The y-strap chiropractic adjustment has taken the internet by storm, and even if DCs don’t approve, there are marketing lessons to be learned
In March 2018, Joseph Cipriano, DC, started posting on YouTube, enabling viewers to watch while he adjusted patients for a variety of reasons. In many (if not all) of these videos, Cipriano utilizes a y-strap to aid in the adjustment.
If you’re not familiar with the y-strap, sometimes referred to as a Y-axis traction strap, it is marketed as a “decompression tool” and looks much like a handle attachment you’d see on most any strength training machine in the gym. It received its name partly because it is used on the body’s vertical axis, but also because it bends into a “Y” shape when utilized on a person’s upper cervical area.
The y-strap is placed with the rounded cloth-end of the strap around the base of the person’s skull, with an individual pulling the handle back with “slow and constant force” to help stretch the spine.
The y-strap chiropractic adjustment
Alternatively, it can also be used by chiropractic professionals and other therapists to perform a high-velocity, low amplitude adjustment on patients. This creates a “swift” decompression of the discs, presumably enabling nutrients to flow into the impacted area once again.
Some chiropractors like the y-strap, whereas many others (see the Chiropractic Economics Point-Counterpoint on the y-strap chiropractic adjustment. if you scroll down that page after licking on the link) do not have such a favorable opinion. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, there are a few things we can all learn from the marketing of this particular chiropractic product.
Videos are key (especially for newer treatment remedies)
If you visit the y-strap website, there are pictures of this device, as well as what it looks like when placed correctly at the base of the patient’s skull.
While these images provide some idea of how this product works when it is applied with “slow and constant force” as the website suggests, it can be difficult, if not scary, for patients to imagine it being used in a more swift, higher-intensity manner.
This is often true for many treatment options that are relatively new to the market, which can keep patients from trying them because they don’t know what to expect. Yet, if you watch some of the YouTube videos posted by Cipriano, it’s easy to see exactly how this product works when used by a trained health care practitioner, despite the negative opinions of many chiropractors.
Seeing a new product or treatment remedy in action helps take the fear away because patients can get a better idea of what it looks like when in use. Plus, marketing statistics tell us that consumers love videos — many watching an average of 16 hours of videos per week, and 84% saying that these videos helped convince them to make the buy.
Success stories are gold
In addition to posting videos to help patients better understand the methods you’d like to use when treating their health conditions, when these videos contain real patients who have had success with those same methods, the result is gold.
For example, Cipriano posted a video on Jan. 16, 2020 in which a patient shared how she was in a car accident years ago, but also spends a lot of time sitting in front of a computer. As a result, she was suffering from migraine headaches that had left but then came back, as well as experiencing pain in her back and knees.
Cipriano does a quick physical assessment of the patient, followed by use of a massage gun, a variety of manual manipulations, and, finally, utilization of the y-strap chiropractic adjustment. Even though it can be shocking to see the sudden jerk of the patient’s body and her lying there with her mouth wide open as if she wasn’t expecting that sort of pull, she soon breaks into tears and exclaims, “That feels so good.”
This type of testimonial is powerful because the viewer is able to see exactly what effect the treatment has to offer. It also helps create a more personal connection with the patient in the video, making it easier to picture experiencing that same type of effect.
The patient element of surprise at the result
Although your first inclination when creating a video of a never-seen-before product or treatment may be to not shock your viewers, creating an element of surprise isn’t always a bad thing.
Capriano’s recent Jan. 16, 2020 video is proof as it has had more than 112,000 views. Of these, approximately 2,600 viewers gave this video a thumbs up while 37 people gave it a thumbs down. Another video, this one posted on Aug. 13, 2019, has over 900,000 views, with 15,000 thumbs up and 217 thumbs down.
Certainly not every patient is going to be convinced by watching a somewhat shocking video that appears to provide amazing results. But shocking videos are also more memorable, evidenced by the reported number of patients asking for the y-strap chiropractic adjustment “like on YouTube,” to the dismay of the many DCs who may view it as unsafe.
So, even if patients aren’t ready to take that step right now, they may warm up it over time because their mind will always drift back to what they’ve seen and wonder if they could receive the same beneficial results themselves. From a marketing perspective think about how you can capture your patients’ satisfaction or delight next time you are using video to promote a new product or service.