and you have to demonstrate the measure benefits of those adjustments every three months using impartial objective outcome tools. I guess there would be a minority of DCs who would think they had found easy street and delivered any old adjustment, in any old fashion, without much consideration for where or how they delivered that adjustment - just so long as the cheques kept rolling in. But for the rest of us, we would want to be completely diligent in ensuring that this one adjustment was a good one, a really good one, and that we adjusted the segment which most needed to be adjusted, and in the right direction because you can’t just hit it on both sides - you only get one shot!!

Think about this in the context of how you currently prioritise how you deliver your adjustments each and every day:

1) Do you start at the bottom and work your way up, or some other variation of this theme? Check and adjust the low back, check and adjust the thoracics, then roll them over and check and adjust their neck? Most DCs have an order in which they adjust everyone. It may not be the order I mentioned, but in most cases it will be a “routine” based on the practitioner’s habit as opposed to some patient-centred findings dictating where you start and finish. STOP IT: Take an extra few seconds to analyse your patients’ spines and make a decision about which is the most important adjustment to make on that visit.

2) Do you adjust the same segments in the same order, any three visits in a row? I thought your practice members were supposed to be getting better and progressing to a new level of health - why then would they continue to have the same subluxations? If you are activating retracing in their body then surely the next layer of subluxation should appear and need to be corrected? And, since they last saw you a lot of different stresses have presented, so they may have a new and different layer appearing on the next visit. Why do we say that the body is a self-healing adaptive organism and then fail to adapt and change our adjustments to keep up? BEWARE: If you check your notes and see that patients are getting the same mix of adjustments on every visit then there’s only two options - A) you put the stuck pattern there with your repetitive habituating stimulus, or, B) their spine isn’t evolving under your care - either way you need to try a new strategy.

3) Do you have a system that allows you to make a live analysis and differential diagnosis of which subluxation wants to be adjusted at any given moment in time? When we teach TRT we show you 14 different indicators of subluxation and train you in the differential diagnosis technique that gives you absolute certainty and precision in making this vital decision…

Click Here To Find Out More About TRT Training…

An interesting question arising from my hypothetical above is for our profession as wellness providers. I used the weekly example based on the observation that:

1) If I could get adjusted as often as I liked I would probably get an adjustment every week;

2) I conducted a highly informal survey of a group of my practice members when I asked them “if you could get adjusted whenever you liked and it didn’t cost you anything, how often would you get adjusted?” The most common reply was “I’d come every week”;

3) I have been using functional assessment technologies in my practice for over a decade and have observed qualitatively and quantitatively the biggest changes when clients are getting adjusted weekly (go beyond three weeks and you will see a significant percentage of clients start to deteriorate functionally);

4) Many chiropractors I have met who claim to be wellness DCs get adjusted weekly and recommend weekly adjustments.

But, how much would this cost the community if every man, woman and child was adjusted weekly: Using the round figure of 20 million people and $40 per adjustment, that comes to $800 million per week.

Here’s the ultimate challenge: We would have to be able to demonstrate without a shadow of a doubt that we were saving the Australian economy at least $1 Billion per week? Can we do this? Your thoughts are welcome…

PROVE IT!

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Gill and I have just gone through a major change in our practice and personal lives. After 18 years of owning and practising in the one location, we have handed over ownership to another chiropractor. So it feels like an appropriate time to reflect and to share some experiences, and some insight into the challenges and potential of our great profession.

It was an emotionally charged time as we started to tell our patients and practice members that we were going to be moving on and that we were going to be handing over their care to a new chiropractor. And there were three groups whose reactions really impacted me: The first group was those old faithful regular clients who had been seeing me for 15 to 18 years. Some reminded me that they had seen me in my first weeks of practice. A couple of people even reminded me that they’d seen me in the first days of my practice. And they reminded me how young and “green” I was; and many thanked me for how much I had grown up and evolved in that time.

Now, this raises an interesting question: why would someone see a chiropractor consistently, and regularly over a period of 18 years? I can guarantee you that it wasn’t because I signed them up with an 18 year prepayment plan. But instead, they must have some conscious value for the benefits that they receive from their adjustments. And they have enormous experience in terms of how chiropractic has helped them – beyond the relief of an acute low back episode

The second group that probably affected me the most was a group of 18 to 22-year-old’s, who when I told them that I was going to be moving on, and that they were about to be under the care of another chiropractor; they looked at me with sorrow and surprise and even disappointment. And most of them said to me, “what am I supposed to do, you have been my only chiropractor for my entire life. You have kept me healthy for all these years?” - Many of them since birth. And it reminded me of how much children intuitively love chiropractic care when they have a good experience. You don’t need to educate or intellectually explain the benefits of chiropractic to a child who experiences them. It’s like a seven-year-old boy said to me once, “I love getting adjusted, you recharge my batteries”.

The third group that probably surprised me a little was a significant group of people who’d only been seeing me for weeks, perhaps months, maybe a year or two: In the bigger scheme of an eighteen year old practice, not a long time. But they too were shocked and disappointed that I was going to be moving on. I guess every chiropractor has patients like this: People who’d been to every other doctor and had all sorts of medical tests and been to other alternative practitioners. And then they stumbled upon you and the healing magic started to occur. And I realised that this group associated their healing with ME and perhaps not so much CHIROPRACTIC. They also place an enormous amount of value on our adjustments. The next part of their journey, being under a new chiropractor, will be to discover that their healing comes from chiropractic, not from Nick Hodgson.

So here is the big question: Do you underestimate the value of the benefits from YOUR chiropractic to the health and wellbeing of your patients and your community? Are you aware of the changes that are happening in the lives of your practice members?

I know there was a time in my practice life where I underestimated the value of what I did. And I remember sitting in a packed theatre at a Dynamic Growth Congress on the Gold Coast, on a Friday night. And one particular speaker was sharing a case story of someone that he cared for over a long period of time. This patient was in a wheelchair as a result of previous injuries, and as the story unfolded, we saw photos of this guy, looking sickly and drawn, in his wheelchair; through to a time when he was no longer in his chair; and then he was holding a newborn baby; his own son in his arms: Both events that should not have happened – but for a chiropractic miracle. And I can remember sitting in my chair, feeling really tense, and then I broke into a cold sweat, and then tears started to well up in my eyes. And later that night, I was tossing and turning in bed, trying to get sleep, and I realised that there was a deep burning question building up inside of me; and it sounded something like this: “Nick, where are your miracles, where are the miracles in your practice?”

Now you might be thinking that when I got back to practice on Monday morning, that there was a guy in a wheelchair, or a deaf or a blind person, waiting to see me, who had a miraculous healing after I adjusted them, and that from that day on I produced miracles of my own. No, my outcomes didn’t change: But instead what happened was my awareness changed. And over the next few weeks and months I started to notice changes and miracles that had already been occurring in my own patients – I just had never taken the time to notice. And as a result I developed a deeper appreciation for the changes that occur as a result of my adjustments. So, let me ask you again: Do you underestimate the value of YOUR chiropractic care?

How do you start to identify and become more aware of the changes that are happening in your practice? In the past, the main way we used to help ourselves to become aware of our miracles was through the patient testimonial. When we had a patient who had a dramatic response to our treatment, we would get them to write a short story about their experiences. And after a while we would have a collection of a range of these testimonials. But what about all the other patients in your practice? How do you know what changes they are experiencing under your healing hands?

Now is one of the best times to be a chiropractor, because we have so many fantastic tools and technologies to measure and demonstrate what happens as a result of an adjustment: We can use health questionnaires to record someone’s state, at any given time. Anything from a neck disability, or low back pain questionnaire; through to specific health problem questionnaires, like asthma or ADHD or any named illness for which I guarantee you can find the questionnaire that matches the ailment; through to health and wellness, and quality of life questionnaires.

And there are also numerous functional assessment technologies, which can measure almost any aspect of your patient’s physiology. From taking digital photographs, and then using software to analyse their postural alignment; Or digital radiographs, where we can store the images on our computer and draw angles and measurements and calculations to be compared later; Through to surface EMG, paraspinal thermography, and pain algometry, and flexibility inclinometry; and now even heart rate variability, brain EEG, skin conductivity, and bio feedback assessments: You name the thing you want to measure, and the technology probably exists to demonstrate the changes.

So what are the benefits to the average chiropractor of utilising these technologies? The first and most obvious reason is that it helps to identify the miracles that you might otherwise miss. Often people don’t tell you about some of the less predictable changes that have happened in their lives until you see the changes in their physiology, and then they’ll say, “oh so that’s why I’m sleeping better, or playing better golf, or feeling happier?” And like me you’ve probably noticed that sometimes people have short memories. Those people who, when you first met them were in a terrible state, and were struggling to do even daily activities. And after a period of being under your care life is now going pretty well. But then, they say to you, “why do I need to keep coming? I’m not sure whether I’m getting any value out of my adjustments?” And you think “what are you talking about, don’t you remember how bad you were? Can’t you see how much you have improved?” So the benefits of using outcome tools is that you have a “snapshot” in time of what they were like back then, and you can show them and remind them as to how far they have come, and how much value they do receive from chiropractic.

So which tools should you be using in your practice? Here’s a really big question that you need to be asking yourself: What do you claim to change? What changes do you expect to see in your patients when you adjust them? A useful bit of homework to do is to take a blank sheet of paper and down one side list what are the major changes that you focus on that indicate that your chiropractic is working? And come up with a short-list of what are the most important functional improvements that you expect. Is it an improvement in posture, a change in a cervical curve angle, a reduction of muscle tension, improved flexibility, less pain and daily dysfunction, or an increased state of well-being and quality of life? Then, next to each of those listed changes, you need to identify the tool that you can use to prove that you change what you claim to change.

I’ve noticed that this can be really, really challenging for many chiropractors. And there seems to be only two possible reasons why a chiropractor would resist utilising these tools: The first is that they perceive these technologies as being expensive or time-consuming: In fact most technologies are now more than affordable and cost effective than ever before, and can usually more than pay for themselves via the extra revenue they generate: Some can be delegated to staff members who are usually more than enthusiastic to get more involved in the clinical and healing process.

And the second “excuse” appears to be a degree of fear of exposure. “What if I don’t change what I claim to change?” And I guess that are only two possibilities to this scenario: either chiropractic doesn’t work or YOUR chiropractic doesn’t work! But this perception is best resolved by putting the outcome tools to work – You either discover that your chiropractic is working; it’s not working as well as you would like (in which case you can modify your management plans and procedures); or it isn’t working (in which case you will need to discover a way that does work): Any of these three possibilities leads to improved quality in your products and service to your community – a win-win situation for everyone.

It is now the 21st century, and if you are practising in the same manner as you were in the 1990s, then you are not a 21st century chiropractor. Assessment and treatment technologies have evolved greatly in the last decade, including the chiropractic adjustment – there are new ways of adjusting which are gentler and faster, which work as well as, and perhaps even better than the “old” stuff. And there is no doubt that the chiropractic profession needs to redesign its packaging IF it wants to be seen as the leaders of the wellness revolution, as opposed to just another provider of drug-free back treatment.

What will happen if our profession doesn’t embrace the technologies and opportunities of the 21st century? There’s a saying, “put up or shut up”: Show your evidence and be listened to and respected, or stay silent and have your ways of life dictated to by others. I know there was a period in my practice life when I was waiting for the definitive study that proved that chiropractic did what I thought it did – improved state of wellbeing, maximized health and optimised human performance. And that once this paper was published in a legitimate scientific journal, the rest of the world would sit up and listen to us. It’s been eighteen years, and I am still waiting! And the profession is 112 years old, and we are all still waiting. That’s not to say that
there haven’t been some good papers – but the “breakthrough” has not occurred.

Here’s what I have discovered to be a fact: The evidence that chiropractic works exists inside the four walls of each and every chiropractor’s office – they are just not using the tools to prove it – they are waiting silently for someone else to present the evidence – maybe someone really famous and trendy who will receive a chiropractic miracle and do a testimonial on national TV, and then everyone will want to get adjusted??

Imagine if every DC used outcome tools in their practice, and that as a result they had enough evidence in their practice to publish just one case study in their career: That would mean that the Australian chiropractic profession would contribute 2,500 case studies to the evidence base. And the US contingent could produce tens of thousands of case studies. Case studies are a legitimate means of scientific endeavour, and the registration boards can’t silence you from sharing this information with the world.

But here’s what happens if you stay silent, and have no evidence to “put up” – third parties start to dictate to you the terms and conditions of your practice life… When the chiropractic profession shuts up, we wake up one morning and discover that our patients cannot share their success stories with the outside world; we wake up and discover we can no longer use the title Dr. What wake-up call will it take to make you put up your proof? Waking up to discover that it is now illegal for you to care for children; waking up to discover that you can no longer adjust necks because some other profession thinks it’s not safe; that you must discharge your practice members once their symptoms subside; or that if their symptoms haven’t subsided after four weeks that you must refer them to another profession anyway?

Maybe we shut up because we lack certainty? THE BEST solution to a lack of certainty is EVIDENCE: Evidence that what you do makes a difference in the world – and the most convincing way to collect the evidence is through the use of relevant outcome tools to measure what it is that you claim to change. You see, nowadays I have complete certainty that MY chiropractic works exactly as I thought it did; it improves state of wellbeing, maximizes health and optimises human performance – I know this because I have used the tools to measure what I claim to change, and they change!

Please join me in the 21st century…