January 17, 2017
January 13, 2017
January 11, 2017
I think in terms of systems, but this fits just fine. And he writes so well it is fun just reading his words.
Here’s the obvious way: Watch people waiting to go through the line. Find the spot where the line slows down, where there’s a gap between one person and the next. That’s the spot that needs attention. Add a few spoons, pre-portion the item, remove a step.
Here’s another way: Schedule how people enter the line. By managing the flow, you’ll relax the participants and eliminate rush times.
Here’s a better way: Pull the table away from the wall so people can walk on either side, thus giving your throughput a chance to practically double.
If you work on an assembly line, it’s likely that someone has already thought about this.
But many of us are soloists, or do dozens of tasks a day. It’s not as easy to notice where the bottlenecks are, so we have to look for them.
Have you considered the high cost of task switching? It probably takes you a little while to stop doing one thing and start doing another with efficiency. What happens when you switch less often?
Also: Consider the sprint test. If there’s a task that comes up often, challenge yourself and your team to, just this once, organize and prepare to set a world record at actually completing this task. Get all the materials and processes set in advance. Now, with focus, seek out your most efficient flow.
Obviously, you can’t do this every single time, but what did you learn? Steal the best parts and add them to your daily practice.
Is there someone who is more productive at a given task than you are? Watch and model. Even the way you hold the scoop, reach across the table or move the mouse is sufficient to change everything.
One last thought: Inspections are essential to maintain quality, but re-inspection is duplicative and slows things down. Where is the best place to be sure you’ve done the work properly? Do it there and then, and not again, and not five times. Organizing to build quality into the process, with steps that check themselves, is far more productive than constant task switching and over-inspection.
January 10, 2017
January 8, 2017
The Val-U-Pak coupons came in the mail last week; I just throw them in Helen’s IN basket. Today I saw that she had pulled one out and put where I could find it: “5 Tips for choosing the right Chiropractor” – I had to read it.
And now I am compelled to share my thoughts on it with you – no, I am not going to address the marketing dynamics, or the low ball offer, and all that that implies. But let’s just look at the tips and go from there.
Tip #1: Get a thorough consultation – Make sure your doctor truly listens to your problems and concerns. Now who going to argue with that: not me. (Falls under ‘goes without saying’ though I know it may not be what many patients have encountered in the offices that they have visited, chiropractic or otherwise.)
Tip #2: Detailed Computerized Examination – The doctor should provide you with access to the latest technology. Gosh that sounds good on the face of it, doesn’t it? All I can say it think this one through, all the way through. The trouble for patients is that they are way over their head when it comes to this and are ripe for picking for those who with less than stellar ethics.
Tip #3: On-Site X-Ray Facility – see your problems for the most effective care. This presupposes quite a bit. Nowadays it is pretty well recognized that most of the time the problems that we chiropractic doctors are addressing directly are safely and effectively addressed without having to expose the patient to either the radiation risks, or the expense of x-rays. Sometimes we do, then, having an on-site x-ray facility makes sense. The most “effective” care is the care the gets the results both the patient and doctor want in the least amount of time, for the least amount of money, and in the safest way possible. I would put ‘see’, ‘problems’ and ‘most effective’ in quotes and go from there:-)
Tip #4: Report of Clinical Findings – Prior to receiving care, you should know what’s wrong, if they can help, how long the process will take, and how much it will cost. Great ideal, but this promises more that any of us can deliver. First, you should know if the chiropractor believes that you have the problem/condition that chiropractors’ attempt to prevent, correct, or manage and if they think that it is safe to address it in the way that they specifically work. And those, by the way, are the two questions that the doctor is trying to answer in the consult and exam: do they have the problem we fix; and would it be safe to fix it the way we fix things around here? That is the “if they can help” part. But don’t be fooled – it isn’t if they can help. It’s if they think that they can help. We don’t really know if we can help for sure until we try. Which leads to how long the process will take: no one knows! In our office we make the following “promise”: that the patient will feel different in two weeks and better in four weeks. We offer that knowing full well that the vast majority will feel different and better before they get to the door to leave on their first visit. BUT, there is no guarantee! I tell them that’s the promise, and that that way if results come quickly chiropractic is a hero, if not, we are still on schedule weeks into it – it’s a reality check. Patients bring us spinal conditions that have been developing, often pain-free, for years (sometimes decades). They have developed degenerative changes, habits, lifestyles, and other conditions that affect recovery. But we live in a society that expects instant results, so… it’s an attempt to interject the truth about their conditions seriousness and the potential limitations to recovery.
Tip #5: Education – it is critical to be instructed on how to get better faster, stay better longer, and achieve maximum results for less money. Yep. And I dedicated a whole Category of our office Blog to “Be Careful Who You Listen To”. In our office we offer the following basic education to all patients, not all want all of it, some don’t want any; some want some of it, but it is always offered: (a) The problem(subluxation): how it was created, what makes it worse, and what makes it better; (b) Our solution (the adjustment via the Activator Method) to restoring function to the joints; this includes the use of basic back first aid tricks, such as the proper use of ice; (c) how their lifestyle might be the cause of or a contributing factor, and what they might be able to do about it; (d) how to correctly move and use their back, knees, and shoulders (as a minimum) because often their history is that they do not know – and/or it is revealed in our examination – and moving poorly prevents recovery and promotes relapse; (e) exercises that the patient can do at home to promote joint motion in the joints that we had to adjust, so they can go longer between visits. From there, and not before covering that ground, we will go into strengthening, flexibility, balance or coordination exercises addressing whatever is revealed as the weak areas, or according what will help the patient hold their adjustments longer.
So, for $38, you can have a posture analysis (computerized no doubt), consultation, examination and two X-rays, and save $172 – and you can get $10 off a one hour massage to boot! And… well, stop by the office if you want this coupon (it’s first come – first served).
I hope that my comments were helpful to you and that you choose a chiropractor that delivers on all their promises and gives you all the results that you seek. Happy New Year!
January 5, 2017
A patient was in yesterday that has not been in for over eight years, which is typical for her. She complained of moderately severe low back pain, again typical for her, that came on a few weeks ago (after lifting some packing bins… which is typical). She said that episodes of low back pain had come and gone over the recent years (typical in these kinds of cases), but now she was taking four Advil and one muscle relaxer every eight hours, and not sleeping more than a couple hours at a time. Her right leg was also beginning to feel numb to the touch.
She had gone to the medical doctor, who recommended drugs – they added one to the nine she already takes daily, recommended heat, and to “Follow up in two weeks if not improved.” Again typical, typical, and… typical.
Paperwork-wise she had to be treated like a new patient, but actually she has been a patient here for over thirty years. So after she was examined, she was adjusted, and I recommended she stop the heat that others had suggested, and try ice the way I recommend it. She left still limping and bent over.
The phone message that she left this morning said that she was “so much better”, had slept 8 hours straight, and overall she thought it was “amazing”. She just wanted to let us know. And she said she would see us for her next scheduled appointment.
January 2, 2017
What follows I lifted from a report on a research paper involving our style of tai chi (the first section of the Hand Form was taught). After laughing uncontrollably, I thought I would share it because, the very same thing could be said for why some people do not continue for long in tai chi classes… just saying.
“Participants generally enjoyed Tai-chi for the benefit it brought to their physical and mental health. Others found it to be a pleasurable activity although a few did not enjoy the level of persistence required by the slow yet energy-demanding Tai-chi movements. Other difficulties arose from the complexity of movements.”
Our class is Monday nights at 7 p.m. at the Everett Peak Health and Fitness club on the corner of Hewitt and Rucker. Fees are $5 pre-paid (5 or 10 classes) or $10 per class, otherwise.
December 30, 2016
December 27, 2016
Some of these questions came up only once; others come up now and then, but I thought it would be nice to cover them for those who wonder.
- Yes, we do take new patients. A patient asked this question a while back, saying that she thought we were so busy and had been here for so long (30 years) that we probably couldn’t take new patients any more. We do.
- No, I will not teach you how to use the Activator Instrument if you find one to buy on eBay. A patient did actually ask.
- Yes, we are open on Fridays. Our hours changed many years ago – there was a time when we were closed on Fridays. Now our hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Sometimes, though rarely, I come in on a Saturday; if that is the only thing that will work for you just call and let us know, we will work something out.
- Our fee, when you pay us at the time of service, cash, is $43. That’s right, only $43. We don’t money to be the reason you don’t get the care you need. We ‘fiddle’ with that for kids – usually, if we charge at all for kids, it’s $20. (We certainly don’t want money to be the reason you don’t get the kids the care that they need!!)
- Yes, we sell Biofreeze. And the folks who regularly buy it here, as well as the random stranger who buys it, say that our prices are great. I wouldn’t know; I don’t know what everyone else charges.
- Yes, we sell Kangen water machines. This Blog has about a dozen Posts on the subject of water and we routinely recommend it and the machine that makes it. There is no healthier water – though sometimes it is actually too healthy (Like everything else, powerfully healthy choices are best made by reasonably healthy people. People who are very sick can not just blindly change to what would otherwise be a very healthy habit. Seek professional advice!) P.S. – we strive to make what we offer the very best in it’s class. So whether it is Activator Method chiropractic care, tai chi (exercise), JuicePlus+ (supplements) or Kangen water, as far as I know, there is no better (healthier, more effective) choice: and usually whatever is in second place is way back there! When we say that we take your health seriously, we are not kidding.
There are going to be other questions – I will add them as I think of them:-)
Happy New Year!
December 26, 2016
December 13, 2016
The R2L Reduces your exposure to damaging electromagnetic frequencies. We have them at the office if you would like to decrease your risk. ($29 plus tax = $31.69).
“The R2L is the smart choice for reducing your family’s exposure to cell phone radiation…
…because it’s the only product PROVEN to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation up to 70%; that shows you that it’s working. Today, we use our cell phones and smart phones a lot more often than when the safety standards were written 30 years ago, and we’re exposing ourselves to far more radiation than anyone could ever have imagined.”
The fine print that comes with your cell phone: http://ehtrust.org/key-issues/cell-phoneswireless/fine-print-warnings/
You can also clink on these links to learn more:
Where to put the R2L on your cell phone
Article that ran on front page of Wall Street Journal
Cell Phone Radiation Safety with Anderson Cooper 360 and Dr. Sanja Gupta. Published on Nov 21, 2013
How Your Cell Phone Might Be Killing You | Keen On…Dr. Devra Davis. Published April 2012 11:47 minutes
December 12, 2016
“… to improve your chances of surviving a disaster.”
The Where, What, When, Who, and How
Saturday (12/10/16) the Harbourview-Seahurst-Glenwood Neighborhood conducted an Earthquake Disaster Drill.
It went almost unnoticed because almost no one was interested: that’s the way it is with preventive measures. The professionals show up because they get paid to; almost no one else is interested.
But it was a success. The Auxiliary Communication System (ACS) was activated, as was the Citizen’s Emergency Response Team (CERT), and the Neighborhood Block Watch and Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) folks were involved to some extent. The whole event was administered by the City of Everett Everett, Office of Emergency Management (at the local Fire Station).
The event was almost cancelled do to bad weather, but doing the drill in less-than-perfect weather conditions reminded thoughtful observers and participants how inconvenient an earthquake might have been instead. Something to think about.
Anyway, I mention all of this because I want to share two things: First, some links to local resource authorities in case there is interest. And secondly, there is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) brochure entitled Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now, which has a checklist that is a simple, straightforward and easy starting spot for folks. They recommend that you (1) Get a kit, (2) Make a plan, (3) Be informed, and (4) Get involved.
Brochures entitled Preparedness Shopping List, Important Documents, and something about Pets were also made available. I ended up with them, and they are now here at the office in case you would like to pick one or more of them up on your visit.
I understand that life is busy, and prevention as a priority is a challenge – I deal with it every day in patients who suffer from pain and injury. It is a choice for most of us though. In the case of an earthquake it may be a matter of survival; in the case of preventing back pain it is mostly about suffering – somewhere not quite at the ‘survival’ level, but sometimes near it. Safety, security and survival – they are just spots along a continuum.
Here are some links:
Everett Office of Emergency Management (https://everettwa.gov/241/Office-of-Emergency-Management)
SCDEM (I don’t know what that means – too many acronyms) (http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/180/Emergency-Management)
And here is the Basic Emergency Supplies Kit:
Water – one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation
Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food (they are now suggesting closer to three weeks, after Catrina)
Battery -powered radio and extra batteries
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Filter Mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
Moist towelettes for sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula or diapers, and important family documents