Blog, Live Events December 4, 2020

Pediatric Chiropractic Care and the Emotional Connection – Dr. Erik Kowalke

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  

What’s up, everybody. Welcome to December. Uh, I get to surprise you with a new backdrop every time I do one of these shows, um, because a good thing. This is a look to the children, pediatric chiropractic show because I have six children and they’re chasing me all over the house, uh, on Thursdays, whenever, when I do this show and I get to sneak in and find some place to do it, it makes it more real. Uh, this is my 12 year old son’s room. Uh he’s yet. I wish I had a room like this when I was a kid. I tell him, man, I would have done anything to have a basketball hoop in my room when I was 12 years old. Um, but yeah, welcome to Logan’s room. Uh, I’m Eric Kawalke. I’m a chiropractor in grand Rapids, Michigan. Uh, we have, uh, office, we started in 2011.

We love seeing families and kids. Our mission is to just see as many kids and families as possible. Uh, and we just understand principal chiropractic is where health needs to go and to switch people’s mind from a sick care system to a healthcare system. And so we’re super passionate about educating families in long-term, uh, wellness care and improving the nervous system, functioning kids and families. Um, so I consider this show once a month. Thanks Dr. Stu Hoffman for all you do for the chiropractic profession, supporting principal chiropractic and supporting chiropractors all over, um, through Kairos secure, who’s hosting this show super thankful for the, um, all that you do for our profession. So thank you for that. Um, yeah. So higher healthcare practice, grand Rapids, Michigan, where we started, uh, now our team has grown to five docs and 15 CA’s and we have eight adjusting room, 16 adjusting tables, five exam rooms.

We see lots of kids, hundreds every single week. And, um, I use a lot of the information I learned out of that office and having six kids to bring something to you first, Thursday of every month, that hopefully you can use to get better at seeing kids and families. I also started a software company about five years ago called skid, uh, which you’ll see pop up in different places. It’s a communication software company. We use it really to, um, communicate with families and parents and make their lives easier to schedule and get into our office, try to remove whatever barriers we can, um, that would prevent them from getting specific chiropractic care. So that’s who I am. But today, specifically, welcome to December my shirt doesn’t have any rips in it like last week or last month, if you were watching that show, that was a really good one.

So this is the first time tuning in, go back, ChiroSecure, find, look to the children, start of, uh, November. That was a fun show. Anyways. Uh, I wanted to talk specifically this show about, uh, how kids feel in your office and how parents feel in your office. I was discussing with our operations manager last week. And if I talk to people that started caring office the first month, so we will open August, 2011, uh, almost 10 years in now. And there’s people under care and families under care that started the first month we opened August, 2011 and they still bring up my group report of findings as like what they remember about starting care. Cause I asked him, you know, what, why are you still coming after nine years? Uh, I’m not convincing them every time they come in, you know, they’re not coming in because they threw out their back every week for nine years or every other week, depending on it.

Um, and they just remember that you remember how they felt at that group report of findings or orientation. We call it now they remember feeling like man, how come nobody told me this before? How come I made it to however old they were 45 years old. And nobody ever explained to me how the nervous system works. Nobody ever explained to me the importance of a healthy spine and a healthy nervous system. Uh, and that’s what they say. They re, they say, I remember when you said this, how it made me feel. And the more I thought about it, what they’re actually saying is they remember how they felt. And because they remember how they felt, they remember what was being said or how it was being said. So a lot of times as chiropractors, we can get frustrated. Like I’ve told this person a hundred times to do this and they just never remember.

I told them a hundred times, you know, they just don’t get long-term wellness care. And I tell them over and over and over again. Well it’s because you never, they never had an emotion tied to it. You never explained it in a way that they could connect with emotionally to remember what it is that you were seeing. And so we get frustrated and think they’re not remembering when really, if you tie it back to, you know, what could I do better as the teacher doctor means teacher we’re teaching them. If I was teaching a group of kids and none of them understood it, I wouldn’t go to the parents and be like, your kids are all didn’t confident. They don’t remember anything that I told them. It really comes back to, well, maybe you could teach in a different way. So they would remember, right?

We think that sounds funny if the teacher did that, yet us as chiropractors are easy to blame our patients and the people that come into our office, they just don’t get it. I explain it to them. They just don’t understand. What’s really, how are we explaining to them? How can we do it better? How can we communicate that information to them better? Um, and in a way that evokes an emotion and a feeling that they remember what it is that we’re seeing. And so if you think about kids specifically, they want to feel happy. They want to feel fun. They want to experience fun and they want to experience joy in the office. So one thing I think we crushed, and if you want to follow our office, hire health care practice in grand Rapids, Michigan, follow us on social media. You’ll see some of the themes that we do.

It’s awesome. We have so much fun with our themes. We’re always changing it up. We’re always decorating like crazy this year. We wanted to make it feel like Christmas just exploded in our office. So there’s presence everywhere. Uh, hundreds, literally hundreds of wrap presents. We started wrapping in mid November and we had team members take boxes, home and wrap stuff. And we have gifts for kids, boys, and girls, and three different age groups starting next week. Kids get to take the presence and give them to another kid that they kind of know, but they think would deserve a presence. So we’re trying to perpetuate giving through this season, the kids don’t get the gifts. They get to get them and give them to somebody else. And most of the time kids don’t really get to give a lot of presents. So we’re trying to pass that along, but it’s just fun.

It looks awesome in there. If you’re a kid and you come in and this place just looks like a place you want to come and hang out. So that’s where I would start. What can you do to your office to make it look like a place that kids like, and they want to come hang out, cause kids does this place make kids feel happy, joy filled. Uh, does it make them feel like they’re having fun? And do they have a fun experience while they’re in your office? And start there second one on his parents. What are parents, uh, want to feel? What emotions do you want to get out of them on their first visit maybe or on continually visits. And there’s a few of them. I have written down here. They want to be able to trust you. So can a parent trust you?

Because when they first come in, they don’t necessarily trust you. If they have heard about you from a friend, um, or watched, you know, you put on a health talk or a webinar or something that had been following you for a long time or heard from several different people. Their trust level probably is a little bit higher, but it’s good to assume at this point they don’t trust you. So that first visit is an experience and developing trust. Can they trust you and who you are and then what you recommend further on. Uh, and that will go a long ways because I can tell you the people that trust you, it makes it so much easier for recommendations on the road. Cause you’re not always trying to convince them to sign a new care plan or to come recommendations or to make their visits. If you’re feeling like you always have to convince people to do things.

It’s because there’s a lack of trust that you should have established more of in the beginning and that’s what you can work on. But they also want to know, do I feel safe in this place, a safe enough that I can let my kid go through this experience because, um, they’re bringing in their child that might have ADHD or autism or ear infections, or this is their little baby. They just want their baby or their kid to get better, uh, specific to pediatrics. And they want to know, is my child going to be safe in here? Do I want to let this person touch my child? Um, so you need to make sure they feel safe. And that goes through your whole process of what you’re seeing and how you’re seeing it and their experience on that first visit. Do they feel safe? Uh, do they feel hope?

Are we, are we giving them hope that this is a place that they can trust and they can trust us and they can trust chiropractic. And they have hope that they can actually get better and their bodies can heal and their kid can heal from the inside out because there’s so much fear in all of the decisions around a kid being sick, the sick care system, that’s how they create solutions to the problems by creating a fear to it, and then giving them a solution to the fear. For instance, uh, your kid has a fever for eight days. Oh my gosh, there could have a serious, you know, what are the 1% or half a percent chances that something severe could happen. And then it’s like really making them think that there’s an 85 to 90% chance that’s going to happen to your kid, which is why you should go to this extreme measure.

And so it’s all based off of fear. So most parents are coming in fearful. If you don’t help me, I have to do something, you know, whatever. Maybe they’re going to get a spinal tap. Maybe they’re going to get, you know, surgery on their eardrums. Maybe they’re going to get like all this crazy stuff, surgery when like parts of their body removed like tonsils or whatever. So you have to give them hope about the body power. The body can heal itself. And that really comes to you as the chiropractor. We’re you, you, you know, if you’re challenged, can you hold up to that? Uh, our littlest is one and he had a fever for eight days before he was even one year, one year old, uh, back in March and our, uh, S eight year old had a fever for like seven days and went away for a day to came back for like six days in a row.

Are you as a chiropractor? You know, have you gone through enough challenges where you’ve, you’ve held strong to the principle of the body healing itself to the point where a parent can come in and you can confidently say, you know, you’re doing the right things, you’re making the right choices. Um, and then they can just be, feel like they’re in a place where they have somebody that has their back and they’re making a good decision. So hope so, so important. Um, like key to this is not over promising and under delivering. So you don’t want to give them so much hope that they think one adjustment and everything’s going to be better. Uh, so you need to clearly communicate, uh, expectations. So if you can communicate expectations that are probably a little bit beyond, like under promising, if you think, you know, your, you might see some symptom changes in this kid in a week or two, then you probably want to talk about three or four weeks, you know, possibility because sometimes it takes that long.

And so the one kid that you say, yeah, I expect something to better in a week. And that’s the outlier that takes a month. They might not even get to a month because now they don’t trust you because they thought that, you know, you, you committed to something that you couldn’t hold up. Um, and so there’s another one is just never committing to, to symptoms you can’t under deliver. If you never commit to something that you aren’t guaranteed to do. So for instance, if you are a principal chiropractor, you can remove nerve interference. You know, you’re going to do that a hundred percent of the time. You can’t control how fast the body responds to you removing the nerve interference or how fast it takes to heal or all the other hundreds of variables outside of you removing nerve interference, that’s affecting their body about what they’re eating or what they’re watching or what their lifestyle is or what the stress is on their life or whatever that might slow down their ability to heal.

So you can only control what you can control and you can control removing nerve interference. And you can do that a hundred percent of the time. So if you can stay in the lane where you’re committing to removing nerve interference, and you’re committing to improving the health of the body through that, and the side effect of removing nerve interference, improving the function of their body is their symptoms get better and improve, but you don’t control that. You’re not saying I’m treating this kids, you know, ear infections, then you’re never going to put yourself in a scenario where you’re under-delivering and over promising. So that’s a whole nother topic, but since I was talking about hope, uh, that’s kind of important. Uh, parents last two things they want to feel encouraged and they want to feel heard. Most parents never feel like a doctor really listens to them and they’re always giving them random.

Um, I shouldn’t say they giving them random. Most of the time, they just don’t feel heard. They don’t feel like they’re spent the time to explain what’s going on. They don’t feel like they can connect with them. They don’t feel like they can relate to them. So making sure parents feel heard and encouraged is the last two. So I’ll go through those one more kids, feelings, happy, fun, joyful, uh, parents trust, safe, hope, encouraged, and feel heard. And I would just review your systems. Um, whereas, um, I would just review your systems in your practice around those criteria and see are we, uh, helping kids and parents feel things through our processes. Those are super important. So one of the big mistakes, which is I’ll close with this, so we got like five more minutes to hang in. There is assuming parents only want their kid’s symptoms to be relieved.

Assuming parents only want, uh, their ear infections gone in their kids, assuming they only want their kid’s attention to be better. Assuming they only want, um, you know, constipation and whatever the symptom is for their kids. I can tell you as a parent of six, and if you have kids, we also want long-term health for our kids. We want our kids to be healthy. We want to do something to proactively help our kids be healthy. Most of the time parents give medication and drugs to their kids when their kids are sick, because they want to do something. You know, they know the power of the body heals itself. Even parents that are grounded in, you know, principle chiropractic that know the body knows what to do when your kid’s sick moms specifically, sometimes dads just want to do something. I can’t just sit there and say, man, you’ll get better.

Just tough it out. It’s like, well, they’re in pain. I want to help them get out of pain. Even if it means going against my beliefs, giving them something that could harm their body or make their illness last longer, they just want to, how do I get my kid to feel better right now and do something as a parent. It’s an innate thing. As a parent, you want to help your kid. So don’t underestimate parents want or desire to help their kid be healthy. Long-term the reason they’re not coming into your office saying, hello, Dr. So-and-so. I want my kid to be healthy longterm. Can you help me measure his nervous system and, and keep his nervous system functioning at a hundred percent of the highest level possible? Because I know his nervous system affects every other system in his body. And I’d really like you to be our primary care provider for the health of the nervous system, because they don’t know that they don’t know that even exists.

They don’t know what the nervous system is. They don’t know the nervous system controls every part of their body. They don’t know that that’s important for a child to develop a healthy, nervous system and a healthy spine improves the function of the nervous system. They don’t know any of that. So I can assure you if you explain that, like, you know, it like, you know, the power of the body and you know how it works and you know, the importance of a healthy spine and nervous system, the parents will want that they’ll want a healthy, nervous system. They’ll want long-term care. They’ll want to be with you for a long time to keep their kids spine healthy. Um, so just don’t assume that they don’t want that. And they’re only there for a symptom-based care. And then the flip side of that is they’re there for symptom-based care too.

Like parents come in because their kid has some issue that they want resolved. You have to address that. So we can easily just say, you know, some parents need to go through that phase to develop enough trust, to, to really understand the benefits of long-term care and then trust you enough to, to understand it and your recommendations and follow those recommendations. So it’s okay. If a parent wants to start, you know, a corrective plan or whatever, however, you do chiropractic to go after one issue. Um, and then, you know, make a decision at that point for a long-term care, but you got to start the conversation upfront and it starts with education. It starts you’re the doctor, you’re the teacher. They need to know what is the nervous system? How does it work? What systems does it control? Um, you see parents come in at 30 years old with, with level two, three spinal degeneration.

Well, what the heck? How do they have degeneration is cause they’ve been sublux citizens. They were a kid. And if they would have only known and somebody would have only told them, and they would’ve got principal chiropractic here and the kid, they wouldn’t be in the same place now as a 30 year old adult and unable to go back and fix some of that stuff that has been degenerating and causing nerve interference and impacting their life in a negative way for the last 20 plus years of their life. Just because nobody told them, well, don’t be the guy. Now, that’s not telling the parents about the kids that 20 years from now, some other chiropractors are going to say, man, how come you, how come nobody ever told you this? Or the parents is how come that guy 20 years ago when I brought my kid in there, why didn’t he tell me about this?

And now my kid, 20 years later has all this stuff going on. That if I would’ve known, I would’ve brought them more, you know, consistently, they just never told me. So don’t be that chiropractor that just never tells people the power of the body. You have such an opportunity with this child that if you can help their nervous system and their spine develop properly and give them the best chance of living healthy and being a healthy adult. I mean, what’s more rewarding than that to knowing that you’re perpetuating health for this child, that’s going to affect their marriage. When it, when it comes in their spouse, it’s gonna affect their relationship with everybody. They come in contact with business-wise, it’s gonna affect their potential to succeed in life, through businesses and through jobs. And whether they’re an employee or an employer, I mean, it’s impacting everything that goes on in their life and all the people connected to them.

That’s such a huge thing. So don’t underestimate that and really work on your ability to communicate that effectively, um, with parents and educating them about the nervous system and connecting that to a feeling which is some example. And so I, I do that best using real examples that are happening like right now, do you know, kids that are falling and hurting themselves, that a kid just come in with torticollis because they have whatever. And if they would have got checked five years ago, you could have done something about it to prevent that, use those real-world examples to parents in your office say, well, I just had this example come in, that it connects with them in a way that they remember the feeling. When you explain that, uh, and that’ll go 10 times farther and you won’t feel as stuck where you’re constantly educating people and nobody’s really getting it.

So that’s what I got for you guys today. I should have told you, you can post comments and questions and stuff in here, and I can respond to you while we’re doing this. But now that we’re done, if you post a question, I’m probably not going to respond. So, uh, I have a lot of fun doing these with you guys. If there’s any, ever any a specific topic you want me to address or conversation you want me to have, I’d be happy to do that on another month. But, uh, this wraps up 2020, uh, I’ve been waiting to say that for like eight months. Can we just wrap up 2020? Um, Dr. Monica Berger is coming on one more time in two Thursdays, I believe. Uh, unless that’s Christmas, uh, I think two Thursdays, you guys probably seen her on your before. She’s phenomenal. Uh, she does a great show.

It’s 20, 30 minutes interview style. You learn a lot about pediatric chiropractic through her show. So thanks again to Dr. Sue Hoffman for putting these on. He does so much for the profession with ChiroSecure, uh, and helps so many chiropractors. I know specifically in the networks I work with and all the docs, any issue comes up most of the time to talking to Dr. Stu directly helping them through stuff. So if you’re looking for insurance and help with that stuff, I can tell you you’re going to get the best you’re going to get the best, uh, experience through carer secure. I can tell you that for sure. So thanks again again. My name is Dr. Eric Kowalke. My office is higher health chiropractic in grand Rapids, Michigan, if you ever want to look me up or, uh, ask me a question. Uh, I work with a bunch of different groups and is, is a big group. I speak with a lot. Uh, SCAD is a communication company that we’ve developed to text patients and parents, and we have a whole app for parents and scheduling the office. Check that out. It’s super awesome. But thanks again. We’ll look forward to seeing you guys in 2021, a whole new year. Thankfully,

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