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"Why" & "Why Not" to refer to Dr. Michael Berenstein

It is always a good time to thank you, my patients, for your trust in me to diagnose and treat your new, old, and ongoing physical complaints. Your referrals of friends, family and colleagues are sincerely appreciated. Thank you!

Interestingly though, for every new patient that is referred to me, I also have conversations with existing patients about potential referrals that don’t materialize for one reason or another. With this in mind, a bulleted list (I like lists) of the why and why not to refer someone to me:

Here are some of the reasons I hear for “why not”:

  • The potential patient does not “believe” in ‘chiropractics’. First of all, ‘chiropractics’ is not a word. Chiropractic is a profession. And, I assure you, I am not running a cult in my office, so there is nothing to ‘believe’ in. I am an evidence-informed chiropractor, which means treatment options take into consideration three factors:
    • Evidence (actual scientific evidence that the treatment works)
    • My Experience (sometimes the science hasn’t proved yet what we already know works)
    • Patient Values (this is a really important one: When a patient knows a certain treatment works, even if there is scant evidence for it, your voice matters and the treatment is included. And, vice versa: If there is a type of treatment you do not want, then it will be excluded)
  • The potential patient is nervous about, or does not want, spinal manipulation. See the last bullet point: Chiropractic is not a synonym for spinal manipulation. Spinal manipulation is a scientifically proven, safe and effective treatment method for some spine conditions (not all) and some patients (not all). But, regardless, your values matter. This should not be a deal breaker. Most of my patients enjoy and get value from the soft tissue techniques, cold laser therapy, and exercise advice I provide; spinal manipulation never enters the conversation.
  • The potential patient is unsure if a chiropractor is the correct professional for their problem. This is a great concern for many potential physical therapy patients. Should they see an osteopathic manual practitioner, physiotherapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, or a warlock?! The truth is, any physical therapist is a good entry point to addressing your physical health problems, chiropractors included. Chiropractors are doctors of chiropractic (DC) and are considered a primary care physician, licensed to diagnose, triage, and treat your physical complaints.

And here are the reasons for “why you should choose Dr. Michael Berenstein”:

  • Why Not?! Everyone is suffering with nagging injuries or pain and doing very little (often nothing) about it. So, why me? Because someone in the physical health industry is likely better than no one at all.
  • Because when a new patient visits me, they are not necessarily choosing chiropractic instead of the other valuable physical therapists. My job is to diagnose and prepare a treatment plan that makes the most sense for that patient. Often, I recommend a combination of services so that the patient gets the correct care in an effective and efficient manner. Simply put, I become the point-person to manage their physical complaint. Perhaps any of the following statements will sound like something I’ve said to you during a visit:
    • You should add massage therapy to your treatment plan to help relax your tight muscles.
    • Consider adding our Naturopath to your health team to assist you with your sleep quality, quantity, weight-loss efforts, dietary changes.
    • I recommend you see a Psychologist to help you with your mental health struggles.
    • Acupuncture might be an excellent adjunct to my treatment approach.
    • You are not responding to my care as much as I envisioned, so I’d like you to see my osteopathic manual practitioner colleague.
    • I’ve taken you as far as I can with your corrective exercises. Now, you need a personal trainer to help you with your exercise routine. Here’s a name of a fellow FRA, FRC certified trainer. His name is Tom and he’s a nice guy and great trainer.
  • Because I will deliver an objective and evidence-informed examination, diagnosis and treatment plan. The combination of my chiropractic training with my Functional Range Assessment (FRA) certification gives me the ability to examine your body through an objective lens (as objective as it can be) to then triage your situation as comprehensively and efficiently as possible. I examine and treat all of my patients as though they were my own family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Because I will help you navigate the complicated healthy industry. Do you need an x-ray, MRI, diagnostic ultrasound? Is this a medical problem, rather than a physical complaint? My current practitioner keeps treating me but I’m not getting better. The advice from my other therapist seems too generic (“just stretch”, “rest”).

And, if you or they are still not sure where to go, who to see, or what to do, just ask. Call me.  Send me an email.  Or ask me to call you or them!  Because, in the end, we all want the same thing: Help each other live happy and healthy.


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