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Now here’s today’s host Dr. Erik Kowalke.
Welcome to look to the children. My name is dr. Erik Kowalke, uh, I own and run Higher Health Chiropractic in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Uh, I also do a lot of consulting around the country. I started the company SKED incorporated, which helps make life amazing for doctors that run clinics and for patients. Uh, thank you so much for Dr. Stu Hoffman and all he does for the chiropractic profession and for just providing the resources to do this show, look to the children every month. Uh, I do the first Thursday of every month we get on for 20 minutes. Uh, you can watch it on your lunch break or catch it up and catch up on it quick. We talk about pediatric chiropractic stuff that’s relevant going on right now. I like to give you a nuts and bolts, something you can use to take back to your practice today or tomorrow and implement, and just get a little bit better at seeing, uh, seeing kids and families and communicating chiropractic.
Uh, our office sees 1200 or so a week. We have five different doctors, a bunch of team members and a couple of different clinics. And so we get a lot of experience connecting with parents and families and, uh, myself, I just toured the country out West for three weeks with my wife and six children. I learned a lot on this with all this craziness going on. Uh, it’s different world out there right now. And there’s just a ton of stress. So I wanted to talk to you guys for a little bit today, specifically about that. Um, and yeah, every community that we went through along the way, does things a little bit differently, and one community you can’t wear mass and practice, or you’re not supposed to, but then you’re supposed to wear them. They’re in the aims and the next community. You’re supposed to wear a mask during the games, but are you supposed to wear mastering practice, but not in games and kids are supposed to wear masks sometimes and not other times, and some places you had to wear them outside.
And, um, sometimes the parents get are super stressed out or they, they don’t want to wear them, but they are, or they want to wear them, but it makes them uncomfortable in some scenarios. So there’s just a lot of variables out there. And at the end of the day, it all just brings stress on the parent. So this pandemic stuff, you know, if you think about the ripple effects it’s had on you, if you’re a chiropractor watching this and how that’s compounded onto all of the parents out there, you know, their jobs or their husband’s jobs or their wife’s job, uh, you look at, you know, from an income standpoint, whether they we’re just about to buy a house or did buy a house or, you know, their incomes cut down or all of the different changes that could be occurring. Financial stress is so significant on a lot of families that, that can stress parents out.
And then you talk about the schooling part of it. You know, some parents are, you know, homeschooling is just skyrocketing because they don’t want this, put their kids through all of the stuff that’s going on in certain schools, depending on where you live and what your community is. Um, so our first families and our parents have just been flipped upside down in this year and are doing things that they never thought they would do and are doing them in a way that they never thought they would. Uh, and so it just causes an enormous amount of stress and everybody handles stress differently, you know, some hide it and internalize it and some externalize it and some take it out on their other family members or their kids or the you in your office, you know, uh, they freak out on you for something and it really wasn’t you, it was just that thing.
And so I like to think about it, like, uh, since I used to be a mechanical engineer, like an X Y graph, and you see, you see a slope going up like this, and, and there’s a line going across halfway through the graph. And that line is somebody’s breaking point. That’s where they just can’t handle anymore. And they just start losing it and doing irrational things. Well, normal life, normal society, somebody’s probably around 50 to 60 of the way up to the freaking outline. And so, you know, if you do something wrong in the office and you build them wrong by accident or their wait times extra long, or you double booked an appointment, and it was an inconvenience for them, it adds a little bit of stress in their life, but then it doesn’t push them over the bar. And now they’re freaking out well in today’s world, no fall 2020, they might be 90, 95% of the way up to that line.
And they’re only 5% away from just losing it. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one that screws something up, or if their kids screw something up, or if their husbands screw something up, one person does something wrong and they just lose it, I should say, or their wife, because the husbands can lose it too. Uh, and so be cognizant of that around, it’s not always their fault, like stuff’s going on a lot of stuff’s going on. So I would say if, if anything just have a lot of extra grace for people right now, uh, try to see it with a lens of, it’s not me, it’s them, it’s the scenario. There must be a lot going on. And it’s so important to communicate that with your team members, because if they’re the ones at the front desk, they’re taking all the heat and they’re taking the people’s reactions and comments and looks and tone, and especially newer team members, it’s so easy for them to get flustered and be like, Oh my gosh, that person just yelled at me or called and called me and yelled at me.
And it might have nothing to do with you. There’s a lot going on, you know, for the last 10 years we’ve been in practice. We always say, man, that person must be really subluxated. Cause you had those people that come in and they’re really mean, and they’re rude and they’re bossing people around and they start getting adjusted. And next thing you know, they’re like the nicest person ever, and you wouldn’t even know it’s the same person. And they were so subluxated that they couldn’t adapt to the stress in their life and handle the stress in their life. And they might have been at 90, 95% or maybe they were just way over the mall. And they ran 110% the whole time stress levels. And they were just freaking out on everybody because of all the stress on their nervous system. So that’s another stress factor that people that they often aren’t realizing. They can’t see it. They have stress on their body from subluxation and nerve interference that
Does it allow them to adapt. Maybe that they’re stuck
Sympathetic or parasympathetic for using HRV there’s ways. You can measure that and show them that. Um, but those stress levels are compounded on it too. So knowing that and teaching that to your team is so critical and so vital, and there’s nothing cooler than seeing somebody’s attitude and emotions change after they get adjusted. Uh, it just shows you firsthand the deep connection between the nervous system and the body. Uh, but that’s from a parent perspective, all the stuff that’s going on with a parent. And if you look at what’s being talked about in today’s society, so you go up to the average person and you say, how’s it going? They say, good. How’s it going? You typically, the person thinks of what’s the worst thing that happened today, or what’s the worst thing that I think is going to happen tomorrow. And that’s what I’m gonna talk about.
I’m gonna talk about the debate. I’m gonna talk about the weather. I’m going to talk about this horrible thing I saw on TV. I’m going to talk about this horrible thing. Somebody told me that that happened to them or somebody. They knew something horrible happened to them. Well, you’re not going to believe it. And I’m going to tell them something horrible that I heard that happened to somebody that they may know. So now they know that horrible thing happened. That’s what people do. They talk about dramatic things in life. For whatever reason, that’s usually the first thing that comes up. How’s it going? Well, you’re not going to believe it. Right? My kid got a double trouble hook in his face, which actually happened to me on Saturday. We got back and he was fishing and my six year old and hooked his space with a double trouble.
And I told people that story, because it was like a traumatic thing. It’s a, I’m guilty of it. You all are guilty of it. If you, it takes a tremendous amount of conscious ability trying to not be the negative, say negative things, uh, that it’s so important because that’s what people’s lives are consumed with right now. Everything on the news. Yeah. Everything that they hear from their friends and their family and everywhere that they go, every sign, everything yeah. Is negative, negative, negative, negative, adding stress in their life. So I want you to think about how is your practice and your office contributing to the stress and negativity in that person’s life. Are you contributing? You know, your gut instinct. If you were sitting in front of me and I could see you, and I asked you, that would probably be like, Oh, we’re not contributing to this stress.
But if you start to think about it, what’s in your waiting room. What’s the environment of your waiting room. How does it smell in there? Does this smell nice? Does this smell gross? Does this smell like a doctor’s office? Does it look like a doctor’s office? Is it way overcrowded? Does it look like, I mean, does that, what you can do about it? Some of you have plastic up in front of your front desk. Everybody’s wearing mask. That’s not an environment, an inviting atmosphere that doesn’t make it like, Oh, wow, it’s nice to come in here. You might not have a choice, but at the end of the day, that’s how it is. So you might have to counteract that with a significant amount of other stuff to make you feel as comfortable as you can. What’s on your TVs, what’s on your walls. Are you giving them magazines?
Is, are you just putting out random time magazines and all this stuff that has more negativity on it and increases their stress levels? Anything I would walk around your winning room and look at everything and think, pick it up and say, is this going to increase or decrease somebody’s stress levels. Is this going to improve or, or improve their experience in my office or make it worse? A random magazine about something with a bunch of negative stuff in it is probably going to make their experience worse. Get rid of it, toss it out. I would have no magazines then having magazines. We don’t have anything in we’re sharing testimonials. We’re sharing just fun facts about the themes that we’re doing. We just did a dr. Seuss theme in the office. Now we’re, uh, have all this fall decor, as you can see behind me hanging all over the place.
Um, we just keep it fun and it’s like fall into health. And so people are writing on leaves and we’re sticking them on the wall on positive changes they’ve seen in chiropractic. So people can see, I see that when they walk by and they’re reading positive changes that have happened to people, you have to be so intentional about purposely lifting them up. So the next thing I want you to think about is your interaction between your team and you, what are you saying to them verbally? That’s either adding stress to their life or taking stress away from their life. If you’re, if you’re asking them how they are, you know, 99.9% of people are gonna respond with something negative. Uh, you you’re giving power to something. When you speak it to the power of the tongue, there’s so much we could go into it in that.
So purposely don’t ask them questions where, you know, the answer’s probably going to be negative. Cause then you’re inherently giving them the ability to speak negativity, which is going to empower that into their body. And if you think about neurologically, as you’re adjusting them, you’re releasing nerve pressure. You’re giving life to their body. What if you were giving life to their body, but then we them to speak negative things at the same time or directly after that, are you, are you unintentionally affecting maybe total ability of their body to overcome and heal and adapt from that adjustment? Whereas if you adjusted them, removed the neurone appearance, their body’s awake their brains, the way it gets doing things, communicating in a way that it wasn’t 30 seconds ago. And now you’re speaking life into them and you’re giving them then the ability to speak life, giving positive words out is that reinforcing from a neurological level, those feelings and emotions.
And is that resetting their body and having a cascade effect and everything else in their life. I mean, that’s, I bet you’re not thinking that way. Cause it’s easy for us and myself just to get caught in the, Oh, it’s raining today. It’s gonna rain tomorrow. It’s probably going to snow pretty soon. Uh, I live in Michigan, so the weather changes every 24 hours, sometimes every eight hours. And so it’s easy just to always talk about the weather and it’s never like, Oh wow, it’s amazing now. And it’s always, Oh, it’s too hot or it’s too cold or it’s going to rain or whatever. There’s always a negative weather thing to talk about reinforcing negative feedback. They’re talking about it, you’re implanting it. And their nervous system, you got to get out of that. It takes so much tension as a doctor do it. And I want to talk about how that affects their kids do, but just thought of this is what are you doing to your, to your spouse and to your kids?
How are you speaking life into them? I’m sure your spouse, if you have on, is stressed out, uh, and your kids are going through a lot of stuff. So are you bringing joy in life and allowing them to experience that for me when you are you just dumping on them because they soak all that up. So from a kid’s perspective, a parent is going through job stress, financial stress, uh, stress with schooling and all, all of that. And the kid just Percy’s all that stuff. I mean, if you have kids, you know, they pick up more on what you do than what you say. They pick up more on how you say it than what you say. So they know if you’re frustrated, they know if you’re mad and they know if you’re just about to fly off the handle or you are flying off the handle and they just pick up that stress.
There’s been research. I read that it like Apogee, kinetically is affecting that child depending on their age. So if they’re young and they’re developing, they’re soaking all that up. Research has shown that can last them for a lifetime on how they react to situations. It’s embedding that into, into their neurological profile. I guess he might be able to say Aboriginal kinetic profile. It’s a little, uh, out of my range stuff, but, uh, it’s just so important and you gotta be conscious of that. So I say that to say, this is parents come into your office that are stressed out about this. You can make a positive impact on them. Adjusting them is a massive, positive impact speaking life into them as a massive positive impact, providing them literature. That’s positive is a massive impact. Providing an environment that is it positive providing they can’t see people smiling.
If you’re wearing a mask, they’ll see anybody smiling. I mean talk about how that affects the society. Nobody can see anybody’s smile. I mean, that’s massive. That’s a huge problem. So if they see somebody smiling that can totally lift up their day, it’s all these little things are compounding and creating this craziness that’s going on right now. You can be a huge change. If you just start focusing on the little things that impact their experience in and out of your office. What about your scheduling? Is your scheduling stressful? Is it hard for them to find a time to come in? Are you making a difficult cause they gotta call your office. Are you making it difficult? Any other way? That’s one of the great things about SCAD right now is we make it as easy as possible. They can check in when they pull in the parking lot.
Literally it automatically tells them to come into the office and where to go in the room. So it helps us keep our waiting room, not super packed and our experience great with that. They can reschedule appointments. It syncs with our EHR system automatically. So they don’t have to inconveniently call our office. They can just get on the app. They can see when their kid’s appointments are. They can access all their information. They can see their past appointments. They can schedule new appointments at all syncs. It makes their experience great and easy. It doesn’t add stress to their life, which is all around what we’re trying to do right now. So around kids back to the kids is the kids are soaking all that stress up from the parents. And then they also have all the stress of their own life, depending on if they’re, you know, a teenager and they’re dealing with all changes in their life.
If they’re a kid and they’re they’re, you know, their sports is different. Like they were in mass while they play football, like all the craziness that’s going on, the kid really has it from both spots. They have their own stress. Then they’re carrying all this stress from their parents. So I want you to think about it from a chiropractic subluxation model is by you providing less stress in your office and by you provided an extraordinary experience, making them feel better and have less stress. And you’re bringing that graph down instead of pushing them closer to the breaking point, you’re giving them a little bit more wiggle room. How does that affect their children? How does that affect their children’s response to stress? How does that affect their neurological stress? Now that the research says that they can carry that with them, for the rest of their life, as a child, by you helping the parent indirectly, you’re potentially changing that kid’s function and reaction and his ability to adapt the stress for the rest of his life, just by making the parents’ experience better.
And we haven’t even talked about parents that actually have problems like low back pain, neck pain, headaches, like pinched nerve issues and like severe pain. They’re just dealing with it migraines all day long is just bumping them closer to that threshold of a hundred percent. So if you can help them from a pain standpoint and allow them to be more present with their kids, I mean, you can see where I’m getting with this, the cascading effect indirectly to kids by taking care of their parents. This is why a lot of, a lot of you, you know, want to talk to me. They’re like, how do I get more kids in the office? You know, I’m taking care of the parents and they’re not bringing their kids well, you’re impacting their, those kids by taking care of the parents. So don’t forget how important that role is to keep that parent positive and healthy and functioning well, because that is making a massive impact on that child.
And you’re going to get the opportunity. The more you educate on pediatric chiropractic care, the more you share testimonials about the kids that have success in your office, the more that just kind of come in organically. And this is the same thing about, uh, you know, all of this craziness going on with coronavirus and people asking you, well, what’s your opinion on this? And what do you think about this? And you know, should I get vaccinated? Should I not get vaccinated? Some people are pros. Some people are against you really just got to figure out where is this person at right now? Are they in a place to receive information? Are they, do they want to receive information? Are they asking, are they saying this just to, uh, you know, vent and get something out there? Or are they seeing it with a tone of they’re interested in more information or they want you to talk to them about it.
Uh, and just navigating those from a tone and body language standpoint, knowing, you know, and maybe I’ll go this far. Maybe I can go that far. Maybe I can ask some more targeted questions and get information from them before I, you know, just go off on all this stuff. And maybe that’s not what they were looking for. They just wanted you to listen. All of that ties into stress stress. So that’s what I got for today. Action steps. Look through your waiting room, pick up all your stuff, look at the environment. How does it feel? How does it smell? How does it look? Get rid of stuff. That’s adding stress and decreasing people’s experience in your waiting room. Add things that are going to improve their experience. Add abilities for them to smile. Think of some ways for people to smile, think of some ways to make people laugh, think of ways people can think positive.
So focus on number two, speaking that into your practice members and patients that are coming in, speak life into them. Don’t ask them questions. You know, instead of saying, how are you? So they can say something negative. Say, tell me something great that happened today. You make that one little change of totally change your table talking all of your adjusting rooms. You’ll change how you feel when you leave at the end of the day. If you adjust a lot of people, you know, it’s an emotional drain. If every conversation is negative. So switching around now tell me something great that happened today. Tell me something great that happened this week. Tell me something great about your family this week. Speak positivity, get them to think and speak positivity. And that’s going to pour over into all the areas of your life, your staff’s life, their life, and their kids. And you can just make a massive impact. It makes chiropractic fun. Um, so go serve some people this week. Uh, it’s October already, which is insane. Uh, we’ll be coming back to you and Thanksgiving early November, first Thursday in November, uh, 1:00 PM Eastern we’ll be live. Hopefully we got some, I got some things in mind. I won’t tell you in case it doesn’t happen for the next show, but you’re going to want to tune into that show. So thanks again. Y’all hope you have a great October. We’ll see you in November.
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