Stroke Ammunition

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Chiropractic issues , Communications

I was going back and forth with Dr. Christopher Kent about info I could send to my docs about this whole stroke issue.

If you have not heard, it has blown up in California; I am sure there will be a ripple effect.

As far as I am concerned there is no one on the planet who knows more about this and who I trust more than Dr. Kent. Below is an email that he put together and we wanted to forward it to you.Continue reading

Can I still ask questions and be the authority? (Chiropractic Business Support)

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Chiropractic issues , Chiropractic Strategies , Communications

Do I lose my AUTHORITY when I ask SOCRATIC questions?

I had a doctor ask me the other day, “Russ, how can I be Socratic and ask questions and STILL be the AUTHORITY?

I think we’ve all heard this before: “You need to be the authority with your patients and you need to TELL them what to do.”

Yet many of us have found that by just “telling our patients” we don’t get the results that we would hope for. And of course why would we? The fact is most people do NOT like to be told what to do.Continue reading

Making Health Screenings & Outside Talks Work for Your Chiropractic Business

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Chiropractic issues , Communications

We have all heard the quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

Can we really do well with outside talks and screenings? In this day and age do they still work?

YES! Emphatically yes! But you need to know HOW to get in and HOW to do them.

I speak with docs all the time that first don’t know how to set them up and second don’t know what to do if they do set them up. How about you?
Continue reading

Feeling versus Function (Improving Chiropractor Communication)

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Chiropractic Care , Chiropractic Strategies

As a chiropractor, it’s sometimes challenging to get our patients to understand what we REALLY offer. If they did, they’d want it, every single time. My chiropractic coaching experience has given me some clarity on the matter that I’d like to share with you.

So where’s the disconnect?

One of the great challenges I find is that most chiropractors never find out what the patient actually wants before we tell them how much care they need. Chiropractor communication as a root cause leads to all sorts of problems with your practice.Continue reading

Engaging Patient Communication

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Communications

I was speaking with Dr. James Stubbs: one of our great “thinkers”.

He uses a whiteboard to puts up ideas to talk with patients about.

We were discussing the concept of framing things from a “Vitalistic” versus mechanistic perspective.

We were talking about putting up questions like, “Fever: good or bad?” (If you would like a great discussion on Vitalism vs. Mechanism just click here)

That would lead to discussions like:

If you were camping and knew that the stream water was bad and full of bacteria, what would you do before you drank it?

Of course, you would boil it.


You would boil it to kill off the bacteria and bad things in the water.

Did you know that bacteria can only live to a certain temperature and that is why innate wisdom or innate intelligence (not innate stupidity) causes a fever?

James and I were talking about putting up a poster with these three basic tenets (which are from the Five Branches of Philosophy that we learn from Pat Gentempo)

  1. What do you believe to be true?
  2. How do you know it is true?
  3. How do you act or behave because of what you know to be true?

Then we could have discussions such as: “Do you believe that fevers are good or bad?” Odds are they will say “bad”. That would be their basic premise or belief, (what you believe to be true?).

We could then have a discussion like this story above which would “poke a hole” in their belief system or “B.S.” causing them to reevaluate what they believe to be true. Realize if you argue with step three, or how they behave (I take aspirin to reduce the fever) because of what they believe to be true (their B.S.)  you will only find resistance!

But if you poke a hole in their belief system first they will realize that if their belief system (B.S.) is not true. Then we can install a new belief system which of course would lead to new behaviors.

Obviously if they now realize that innate intelligence (not innate stupidity) causes a fever to get rid of the bad stuff so we can heal, then what they choose to do when they get a fever would be different than if they believe that the fever was bad.

We were looking at other concepts we could bring up like this. Such as, “Swelling: good or bad?”

The downside to swelling is it hurts, it limits our range of motion, and it may take longer before we can go do the thing we want to do, like play basketball.

The upside, again from a “Vitalistic” perspective, would be to ask the question, “Why would innate intelligence do such a thing?” The swelling does several different good things.

  • First it is a natural brace and keeps us from moving the injured area.
  • Second it brings white blood cells to the area to initiate healing.
  • Third it brings blood and nourishment to the area so it can heal.

I think these are great conversations to have with our patients that could really shift their paradigm and consciousness leading to long lasting change.

Here is another good example: Why do we see lipping and spurring on X-rays and are they good or bad?

You would discuss the downsides to lipping and spurring AND from a VITALISTIC perspective why would innate intelligence (NOT innate stupidity) start to lay down calcium and eventually bridge the areas? Clearly to brace the area and stabilize the area. Mom nature is ALWAYS choosing the lesser of two evils. “Hmmm, I could just let this area continue to degenerate eventually severing my spinal cord, not a good thing! Or I could lay down calcium and brace the area. Yes I will have limited range of motion and pain but at least I won’t be paralyzed or die!” Do you start to get the idea?

I sent out an email and posted this on FB and got some really great other metaphors and stories.  I’ll be sharing them over the next few weeks, to spur along the conversation. if you have any you would like to add would you please add them in the “Comment” section of this blog? 

Here’s the first one:

From Dr. Lance Cotteril

Vomit, cough, sneeze, diarrhea…

Hi Russ. Back at school we used the examples of sneezing and vomiting as the base for the question of expressing health or expressing sickness.

We had great debates in philosophy class on this.

The question can be asked that when the body sneezes: “Is it expressing health or illness?”

Our initial answers were that sneezing was a symptom of disease. However if the body was working well and in a healthy state and detected that there was something present in the body that would stop the body from expressing full health, then it would be in the body’s best interest to remove it.

If there is a particle or irritant in the nose or throat then the body’s response is to expel it by sneezing. The exact same is true when thinking about vomiting, diarrhea and coughing; although it would be different toxins and irritants that the body is trying to expel.

The more pertinent question can then be asked would it be more concerning if the body wasn’t sneezing, coughing or vomiting when there are toxins and/or irritants present in the body?

(Dr. Cotteril, I agree 100%! Remember it is innate INTELLIGENCE not innate STUPIDITY!

Innate wisdom is ALWAYS making choices that will lead to survival even if it does not look that way. It is ALWAYS choosing the lesser of two evils… until it cannot… – Russ)

In the Rust Room with Dr. Pat Gentempo (video about chiropractor communication)

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Chiropractic Strategies

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dr. Pat Gentempo for quite a while now. We got together to do his Rust Room video blog not too long ago – wanted to make sure that you had the opportunity to check it out. Just hit play and enjoy – it’s about half an hour in length but there’s some really cool things in here about chiropractor communication and helping patients “get” what we do!

Chiropractic Management Challenges: The One Year Mark for Patients

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Chiropractic issues

I had a great conversation with one of my one on one chiropractic coaching clients and thought you might enjoy hearing about it. We were discussing chiropractic management challenges and he said,

“I have implemented the procedures and have no problem getting people to finish their first year of care… but at the end of the first year many of them think they are done. What am I missing?”

The good news is this doc is clearly doing something right. When we first started working together, they used to have a tough time getting patients to stay for 12 – 15 visits. Now, the vast majority are staying for an entire year of care.

Obviously, the bad news is too many of them think they are done with care at the end of their first year.

This is a common problem.

There are a few ways to address it, though. I promise: if you implement these strategies very few of your patients will think they are done at the end of their first year and the majority of them will want to continue care at one level or another.

Key Pieces of the Puzzle

In our program we make sure:

In visit 1 we help them see that there is more often than not more than meets the eye. During our consultation we help them realize how it is affecting their lives and how they have had stress and that it is an accumulation of stress over time that can lead to subluxations and these types of HEALTH problems.

During the examination, our TTAT, and Whole Story, we help them fully understand that NOT ONLY do they have their chief complaint, but they also have other motor, sensory, and AUTONOMIC health challenges that they did not tell us about (i.e. they have headaches but they also have sinus issues. Or they have mid back pain but they also have digestive issues etc.) In essence they for the first time in their life see the IMPORTANCE of a HEALTHY functioning nervous system and they WANT to be free of subluxations.

When we effectively do our TTAT and Whole Story they usually say something like, “Wow! I had no idea!” This is a CRITICAL piece of the puzzle. If we are not doing a great job at this they will most likely not sign up for the first year of care.

In our ROF, we get extremely clear with them where they are and where they want to get to on the path to optimal health scale where -10 = near death, 0 = Comfortable but not FUNCTIONING at their optimum and +10 = not only FEELING great but also FUNCTIONING at their optimum.

Once they realize that they are maybe a -4 and they really want to get to optimal health or + 10 where not only are they feeling great but they are also functioning at their optimum, and we find out how long they think it will take to get there.

We then find out once they are at that level of health how long they would want to keep their nervous system functioning at its optimum and how long they want to stay at their optimal health. OBVIOUSLY most people say, “FOREVER!”

Again this is a huge piece of the puzzle in getting people to commit to long term care. It plants the seed that they will want to make chiropractic a part of their healthy lifestyle. In fact, when we give our recommendations we let them know how much care they most likely will need over their first chunk of time (could be 90 days, could be a year etc.) and we also let them know how much care they will most likely need once their nervous system is working at its optimum to KEEP their nervous system working at its optimum. I.e. if we believe it will take a year to get to optimal health, we would let them know that the following years they most likely would need X amount of care to keep their nervous system functioning at its optimum and we discuss why most people choose to do that.

During our Daily Interactions we MUST keep monitoring how they are doing and what is next for them. We do not want to cause “Old Spouse syndrome”. Remember we want to take them from IN-1 to IN-8 (innate) over a lifetime! So it is critical to keep meeting them where they are at in their healing process and keep helping them see and experience what is next as they continue to get healthier. We go into great detail about how to do this in our daily interaction module and it is one of the serious weak suits for most doctors!

Achilles’ Heel

Now comes the Achilles heel for most chiropractors: the re-evaluation and re-report. The fact is most doctors don’t do one or if they do it is terrible! These do not need to take long but they do need to be done right!

A few of the critical pieces of the re report are that:

  • We ALWAYS check back in to the -10 to +10 scale.
    • Where were they when they started?
    • Where are they now?
    • Do they still want to get to optimal health or are they happy just feeling better knowing that we have not gotten the nervous system at its best yet?
  • Now that they feel better how would they know they are still getting healthier?
  • What are their new health goals and how often do they feel they need to be in for care etc.? (Clearly we end up telling them what they need to get to the level of health they want to get to, but it is CRITICAL to find out what level of health they want to get to and how much care THEY think they need!)

Later in care when they are really doing great, feeling great, and their nervous system is really clear, we MUST ask the question,

“Now that your nervous system is functioning so well, and you feel so well, and you can leap tall buildings in a single bound (whatever they had hoped for), how long do you want to keep your nervous system functioning at its optimum and how much care do you feel you need, how many visits per month do you feel you need to keep it functioning at its optimum? What do YOU feel can cause more subluxations? With your present lifestyle how much care do you feel you need to keep your nervous system functioning at its optimum? Do you feel you want to make any changes in your lifestyle at this time and possibly need less care from me?”

We could spend an hour on that once concept. But needless to say most chiropractors do not do this, and this chiropractor that I was having a conversation with was not doing the daily interactions as good as they could and were not doing re reports the way we just discussed. This is why they were having the problems with people stopping care at the end of the first year.

Hope that helps, always love hearing your comments and we are always here to help!

Is your WHY big enough and does it really matter?

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Chiropractic issues

We’ve all heard the phrase, “When the “Why” is big enough the “How” becomes easy.”

Dr. Angie and I always talk about “Headspace” and “Procedure”. Regardless of who we are coaching and what we are discussing what inevitably it comes down to making sure that our head is in the right place and that we have the right procedures or systems to accomplish our goals.

In this article, I want to address why the “WHY” is so important.

Think about the things that you need to do as a chiropractor or as a business person that might cause you stress or anxiety.

  • Speaking in front of a group
  • Asking patients for referrals
  • Going out and introducing yourself to people
  • Seeing somebody out in public who you know could benefit from your care but being afraid to open a conversation
  • …and the list goes on.

In all counts, doctors ask Angie and I “HOW” to do these things. And we have answers. We have answers for everything. We can show you exactly how to do all of these things and have tried and true systems in place that we know absolutely work.

But if your head is in the not in the right place; if the “why” is not big enough then the procedure orthe system doesn’t work.

I was speaking with my dear friend Dr. Angus Pyke about how to help people understand why the, “WHY” is so important and he told me the story.

Imagine I asked you to walk across a 20 foot board that was one foot wide. Would you do it?  Most say that they would not have a problem walking across that board.

We then ask if you would walk across that board if it were a foot off the ground? Some say yes some say no. We then ask, what about if we gave you $100 to walk across that board 1 foot off the ground. Many more say yes. Still some say no.

We then ask what if we gave you $1000 to walk across that 20 foot board 1 foot off the ground. Again most people say yes.

We then ask what if we put that same board between two skyscrapers. Would you walk across that board now? The vast majority of the room says no. And a few thrill seekers say yes!

We then say what about for a $1000 would you do it? Again most say no. We then ask what about for $100,000 would you do it? We now start to get some interest and a few people raise their hands. We then say what if we gave you $1 million? And again a few more people raise their hand. We then say what about for $100 million, would you do it? And you can see people begin to wrestle with whether they would do it or not.

We then ask would you do it if your child was on the other and of that board and in the next few moments they would fall to their death unless you quickly got across the board to save them. Would you somehow make it across that board to save your child’s life?

Now I personally have asked this question in front of many groups of doctors and across-the-board most everyone says yes. And when I ask why would you do it the answer is the same. “I could not live with myself if I did not do it.”

I do have to tell you when I was in Ireland I asked this question and I saw a doctor looking a bit perplexed. So I asked him if he would walk across that board to save his child. He responded, “I have to be honest, I have five children and it really depends on which one you’re talking about!”

I always appreciated that doctor’s humor.

But I think from Dr. Angus Pyke’s story we really get the idea of how powerful the why can be. Most people really would not walk across that board even for a lot of money. Yet most people would run across that board to save their child’s life. That, my friends, is a big “WHY” and when the why is big enough it is amazing what can get done. Now I want you to add appropriate strategies systems and procedures to that big of a why and you can imagine how great things can be.

One of the things that Dr. Angie and I ask our doctors to do is to get your team on board. To make sure that you as a team have a big enough why.

We ask you to clarify what your mission is and we ask you to make sure that when you read this mission it brings tears to your eyes. My experience is if it does not bring tears to your eyes the why is not big enough.

So I’m asking you to do the same. I am asking you to touch your heart. I am asking you and your team to get a big enough why so that when you think about doing some of these difficult things such as asking for referrals or meeting someone in the public and speaking with them you literally are saying to yourself, “I cannot live with myself if I do not do this.”

So please imagine now that you are about to ask somebody for a referral, or get them to the health care class, or you meet someone in public and you need to speak with them to let them know that you may be able to help them. Feel how difficult that might be for you.

Now I want you to touch your heart. I want you to really get clear about what your mission is, why you are here on planet Earth, how powerful the work is that you do in the lives that you can save. I want you to get to the point that you have tears in your eyes. Now imagine speaking with that person. Do you see how different it would be?

We have systems in place for absolutely everything. We can teach you how to do all of these things. But you must connect your heart to a big enough why.

As always we’d love to hear from you and your thoughts about this blog.

What to do with Patients Who Just Want a Few Visits to Get Out of Pain

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Chiropractic issues , Chiropractic Strategies

I had a great conversation yesterday with a doctor in New Zealand and his three associates. One of the associates asked me this question that Angie and I hear all the time. She said, “I had a patient come in earlier this morning who said that they just want to get cracked a couple of times to get their neck feeling better.”

She asked me how I recommended handling these types of patients.

Has that ever happened to you?

In essence have you ever had patients tell you they just want to get out of pain as soon as possible and spend the least amount of money?

Of course the answer is yes.

I want you to realize that that is exactly what you want too! In all things we want to spend the least amount of money and get the biggest bang for our buck.

The question is how do we help people recognize the difference between getting “cracked” a few times and feeling better and truly resolving the underlying subluxations and keeping their nervous system functioning at its optimum for a lifetime?

This is the huge gap that we need to close.

Unfortunately we have shot ourselves in the foot and most people out there believe they chiropractors crack necks and backs to get rid of neck pain, back pain and headaches.

So it is our job as Optimal Health Chiropractors to find out what they REALLY want, in relationship to what we can REALLY do for them, and then simply show them how to have it.

Let me dive into that just a bit.

I have heard other management companies tell us to just find out what our patients want and give it to them. Just give them the one or two cracks, and they will become “crack addicts” and they will come back when they feel they need it.

Personally I could not disagree with that more.

I believe we need to find out what they really want in RELATIONSHIP to what we can REALLY do for them. I do not believe it is okay to just say to such a person, “Great lay down a crack your neck.”

Let me ask you this, if you went to a dentist and they found a cavity and you did not have pain in that tooth yet, would it be the doctor’s responsibility to let you know the truth about what’s going on with your tooth and the truth about what will happen over time with your tooth if you don’t get it taken care of?

Would the dentist use “patient scare tactics” with you? No! They would simply inform you about the truth and consequences of your condition and the choices that you have. They would not have a charge on what you chose to do, they would simply inform you but they would NOT just let it go and not tell you about what was going on with your tooth.

From my perspective we absolutely owe it to these people to help them understand the difference between what just “cracking your neck once or twice” will do for them versus helping resolved the underlying subluxations allowing their nervous system to function at its optimum for a lifetime. That is our job!

So how do we do it?

Okay I truly will get to that in just a moment but I need to ask you another question.

What is your philosophy around what you will do with these people once they understand the difference between feeling better and functioning at their optimum?

Assuming you got someone to understand that they could resolve their problems, get their nervous system functioning at its optimum, and have a better life. Or they could just choose to feel better now knowing that they haven’t resolved the underlying problems. And they fully understood this and said to you,

“Thank you. I fully understand the difference between the two. And I want you to just crack my neck a few times and get me feeling better.”

What would you do?

What is your philosophy?

Would you say to them that this is not what you do and refer them to someone else? Would you say fantastic I’m so happy that you understand the difference between the two and I’m happy to help you get feeling better now? This is a very important question for you to clarify how you want to practice. Personally I have done it both ways. And Angie and I coach chiropractors on doing it either way. The only important thing is that it is congruent with your philosophy.

Okay so how do we get somebody to this point? How do we get a patient who walks in and says “I just want my neck cracked a couple of times” to understand the difference between feeling better and functioning at their optimum?

Step one is to make it about them and not about you!

Don’t make them wrong. Don’t tell them that this is not what you do here. Do not tell them about DD Palmer and his dog fluffy. Simply meet them exactly where they are at and bring them to where you are.

I would follow our normal consultation examination process exactly as we lay it out in our communications modules link to website and just follow their lead. So if they just said that they wanted you to crack their neck so that their neck could feel better I would immediately start talking about their neck what’s going on with their neck and how it is affecting them in their life.

At this point they are absolutely happy to speak with you because you are not telling them what you will or will not do you are asking them about their problem. You’re asking them about their story which of course is the most interesting thing in the world to them.

Now that I know what is going on with them and what their greatest concerns are I’m going to get my hands on them. I would say something like, “Great let me get my hands on you and see what’s going on and see if this is something I can help you with. Sound fair?”

Again are they happy for you to touch their neck at this time? Of course they are! How could you possibly adjust them without getting your hands on them?

I would then start my touch tell ask and teach.

And as I was feeling for subluxations I would connect the dots between the subluxations that I found, their pain, their history, and of course their motor, sensory, and autonomic system exactly like I show you how to do in this video. 

If as I am palpating I find that there is more going on than meets the eye I will tell them so.

“Joe I have to tell you I believe that there is more than meets the eye. Not only do you have a subluxation right here that is most likely causing this neck pain, but odds are it is related to your dizziness and sinus problems. Not only do you have one here but it appears that you have one here to that very well could be connected to that elbow pain and sugar handling problems you’re having. Odds are if we were to do these tests with you (scans, x-rays etc.) we would most likely see these types of things going on. If that is what’s going on there really is a more serious underlying issue going on and it would be really good to know if that’s what’s going on with you are not. If it is odds are we want to get that taken care of and really get this functioning at its optimum so it doesn’t cause you problems in the future. If not one or two cracks will most likely get this thing not just feeling better but truly resolved the underlying issue. Do you mind if we go ahead and do these tests?”

If you have been through our communications program you understand that this is a normal process that we take everybody through.

The only difference is in this case we meet them with the concept that were happy to just “crack” their neck and get them feeling better. But during our consultation and examination if it is true that we find that there is more going on than we report that to them as any ethical doctor would do. Once we have done that we then give them the option of what they want to do from here.

At this point we would follow through with the rest of our examination and of course as per your protocol you would adjust them on the first visit or you would bring them back to the report of findings etc.

For the purposes of this blog I just wanted to help you get a better understanding of how to address these people and help them to recognize the truth about what was going on versus what they thought was going on when they came in. Remember it is all about closing that gap between what they think when they come in and what you know to be true.

Once you close that gap it becomes a simple process. Find out what they REALLY want in relationship to what you can REALLY do for them and then simply show them how to have it.

Hope that helps. Feel free to leave comments and questions.