- Why do many chiropractors have “first visit specials?”
The short answer is that it is a marketing tool. Most health/medical offices have to do very little marketing because insurance companies send a steady stream of patients to them to the point where most have to be close to new people. Specialists, including physical therapists, get regular referrals from primary care providers and have always worked together.
Chiropractic does not have that funnel. We have become more mainstream, but because there are various techniques and practice philosophies, the public often needs help figuring out where to go and what is best for them. Chiropractors, especially new and not established, use discounts or specials to attract customers/patients in the door. The hope is that once they get a chance to build a relationship with the patient and educate them, the patient will stay and hopefully refer others!
We have spent the last 20 years building our brand, educating the public about what we do, and especially communicating with area medical doctors in hopes of working as a team. We do not look at our first visit as a time to sell our office/chiropractic to a patient but as a chance to thoroughly educate the patient and then present each person with a choice on the next steps. Our first visit is to go over a complete health history and examination. We spend the most time on this visit, so it has the most value. Our billing/charges are consistent with going to any other medical provider.
- What techniques do you use for adjusting patients?
We pride ourselves on having a variety of techniques so we can adapt to the needs and preferences of each patient. We are considered a manual/physical adjusting office, but we have gentle techniques and even use an instrument when requested.
- What is your philosophy on manual adjusting vs. instrument adjusting?
Our philosophy is manual chiropractic adjustments are much more effective, and most literature proves it, and insurance companies recognize it for payment. The body mechanically needs the stretching and challenge that manual adjusting provides. Instrument adjusting works but is much gentler and slower results. We use it regularly for soft tissue purposes and some extremity adjusting. It is also often used on infants and young children with severe arthritis, high pain levels, and post-surgical.
- Do you have packages for families or people wanting to come in regularly?
Not really. Most insurance companies have decent chiropractic coverage, and overall, per visit is affordable. We have a third-party program called ChirohealthUSA that is a membership program and thus has a set fee schedule which is a discount off cash prices. Because we believe children should get adjusted from birth, the adjustment price is much less for them!
- How do you develop care plans for each patient?
Each care plan is unique to each patient. Pain is a significant factor in determining this, but as a chiropractor, an adjustment does directly affect pain, only function. If we get your body moving and healing, the pain (the alarm) will shut off. Those injured in an accident, those with significant arthritis, or those with shooting/radiating symptoms in arms or legs often require intense care plans that can span 20-30 visits over a few months. For pain-free patients who feel great, we recommend a few initial adjustments to get your body used to adjustments, and then you can transition to preventative and wellness care.
- How often does the doctor and his family get adjusted?
Dr. Hartman gets adjusted every 2-4 weeks for wellness/preventative but will get adjusted daily when symptoms flare up, and function is reduced. He is an avid scratch golfer, so flexibility is of the utmost importance. He adjusts his three boys every 1-2 weeks as they are very active and growing. His middle son, JJ, plays football, lacrosse, and wrestling, all remarkably physical sports. It is common for JJ to get adjusted after every practice and game. For most, this is not a practice option, but it is a blessing to have as a first-line health care option. Between getting adjusted regularly, a solid diet, daily supplements, regular exercise and sleep, the Hartman's are rarely sick and almost never miss work or school. In fact, Dr. Hartman has only missed 3 days of work in 20 years due to illness!