Empowering Women in Chiropractic – Pandemic Proof Practice Growth – Janice Hughes

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Hello and welcome to today’s issue of growth without risk. My name is Dr. Janice Hughes, and I’m so excited to be with you today. I can’t thank ChiroSecure enough for allowing me the opportunity to have these kinds of conversations with you still out in the practice field. Actually, I haven’t had the privilege of being in practice for a number of years now, but my background for those of you who I don’t know personally, is basically as a growth, a practice growth and business specialist. And I know it sounds a little crazy to say growth without risk. When we have just been through a pandemic offices closed down and probably the greatest risk to practitioners, livelihoods that I think that we’ve ever seen, or at least I’ve seen in my lifetime in chiropractic. And that brings me back to a conversation today that I’d love to have with you about actually going back to some of those philosophical roots of chiropractic, because that’s probably the last time that there was such threats to the way we practice, how we practice the things that we would say out to the public or say on our websites or on social media, you know, right now we know that people are being shut down.

You know, you’ve got locked Facebook accounts based on some of the things that you say out to the world. So I realized in this time, you know, that there’s been all this, this more heightened risk, it’s kind of like some of those original days in chiropractic. And I’d like to go back and talk about some of what I call the pandemic proof language or pandemic proof conversations. Now this isn’t to say that we would all categorize that we run a philosophical practice. My background on the philosophy aspect is that I am a diplomat. I did my chiropractic philosophy diplomat and was honored to graduate in the first class. There was 33 of us that graduated from Palmer college with our diplomates in chiropractic philosophy. And what that taught me is how easy it actually is to bring the language of who we really are and what we really do care practically into our practices every day.

So my question to you is, are you part of the brand that would show that you’re a nervous system specialist, no matter how you choose to deliver your chiropractic care, your adjustment, you know, the technique that you use, that the sort of segment of practice that you’re specializing in, could you begin through this crazy pandemic to make sure without a lot of risks that you start to really anchor and talk about chiropractic philosophy, and it’s as simple as the fact that how you live your life is through your nervous system. I used to like to say to a patient, everything you touch, taste, smell, think about do every one of those things is coordinated through your nervous system. Now, some of you in the style of practice, you have, it makes it easier to talk like that. If you, for example, have the insight millennium.

If you’re doing scans in your practice, that’s a phenomenal tool that allows us to talk, you know, more nervous system. But let me even describe if your segment is pain and much more pain control clinic, or come to us with those conditions that you have, which is the reality for a lot of the public and what they think we do. Chiropractically you can still very early begin to pivot that what runs and controls those pain levels. And start to flip that into a conversation about the nervous system. So when I say the words chiropractic philosophy, I don’t want you to think that we have to sit. And as some people used to describe, tell a patient or try to teach a patient, everything that we know about chiropractic philosophy, what I’d like to do today is make sure that I help guide you or coach you to think about what do you do now?

And then how could you, without a lot of risk, begin to talk more consistently about what I call the truth of chiropractic. And we all know there’s so much science out there now supporting everything that we do, but let’s face it. Why a lot of you even listening may have had your Facebook shut down the minute that you started to say things like anything, immune system related or optimize your immune system. It’s kind of like, that’s become a no, no, but literally beginning to talk about, you know, one of the best ways the defense against things like coronavirus, the defense against lack of health is enhanced health. And what drives that enhanced health. I find, I find that if we use the words, wellness care, that’s a little too generic or esoteric. You know, back when I was first in practice and trying to use those words, number one, nobody even knew what that was.

Well, then it started to become very Vogue to talk about wellness care. You know, some people might use the words prevention, but from my perspective, prevention is not optimizing. So there’s all these semantics around the words you use. But even like I said, if you are addressing a patient, that’s come in for a condition back pain, neck pain, headaches, let’s face it more practices right now. We’re actually thriving because of people calling to get it. You know, some practitioners who have pediatric practices are thriving right now because a lot of people do not want to take their children to an emerge. They don’t want to take their kids with ear infections into the traditional health environments that allows you to thrive as long as they know that you can actually work with kids. You know, likewise, anybody with acute back pain, very few people want to go to the traditional hospitals right now.

So if those people are coming in, even with that condition, it could be as simple as on the initial visit saying terrific that you’re here. I absolutely help with those conditions. But first let me describe a little bit about who I am and what I do chiropractically so that right away you’re pivoting. And that doesn’t mean I’m going to give them a big lecture, but I am going to say, I absolutely look at exactly why you’ve come in with this back pain. I work with you though, not only to help find the cause of this condition, but I want to get to the really root cause. So, number one, our goals will be this. And you could start to talk about to get you out of pain, but then to teach you how to prevent this from coming back to teach you why this is a recurring issue that I see from your history.

So it’s just taking the time right now. And as I’ve coached a lot of people to bring more philosophy into their practice, I like you to think about several pivot places or points where you can talk about being a nervous system doctor, or pivot the conversation to what runs and controls that muscle, that spasm. So joint out of alignment, out of position, whatever language you want to use, those muscle spasms, what do you think controls all of that so that you’re starting to bring it back to the nerve. So let me tell you and share with you. What I consider are the pivot, places that I’d like you to even write down. So you can be a little more selective with what you’re to every patient that comes in. So number one is that initial visit. And I’d like to frame that even before you put your hands on someone, even before you start going through the exam, it’s again, that this is a different kind of practice.

This is a different kind of office. Here’s what we do, you know? And or it may be that if you have people come in and you already have them scanned and do some things clinically before you actually start having conversation, you could still frame it in that we did a lot of these different tests and exams, you know, aspects, probably things you’ve never had before, because we’re actually looking at your nervous system. So somewhere on that initial visit. So the first really key place is on that initial visit. Are you doing something to frame out the practice philosophy and or the conversation about chiropractic philosophy, simple plant a seed. The second place obviously then is literally, as you do a report, as you were do a report of your findings, or as you’re laying out a care plan, and every one of you will do that differently.

Some of you you’ve been coached to already do that on the, the end of the initial visit. Other people, you bring the patient back with a significant other for the report of findings, wherever you’re doing this. I want you to pick back up on those seeds that you planted on that first visit. So making sure you’re talking a little bit about what is unique about chiropractic, and can you begin to get some of that language about nervous system or nervous system specialists? Then I want you to think about regular visits. Everybody will language this different, some practice management groups. Talk about it being your chiropractic patient curriculum. What in your first 12 and 15 visits are some of the educational things that you talk about. Again, I prefer that none of this is a big long-winded conversation. I like that you do a little bit of that seed planting consistently.

So for example, some of you clinically, if you have a patient lying face down and your checking their through their thoracics, it could be as simple as, as you again, find your subluxation are finding that level that you are working on asking a patient. Do you recall what I mentioned literally is controlled by the nerves that come from this level and you’ll be amazed because of course, even if you did this great report of findings, most patients are going to say to you, um, no, I forget. And that allows you just in one sound bite to save the nerves from this level of control and supply this, this and this. So that already you notice, I keep bringing it back to neurology, nerves, nervous system neurology, that what I am doing as a nervous system specialist is changing and allowing that nervous system to funk, but I’ll say function optimally so that you’re starting to consistently use that language somewhere on a number of the regular visits.

I want you to see that that can be real, like clean and, and short and succinct. You don’t have to do a big long educational, you know, sort of lecture every time someone’s in now, the next and what I consider as the fourth critical place to really reemphasize some of this education is on what I call a re exam. Many people you’ll say, well, if I have some of their insurance coverage, certain carriers do, or don’t cover read exams. I like re exams clinically because I think that that’s really relevant, but I like it more educationally because it’s really critical on a re-examine that you communicate philosophically to someone here’s where you started. Here’s where you are now. And here is the next stage of your care. You notice that that helps language, that there are multiple stages of your care plan. But I also like that it allows you to completely get away from only symptom driven language and anchor the neurology changes that have been occurring.

So for example, even on a regular visit, I tended to ask things like if someone come in, came in and said, wow, my pain is intensified a little bit. I would say things like, well, that’s great because that means your nervous system is waking up. If I literally wanted to anchor again and ask them about other things besides their back pain or their neck pain, you know, they might start to language that, and then I would say, what I’d really like to know is what else is changing in your life now that you’re already in a couple of weeks into care, what else is changing? And I’ll tell you, a lot of people look at you and they have no answer, but you’ll notice they come back on another visit and they’ll say, well, do you know what? I don’t have my ulcers acting up or other things that we can link and share then philosophically about the nerves, about the neurology and how it’s those nerves from those same areas that are supplying those organs, tissues and cells.

So those are really four key pivot places that I want you to think back to what I’ve just described. Number one, is that initial visit already framing out somewhere that you’re that nervous system specialist. Even if you have a pain clinic name up on the front door, that where does that pain response come from, it’s driven and controlled by your neurology. So the initial visits, some were planting that philosophical seed, then some kind of report wherever you do that. However you do that based on your practice management growth is all about now languaging, how you’ll not only address the condition that they’ve come in for, but already allowing someone to see that there is a bigger opportunity here with chiropractic the third pivot place or place that I want you to think about being a nervous system specialist is on, what would I call your regular visits?

You might want to plan out a lot of that communication. There’s ways to do that and do that effectively without feel like you’re lecturing people, but literally using and pivoting with whatever conversations they’re talking about, pivoting that back to the nerve, to the neurology again. And then the fourth place is on your first reading exam. And I can’t emphasize re exams enough. I think that’s a really missed opportunity because a lot of times in your practice management, I put that in quotations and the way you manage a case, most people are going from acute care. And I did for years acute care and do what we want them to think is wellness or longterm care. And we’re completely missing this whole facet that I think is the most empowerful place that you can grow your practice in. I’ll call it kind of that rehabilitation phase.

So you can use these kinds of words, understanding that no, and guide a patient through phases of their care plan, using chiropractic philosophy and giving them choices or educating them to make great choices. Now, a lot of you it’s much more Vogue. Now we have an unbelievable, um, I’ll say group that are now talking a lot more about neurology as it relates to chiropractic. Let’s face it, brain and brain science is cutting edge right now. And chiropractic. Obviously the reason I want you to be a nervous system specialist in your practice is because it’s going to help you grow and allow you to tap into all this brain and neurology work that’s out there. Now, some of you have been so intrigued with it that you have studied and done advanced research people like Heidi habit can some of her wonderful work. A lot of you listening may have even yourself or known people that became, um, the neurology diplomats.

There are a lot of phenomenal resources out there. Now, what I know about that from a practice growth perspective, unless you’re an and want to go so completely down that path, you probably don’t know how to take that and put it into everyday practice. And I love everyday practice. That for me is the magic. And so what I like is that now there’s a whole group and multiple groups that are exposing more about how do you begin to make that shift? So there’s free resources out there, and I’m happy if you have questions, please message me. I can put it in the chat for this live a couple of key resources that I really like are there’s a group called one chiropractic and they’ve got some free video series, all about neurology. There’s also another, um, really wonderful practitioner. He’s a chiropractor and has trained as a diplomat in functional neurology.

And he’s got a free course on functional neurology basics. You know, I just want you to understand there’s a lot of tools and resources out there, and I’m happy to share a lot more for you to figure out how do you tap into some of that without thinking that you have to become a diplomat or one of the researchers? The great news is a lot of your state associations have some of those people at their conferences. The challenge right now is we don’t have those conferences unless some of them have gone virtual, but I am I urge and encourage you to begin to find ways to take all of that wonderful research and knowledge and understanding about brain and bring that into your everyday practice. Honestly, that’s what makes us separate and distinct using those kinds of conversations in the practice and also tapping into external marketing with that.

Having people understand more about their overall health, let’s face it. We still, and we’re how many months into this pandemic and all of these modifications. And we’re still not seeing regularly the health of the host as a key part of the conversation. Now, I want you to do that without having all of your social media shut down. So there are really smart strategies and ways to do that. I’m not today though. You notice talking about all that external marketing, because we have great experts for that. I’m talking about internal marketing help and change your existing patients who love the care they get want to help you communicate to others. The problem is most of us as chiropractors have not taught them how to share, because we haven’t even communicated very effectively that we’re nervous system specialists. So you notice my emphasis today has been about communication, but related to what I call that truth, like you think about chiropractic founder’s day is not too far down the road.

What are we four weeks away from that five weeks away from that? And you look at the history of chiropractic and how chiropractic has survived. Lots of threats, lots of outside negativity is through real clarity of help. Patients do great work in your clinic and begin to make sure people understand who we truly are and what we truly do. Chiropractically I call that chiropractic philosophy. There’s a whole bunch of other resources and ways you can become more of a philosophical, you know, communicator. Um, again, there’s now Sherman college has the deployment program that I graduated from. I’m really honored that it’s now through Sherman college. Again, there’s a lot of ways to do more advanced training in these areas. What I wanted to do today is to make sure that you understand you can grow and thrive right now. I know I talked to chiropractors all day, every day, and right now I do a lot of just conversations and, and free consultations for chiropractors through the craziness.

And I just want you to know that there are a lot of practices thriving, and they’re the practices that are clearly communicating who they are and what they do. So today, as we end, number one, I just want you to understand that you can grow. You can have a pandemic proof practice. You can be thriving right now, and no matter what happens, or they try to shut things down again, you can continue to grow through this. So that is really critical for me that we thrive. Chiropractically no matter what outside influences and that’s based on chiropractic philosophy. So I’d love to, again, as I end each segment, really thank ChiroSecure for the opportunity I haven’t been in private practice now for a long time. And I do get the opportunity to speak and teach and educate and help chiropractors build businesses. Practice growth is absolutely available to you. So I’m happy in the chat to answer questions, provide any other insights that I can. So thank you again to ChiroSecure first sponsoring and allowing me to be part of the growth without risk series. Have a wonderful day

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