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Pattern Interruption Archives Page 2 of 4


Talking Points

Safety pin

This is a springboard for discussing the classic "safety pin cycle" and the afferent/efferent process the body uses to monitor itself and adapt to its environment.

Picking your nose.
Rubbing your eyes.

These are two of the best ways to introduce cold and flu viruses into the body. Avoiding these, along with regularly washing one’s hands and an optimally functioning nervous system, are simple, but effective ways to combat "what’s going around."

Bowling ball

It’s about the same weight as the human head, supported by the cervical spine. This is a great way to increase each patient’s awareness of the stress caused by a forward-leaning head. In fact, it works even better if you get an old bowling ball and have the patient hold a 10-12 lb. ball out in front of them. See how long they can hold it before they start to fatigue and lower the ball. Draw comparisons to the massive amounts of energy used to stabilize a forward leaning head.


How did this temperature become associated with what’s "normal?" If your body is fighting an infection it would be "normal" to have a higher temperature! So called "normal" is really an "average." Big difference.


Have your X-ray viewbox at the ready to show the formations of bone spurs that are similar to stalagmites and stalactites in that they, 1.) grow together from top and bottom, 2.) consist of mineral deposits, and 3.) take time for form. This spinal decay process is not unlike the body’s attempt to mend a broken bone.


The similarities between plant seeds and germs provide a striking way to explain how to prevent viral- and bacteria-caused disease by not being a good host (soil) for the germs to take "root" in. Farmers must be very aware of the temperature, moisture and soil nutrients necessary for a good crop. The reverse holds true if you don’t want to be a human petri dish for this year’s flu strain or the uncommon cold.

Heat or ice?

Help patients know when to apply which by posing questions. "You catch your heal in a grating and sprain your ankle. Should you use heat or ice?" Think up some other scenarios and explain the analgesic effects of the proper use of ice. How temperature can slow things down or speed things up. Drinking water at room temperature rather than ice water, etc.

or smart?

Use this statement to explain adaptation, innate intelligence and the self-regulating capacity of the body. The absent-minded professor who leaves the house on a cold day without a jacket is both smart (brilliant mind) and intelligent (brilliant body adapts to the cold without a conscious command). School can make you smart, but your maker made you intelligent.

Slow down.
Speed up.

This is the purpose of many drugs. Depressants sleep aids, antacids, antihistamines and pain medication attempt to slow down the way the body works. Laxatives, caffeine, diet pills, low blood pressure medication and similar drugs attempt to speed up bodily processes. Ask patients if they can name a drug or medication for each process. Remind patients how crude these chemical means of regulating the body are and how important it is to have a properly working nervous system.




Adhesions. Surgery. Why scar tissue is never quite the same as original tissue.


Ask patients if they think these symptoms are an indication that someone is sick. "Sounds like a trick question." (If it is, tell me the trick.) It’s a powerful way to remind patients that true health is about how well their body is working. Explain how these common symptoms are signs that the body is functioning correctly. (Add "vomit" to the list for even more fun!)

1 Workout
1 Skipped Dessert

"How much weight would you permanently lose if you worked out once and skipped a dessert today?" Not much, right? Help patients understand that chiropractic care is a lifestyle and that permanent changes are unlikely with just a few visits. In fact, if patients are truly interested in weight loss or a toning program, a regular exercise program and better nutrition must become a way of life. Health is a process, not an event.


You might actually bring a bottle of champagne into the office for this one and give it away to the patient who best answers your question, "What does champagne have in common with the sound an adjustment makes, and why?" (If your adjusting technique doesn’t produce cavitation, this message may not be helpful. Instead, write the word: Tone.)

Teeth brushing.
Nail trimming.
Hair cutting.

"Once you start brushing your teeth, you have to brush your teeth for the rest of your life." Nonsense. You don’t have to do anything. There are many things we each do to maintain our bodies and be our best. Chiropractic care should be among them. Have you seen our poster that tackles this subject?


These are all the things a disc can do. But it can’t slip! Explain why.

Rotting Food

The digestibility of food is proportional to its ability to rot. Meats, processed foods and heavily preserved foods are often difficult for the body to breakdown and digest. Raw is best.


The estimated amount of money spent in the U.S. each month by drug manufacturers on the advertising and marketing of their wares. "This is why we depend upon our delighted patients telling their friends about our office…"

Bone doctor?
Spine doctor?
Nerve doctor?
Back doctor?

"Which one comes closest to describing my relationship with you?" Listen carefully and discover their true perception of the nature of chiropractic! If they mention anything other than nerve doctor, you still have work to do.

Living tissue
Dead tissue

"What changes the moment someone dies?" Lots of things, of course, but explore the distinctions surrounding the healing process. Dead tissue doesn't heal. Or adapt. Or grow...

Tooth decay.

One of my favorites. Besides putting subluxation in the context of health problems considered serious, these are common conditions which can be doing serious damage before they become symptomatic and obvious to the person. Thus, how you feel is a poor measure of your true health.

Car keys.

A key to the ignition activates the engineering built into the automobile. An adjustment activates the inborn ability of the patient to heal. Chiropractors are merely facilitators.


Explain how long standing muscle damage from abnormally functioning spinal vertebrae is like the gristle in a cheap cut of meat. "Retraining supporting muscles of your spine takes time."

Sick-Not Sick-Well

Most patients think if they are symptom-free that they are healthy. This helps change their perception by suggesting that there is something beyond merely feeling good. A great springboard for discussing other aspect of "wellness." Check out our wall poster!

Upside down
and inside out.

Simply a spin on the "above-down, inside-out" concept. "You’ve probably known that chiropractic is different. Here’s why…" Use this one to remind patients that they do the healing, not a bandage, not a drug and it happens from the inside out, directed by their nervous system.

Soda pop.

A great springboard to discussing the role of calcium, calcium supplements, the damage done by the phosphorous in soda and the importance of magnesium in proper calcium absorption.


A classic chiropractic metaphor. It’s a way to discuss the difference between obvious symptoms (the part above the surface) and the hidden cause (the submerged portion that the Titanic struck). Check out our iceberg poster!

Premature Orthodontia Removal

"What would happen if the orthodontist removed the braces too soon?" "What would happen if you discontinued your chiropractic care too soon?" Hmmm.

How you function. How you feel.

"Which one best indicates your level of health?" "Can you think of a situation in which you feel lousy, but are in excellent health?" (Fever. Vomiting.)


You might need to explain the lymphatic system. These three systems are in contact with every cell and tissue of the body. Influencing these "circulatory" systems can affect the tissues they are in contact with. That’s why drug therapy can produce profound changes, even though temporary. And why chiropractic care, with its focus on the nervous system, can produce profound changes as well.

Football coach.

"A chiropractor is most like which one of these professions and why?" Which one do you see your intent and patient care objectives resembling?



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