Homecoming session: Educating the public about chiropractic for children
Jason Yusavage, D.C., DICCP, used humor,
common sense and an engaging game for kids to illustrate how to educate
the public—children and their parents—about chiropractic for children
during his presentation on Friday afternoon. “Every day you have people
come to you to hear your story,” he said. “You have to be engaged. You
have to tell your story with passion. With the current economy, the
better prepared you are and the more you stress what you believe, the
more your practice will grow.”
He offered the following tips for attracting more children to your practice:
- Keep your office kid-friendly. I don’t have a huge jungle gym in my
office, but I do have pictures of kids and pictures of me adjusting kids
hanging on the walls.
- When patients are face-down on the table you have their undivided
attention. Talk to your patients about recent cases from your practice.
“We had an interesting case this week of a child with scoliosis, back
pain, an ear infection, colic, etc.”
- Remember that children can’t bring themselves to your office. You
need to earn the trust of the parents. Patients are a little hesitant to
come to the chiropractor themselves, so imagine how they feel about
bringing their kids.
- Make sure you educate your patients every chance you get. An example
of this is letting parents know that “chiropractors don’t treat ear
infections; we take care of subluxations that may help with ear
infections. By adjusting the spine, we do several things that may help
ear infections, such as help with lymphatic drainage and allow the
eustachian tube to drain properly.” It’s helpful to use analogies, such
as comparing an ear infection to a blocked sink.
- Kids come to the chiropractor most often for the following reasons:
ear infections, check-ups, scoliosis, neck or back pain, and sports
injuries. Scoliosis is the most popular reason to get children checked
by a chiropractor. Contact the school nurses at your local schools and
volunteer to do scoliosis screenings.
- Get yourself in the schools. Write a letter to the principal and
make a follow-up call. Offer to talk to science and health classes, do
screenings and speak at an assembly or lay lecture.
- Go to the schools and talk to the coaches. Offer to look at kids with injuries.
- If you don’t already do it, start using kinesiotape. It works great
to stabilize joints and help adjustments hold and it’s a wonderful
- Have a “topic of the week” display in your office with brochures,
newsletters and other materials to explain it. Be sure it’s something
you’re familiar with and can explain to your patients!
- on’t put it off—start as soon as you can. It’s our responsibility to
educate the public about chiropractic for children. Be proud to be a
Dr. Yusavage demonstrated the
“subluxation game,” which he said is perfect for children around six
years old but can be modified for older children. Materials needed for
the game include a skeleton, spine, bag of bones, chalkboard or overhead
projector, brain hat, rope or extension cord, large plastic ring or
rubber band, representations of organs and muscles and give-aways. The
game is a fun way to explain subluxations and how they can decrease
performance, as well as how chiropractic adjustments remove subluxations
and increase performance and well being.