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Keys to Your Practice: May 2012


April 26, 2012
By Angelo Santin


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In part 1 of this article, we discussed the first key to an extraordinary adjustment visit – that is, making a connection with your patient.

In part 1 of this article, we discussed the first key to an extraordinary adjustment visit – that is, making a connection with your patient. In part 2, I want to continue on and review Dr. James Carter’s other three keys to making the regular office visit both inspiring and educational.

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Make it a habit to relate the relevant positive changes that patients may experience to their chiropractic treatment.

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KEY #2:  TELL THE PATIENT ABOUT HIS/HER SPINE AND HEALTH
Once the patient is face down on the table, you have an opportunity to find the chief area of subluxation and then to relate it back to his/her health. If we want patients to understand the potential that chiropractic has for improving the whole body, then we need to remind them often.

Studies regarding the spinovisceral reflex suggest that the subluxation can cause malfunction in areas patients never thought possible. For example, a subluxation in the lumbar region can cause constipation or increased urinary frequency.

In addition to this if you are really in tune with your patients, you can pick up signs that they are stressed. Making comments such as “you really pushed it at work last night didn’t you?” or “wow, you overdid it in the garden this weekend didn’t you?” will let the patient know that you are on top of their case. Even giving the patient simple feedback such as “you’re holding well” or “you’re not holding so well” creates trust, confidence and affinity between you and the patient.

Key #3:  LET THEM KNOW THE PROBLEM WAS FOUND AND CORRECTED
This one is simple, powerful . . . and often overlooked. Once we locate the subluxation, it’s important to make a statement such as “that’s tender there isn’t it?” or “there’s interference to the nerves right there.” 

As soon as you find it, adjust it. Once you deliver your top-notch adjustment, it’s important to give them feedback: quick words such as “got it” or “that moved well.” Such statements let the patient know through words and palpation that you found the primary problem and were pleased with the correction. If you are not doing this, it may be leaving the patient guessing or wondering what went on.

Key #4:  PREDICT CHANGES
This one is very important in order to inspire and educate your patients regarding the full benefit and value of chiropractic. If we want patients to realize that chiropractic can help their golf game, improve their energy, or just improve their overall function, then we need to tell them it’s going to happen. This is so powerful to your patients, to your practice, and to the whole profession. Patients are getting better due to their chiropractic care and yet are not relating it to their chiropractic care. I used to hear such statements from my patients as “my back is better because I got a new chair at work” or “I have more energy because this new supplement I have been taking for a few months has started to work” and it used to frustrate me. It frustrated me because I knew their benefits were from their care and they had no clue. 

I now leave every adjustment visit predicting some health benefit for my patients to look for: more energy, more range of motion, better sleep, less need for drugs, etc. If we do this well, when they start to notice that they are sleeping better and accomplishing more at home and work, they will credit chiropractic for the improvements.

I know these four keys will make a huge difference in your practice. Once you have finished reading this, I challenge you to make a commitment to yourself to preform these steps with the rest of your patients scheduled in your day.  I know it’s a move that will result in making them lifelong referring chiropractic patients and that will make your practice vibrant and fulfilling.

Remember, when it comes to your practice work from the inside out.

Keys to an extraordinary adjustment visit

Key #1 – Make a connection
(from part 1 of this article)

  • Pause and refocus before approaching your next patient.
  • Make eye contact with every patient.
  • When your patient speaks to you, try to pause before you respond.

Key #2 – Tell the patient about his/her spine and health

  • Find the chief area of subluxation.
  • Relate it to something about their health or life before they tell you.

Key #3 – Let them know the problem was found and corrected

  • Find it, let them know.
  • Fix it, let them know.

Key #4 – Predict changes

  • Mention positive changes that the patient may experience.
  • Relate them to their chiropractic care.


Dr. Angelo Santin is a 2006 graduate of the CMCC. He operates a busy subluxation-based family practice in Thunder Bay, Ont., and is currently serving his second year as president of the Thunder Bay Chiropractic Society. Dr. Santin is one of a small number of international proficiency-rated chiropractic coaches, and draws on his success, along with the experience of the most renowned experts in this field, to provide time-tested, effective and patient-centred ideas for every chiropractor. He can be reached at angelosantin@gmail.com or 807-344-4606.


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