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One-liners: focus, progress, value

Exit forum ID Forum Discussion One-liners: focus, progress, value

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by   Brandon Cohen DC, CSCS November 5, 2018 at 9:25 pm.

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    Adam Holen D.C.

      Visit to visit is where I feel most shortcomings for keeping patients focused, transitioning from symptom to function-focused, and reiterating progress/value and keeping the excitement.   What I’m curious about are some additional potential ‘one-liners’ to use in specific situations.  I struggle with the monotony of repeating the same few things (maybe I just need to get past that).  So if you have any additional ways to essentially say the same stuff, differently or more effectively, that’s the purpose of this post.  The easiest way to break this down is probably just to go by each step of the visit.

      2 Min to Test: the Educational piece

      “You feel good/better because your adhesion is reducing.”  “You can see how important it is to fix your adhesion.”  “Your body part can’t handle that load/activity.” (Flare up)

      Testing: Explanation/Importance

      “You held all of the progress from the last visit!”  “Your ROM is worse bc you’re flared up.”  “Your X test is now full so we are graduating to test Y. Solid progress.”

      Retest/Measure: Explanation/Importance

      “That’s a big change! We broke down a lot of adhesion.”  “Your range didn’t change due to (degeneration/tons of adhesion), but we still broke down a lot today which will help continue to decompress (tissue).”

      1 Min to Recap/Close: Tying it together

      “Your (test) was X and is now Y”  “Your adhesion is reducing” (Sx: intensity, location, quality change)  “Treatment is working”

      Visit 3 to 70%: Keeping Value – within 2 min to test

      Past/present/future to remind them how bad they were, how much progress has been made, and our goals (discharge/maintenance)  “Remember when we started and you were at (x)? Couldn’t do (Y)?”  “We’re making great progress. We’ll be done when (full, pain-free, easy)”


      William Brady, DC

        Those are all great. I love how you are farming the online ID material and thinking through your execution. You even identified the fundamental problem- you get bored with repeating the message. That’s like a hedge fund manager getting bored with making money. That is your job! Keep your communication simple and consistent. “Treatment is working.” “Adhesion is reducing. That’s why you are making such great progress.”

        Mentally, as the provider, you can get bored with the “this again” mentality. Everyone goes through this at times. I have coached lots of folks through this little valley of boredom. Once you have acquired great skill, the repeated application of that skill provides less enjoyment. Basic fact. What doesn’t get old? Fulfilling your purpose. Focus your energy on the fact that your communication will make this person healthier. That is exciting.

        Geniuses don’t look for variation when repetition works better. Repeat yourself all day! Enjoy the change in your patients attitude, understanding and health as a direct result.

        As you have probably heard me say many times “Bon Jovi doesn’t like playing ‘Living on a Prayer’ but they play it because the audience loves it and that, in turn, if exciting for the band.”


        Matthew Ellerbrock

          This is where the assistant kinda is awkward. It feels like your wife hearing you tell the same fishing story over for the twentieth time.

          “Treatment is working” .Simple and good as gold.

          And of course if Bruce doesn’t hit “Born to Run” I want my money back.


          Christopher Stepien

            I agree with Bill. It can get bored.

            I feel I’ve graduated to really enjoying the “reality matching” of where a patient’s head is at AND the progress that is possible. As long as I’m “driving the car” with proper expectations, I’ve learned to focus on “The possibility of a certain percentage of relief”. If at any point observing their body language, I see they’re not 100% digesting what I’m saying, I acknowledge it ON THE SPOT.

            This way, we use our own self-awareness to determine how effective our communication is.

            The only thing I’ll add in the context of flare-ups to “2 Min to Test”…

            2 Min to Test: the Educational piece

            “You feel good/better because your adhesion is reducing.” “You can see how important it is to fix your adhesion.” “Your body part can’t handle that load/activity.” (Flare up)

            For flare-ups, I’ve found Bill’s old concept of Load and Capacity (the water in the bucket) as really helpful to communicate how important their mindfulness to load is.

            I know this is working because a large percentage of people I share this with will tell me at a later re-occurence, “I overfilled my bucket” in those exact words. Then, I smirk and I acknowledge them for the awareness, “Now, you know how to pay attention to the signs your body is giving you and you can use this for the rest of your life.”


            Brandon Cohen DC, CSCS

              Great stuff here. I have a couple of things to add. Repetition is hard, especially if you don’t believe it or own it. As providers, WE have to understand that their progress is important. If you don’t know that fixing UCF to the best of your abilities is important for their neck pain, it won’t come across as sincere.

              In a past practice life I would explain gritty details about what was going on with people, and how that affects their pain. I’m sure I sounded super smart, but it was not helpful. The simple elegance in the phrases you outlined is amazing. Those lines we need to say until we own it.

              That being said, some of my go-to phrases I say all the time are.

              “I’m glad you feel better, you physically look better. Treatment is working.”

              “We broke down a lot of adhesion today, that’s good progress.” (this usually is if we don’t get a huge change in range, but I feel a lot of tension)

              “Your neck is going to be a lot happier after what we did today.”

              I tend to spend more time when people go through a flare-up, especially if its their own doing.

              A couple of things I have to remember.

              1. Patients only know what I tell them.

              2. Patients don’t remember all of your explanations.

              3. Patients are more interested in knowing that you know than knowing what you know.

              4. Don’t let patients connect the dots.

              5. 60% function is amazing function for some people.

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