Students who have large practices in the college clinic will become successful doctors with huge practices after they graduate. Those who struggle through college clinic, don’t get referrals from their patients, upper classmen, or from people in the college community, will ultimately struggle in their practices after they graduate.
“Touch and tell”
The “touch-and-tell” procedure is a simple method of educating your patients and stimulating their referrals. This procedure has been effectively used in chiropractic for more than 100 years.
When palpating your patients’ subluxations, tell them the nerves that are being pinched, where the nerves go, and the health problems that can be caused by the pressure on the nerves. Tell your patients the health problems you are relieving and preventing. This way you will make nerve pressure and chiropractic important in the patient’s mind.
A six-step procedure
To clarify the above, the following steps are an organized way to perform “touch and tell”:
- While palpating the subluxation to be adjusted, say: “This bone is out of place.”
- “It pinches the nerve going to (name the part).”
- “If the nerve stays under pressure, (health problem) can occur.”
- “I have lots of patients with (health problem).”
- “I fix their (health problem) by setting this bone back into place. Once the nerve heals, the (health problem) will resolve.”
- “Let’s set this bone back into place so you don’t get (health problem).”
Upper cervical subluxation: “This bone is out of place. It pinches the nerves that go over the top of your head, which causes headaches. I have lots of patients coming to me with headache problems and I fix them by setting this bone back in place. Let’s get your bone back in place so you won’t get headaches.”
Lower-cervical and upper-thoracic subluxations: “This bone is out of place. It pinches the nerves that go to your shoulders, arms, and hands. If the nerves stay under pressure like this, pain, numbness, and tingling can occur in your shoulders, arms, or hands. I have lots of patients who come to me for these problems and I fix them by setting this bone back into place. Let’s set your bone back into place so you won’t get these problems.”
Mid-thoracic subluxation: If you are going to adjust the T-5 vertebra, explain to the patient that this out-of- place vertebra pinches the nerves that go out between the ribs, causing pain that radiates from the mid-back around the rib cage. Then say: “I have lots of patients coming to me with pain radiating between their ribs. I fix their rib pain by setting this bone in place. Let’s set your bone back in place so you don’t get pain between your ribs.”
Lumbar subluxations: “This bone is out of place, and it’s pinching a nerve that goes to your legs. When this nerve is impinged, it can cause problems like sciatica, numbness, or leg pain. I have lots of patients who come to me with leg pain and numbness. I fix them by setting this bone in place. Let’s fix your misaligned bone right now to prevent such problems from happening to you.”
Guidelines for success
- Don’t complicate your explanations. Keep them simple and clear. When you use complex terminology, your patient’s mind will tune you out.
- Notice that the examples above do not use terms like “subluxation,” or “intervertebral misalignment” because these words are not understood by the general public. By saying “this bone is out of place,” you leave no room for confusion.
- Only talk about one health problem with the patient on each visit.
- Your explanation of the effects of a subluxation and how you can help this health problem should be no longer than a few sentences.
- Write on the patient’s file or travel card the subluxation you talked to the patient about.
Your patients will likely not know that you take care of headaches, shoulder, arm, leg, and rib pain problems. Once you’ve educated them, they can refer their friends who have these problems to you.
Each time a patient comes to you, you have another chance to explain how chiropractic can take care of a different health problem. This gives your patients a broader base from which to refer to you. The old-timers built their practices by using the “touch-and-tell” method. It was effective then, and it still is today.