Make Smart Healthcare Decisions: Banish the Little Elves with the TEM Frame

Make Smart Healthcare Decisions: Banish the Little Elves with the TEM Frame Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic

25 Apr Make Smart Healthcare Decisions: Banish the Little Elves with the TEM Frame

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Bob heard a ratcheting noise anytime he drove his car.

The noise began two months ago. At first, he ignored it as the car seemed to drive fine.

Recently, the noise transformed from ratcheting into banging, like little elves were inside his engine causing a ruckus.


Loud enough that he couldn’t ignore it any longer, Bob decided to ask his friend Dan, quite the handy man, to look at the car.

A very busy man, Dan told Bob to bring the car over to him and he’d look at it for 10 minutes.

Dan tweaked the car and said, “You should be good to go.”

Driving home, Bob noticed the car ran as quiet as a whisper.

“I’m so grateful to have a friend like Dan to fix problems like this,” thought Bob.

On the way to work to two weeks later, Bob was surprised to hear that the little elves were back. Louder than ever!

Their smiles were haunting.

He contacted Dan.

Dan said:

There’s some more I can do, but I’m really busy lately. I can look at it, but I need to charge you. My normal rates for my handyman work are $90/hour, but I’ll charge you $45/hour as a friend of mine.

Again, Bob brought his car to Dan and was charged $90 for two hours of work.

Dan did his magic, relieving the little elves of their banging duties for a few days before they returned again.

Now, the elves were getting cocky, dancing to-and-fro as the shenanigans continued.


Dan thought to himself:


I should probably bring my car to a real mechanic now.

Remembering there was a random mechanic near his house, Dan contacted Mr. Random Mechanic and brought his car in to get checked.

Mr. Random Mechanic found an issue with the engine, quoted Dan $375 for the work to which Dan agreed, and the “fixing” was on.

Well, all was fine and dandy until another three weeks later, when those F***ing little elves came back again.

This time, they didn’t bring screwdrivers, but 3-foot, 30-pound screwdrivers to make their noises.

Even the innocent, child-like female elves were causing havoc.


After Bob dropped a few F-bombs in the solitude of his vehicle, he calmed down.

He took a deep breath.

Thinking to himself:

5 weeks have gone by. [TIME]

I’ve wasted mental energy worrying and becoming frustrated over this problem that I could’ve spent on my work and my family. [ENERGY]

My bank account has $465 less in it. [MONEY]

Now, I still need to do something about those little elves and this vehicle so I can continue to get myself from Point A to Point B.

A quick google search of Mr. Random Mechanic down the road from Bob’s house revealed that this random mechanic had seemed to let down other drivers as well. He didn’t have many positive reviews, even having a few negative ones. You note that his branding and marketing says nothing about being:

  • the best mechanic around
  • delivering high quality service
  • finding the cause of your car’s problem and fixing that problem
  • honest and with integrity about your problem and the cost of fixing it.

Bob decides that now is the time to find Mr. High Quality Mechanic.

He posts on Facebook:

I’m looking for the best mechanic around. Someone who I can trust, who you’ve used personally, and who has never BS’ed you. Please give me any referrals.

One of Bob’s Facebook friends recommends a mechanic 15 miles away, a little further than you would’ve liked to drive. After a few hours, a bunch of your other friends mention the same mechanic.

Looking at Mr. High Quality Mechanic’s website, Bob notices many positive reviews and that his branding and marketing talks about those same things that Mr. Random Mechanic didn’t talk about.

Wanting to banish those little elves forever and save as much Time, Energy, and Money (TEM) as possible moving forward when it comes to his car, Bob brings his vehicle to Mr. High Quality Mechanic.

Mr. High Quality Mechanic charges Bob more than Mr. Random Mechanic, but he wants this problem fixed.

So Bob bites the bullet, and lo-and-behold, those little elves never come back.

Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if Bob had a way to think through saving all of that Time, Money, and Energy (TEM) before even talking to his friend, Dan?

What if there was a perspective for you to use when choosing a doctor that saved you from the frustration, exasperation, and annoyance that Bob experienced trying to fix his car?

Introducing The TEM Frame

A frame is a way of “framing” the world, helping you with a new perspective that empowers you to ultimately achieve that which you say you want to achieve.


I use frames to make powerful decisions, whether that’s the 3 frames I use to make a big life decision, or a smaller frame to figure out what to do on a daily basis.

The TEM Frame is what I use when it comes to:

  • fixing a problem in my house, car, or body
  • achieving a goal in my personal or business life


Most people, like Bob, when faced with a problem, choose the easiest solution to try to solve that problem.

Most people never ask themselves The TEM Frame Questions:

What’s the actual problem here?

How do I address this problem quickly and completely in one swipe?

What’s the probability of success with the solution I’m considering?

Is there any societal stigma with the type of people (mechanics, doctors, insurance companies, lawyers) that I should be concerned about?

The result of choosing the easiest or cheapest solution is often, failure.


It takes the intelligent person who is in the minority, to think through the problem and desire to address the problem ONCE because this person addresses the problem fully and completely.

Failure to solve a problem at the time that it occurs (instead of stretching it out longer than needed) may not bring actual, evil, pirate elves to thunder around in your car or life.


The clanking and irritation just happens in your brain instead.

How to Use the TEM Frame To Fix Your Pain, Now

Measure twice, cut once.

Contractors measure twice, cut once, but do your doctors?

At Barefoot Rehab, we don’t treat on the first visit. The purpose of the first visit is to go through a full history, perform an exam to confirm the diagnostic hypothesis, deliver a report of findings of the puzzle pieces contributing to someone’s pain, and let that person know if there’s any significant amount of adhesion that is contributing to their pain (the most common cause of chronic pain that is almost never diagnosed by doctors).


After each day is over, I go through all of our new patient diagnoses and double-check my work to be complete and make sure all of the data we collected makes sense.

Sometimes patients, like Aaron, don’t like our reasons for not treating on the first visit and that’s OK.

Not everyone wants a doctor who knows how to fix annoying and frustrating pains.

If you’re still reading this, then you obviously, do.

Because you want to save as much Time, Energy, and Money (TEM) as possible, then thinking through your pain will allow you to choose the best doctor to help you solve your pain problem.

Let’s go through the TEM Frame questions.

What’s the actual problem here?

Have you been working out through your pain?

Most intelligent people intuitively know that putting on kinesiotape or getting a cortisone shot and continuing to use an injured body part is like cutting the wire to the fire alarm while the fire rages on.


The actual problem could be that you just need to rest.

How do I address this problem quickly and completely in one swipe?

When a new patient calls us at Barefoot Rehab, we qualify them for our care by asking: “Have you seen 3-5 other doctors for this problem?”

If they say “no”, we refer them out. Only if they convince us that they’re motivated enough to address the problem now and completely do we let them schedule a new patient appointment.

You need to be motivated to fix this.

What’s the probability of success with the solution I’m considering?

We don’t help and fail patients all of the time.



Some people:

  • let their pain go too long that they now have permanent problems that can’t be fixed OR …
  • don’t rest to give their body a chance to heal OR …
  • have metabolic problems that significantly slow down recovery (i.e. thyroid disease or diabetes) OR …
  • are so stressed out and lack so much sleep that the body is constantly in fight-or-flight mode.

However …

We have 58 5-star reviews on Facebook (and 1 5-star and 1 3-star review from patients who never even stepped foot in our office).


And 35 5-star reviews on

The solution we offer at Barefoot Rehab involves:

  • a complete diagnosis that respects all of the puzzle pieces of your pain.
  • removal of adhesion, the most common contributor of pain that’s never talked about and is very easily removed by an expert (Barefoot Rehab is the only clinic certified in North Jersey to remove adhesion).

We have proof of our methods in actual video case studies.

Most of our new patients come from referrals from our previous patients, which means that our patients trust us with the ones they love.

We never take that trust for granted.


Is there any societal stigma with the type of people (mechanics, doctors, insurance companies, lawyers) that I should be concerned about?

I’ve heard dozens of times:

  • “I don’t want to see a chiropractor because they’ll tell me I need to get cracked forever.”
  • “I don’t want to see a medical doctor because they’ll give me oral steroids or a cortisone shot and I know that’s not doing anything for my problem.”
  • “I have health insurance and want to use it to pay for my healthcare.”

It’s unbelievably interesting to me that hardly anyone ever asks, when paying us money during a new patient visit, what type of doctor I am or to see my degrees.

FYI – I’m a licensed chiropractor, even though I don’t adjust.

Insurance-wise, we have not signed any contract with a health insurance company where they get to dictate our care.

After all, there is no diagnosis code for adhesion. How would I fix people if I don’t diagnose adhesion?

As an out-of-network healthcare provider, most of our patients pay cash.

They don’t mind paying cash when they finally get pain relief.

When you can get your mind wrapped around a healthcare practice’s logo, brand, and messaging around the societal stigma concerning healthcare, doctors, and health insurance companies, the path towards fixing your problem becomes illuminated as things make sense to you.

The choice you make as far as which doctor or pain clinic is paramount when it comes to getting your pain fixed.

6 Steps To Fix Your Problem (Not Just Your Pain)

Follow these steps to save as much time, energy, and money to fix your problem.

  1. Reflect on the TEM Frame Questions.
  2. Decide what goal you’re playing for (temporary relief or permanent relief).
  3. Research solutions aligned with your goal.
  4. Choose the solution that is aligned with your goal.
  5. Plan implementation of your chosen solution.
  6. Execute

1. Reflect on The TEM Frame Questions

  • What’s the actual problem here?
  • How do I address this problem quickly and completely in one swipe?
  • What’s the probability of success with the solution I’m considering?
  • Is there any societal stigma with the type of people (mechanics, doctors, insurance companies, lawyers) that I should be concerned about?

The purpose of reflection is to prepare your mind to make the best decision possible.

2. Decide what goal you’re playing for (temporary relief or permanent relief).

If you only want temporary relief, then by all means, pursue temporary relief.

You don’t need a diagnosis of your pain to get temporary relief.

You can get:

  • chiropractic adjustments
  • physical therapy
  • massage
  • acupuncture
  • a foam roller or lacrosse ball
  • Dr. Sarno’s Healing Back Pain book

Temporary relief is an easier decision because there are so many ways to get temporary relief.

If you want a permanent fix, continue the steps.

3. Research solutions aligned with your goal.

Furnace isn’t working? Find the best furnace guy you can find.

Car has little elves inside it? Find the best mechanic you can find.

Got pain? Find the best doctor you can find. After all, without a healthy body, how can you have a healthy life?

  • Post on FB, asking for recommendations.
  • Go to recommendation’s websites and read messaging as well as reviews. Do you have any intuitive feeling as to whether the recommendation feels right to you?
  • Speak to recommendation’s staff and continue to read intuition as to whether recommendation may help you or not.

4. Choose the solution that is aligned with your goal.

Once you’ve done your research, make a choice and be committed.

5. Plan implementation of your chosen solution.

This part is for when you can’t afford the solution yet.

I want to build another level on my house or buy farm-land here in NJ.

My plan includes:

  • increasing and saving income
  • noting any architects/contractors who are of high quality.

If you can’t afford your potential solution or pain doctor, then it’s time to put a plan together.

6. Execute

Schedule your apointment.

Show up.

Invest 100% into the path laid about by that provider.

If your pain is caused by a small problem, any random treatment could help it.

But once your pain starts being caused by bigger problems, you risk visits from the little elves in nightmares when you don’t do address the cause of your problem with the sweet-spot solution.

You can fix your car right the first time, or not.

You can fix your body right the first time, or not.

The choice is always yours.

speechbubblesDo you use another thought framework to help you make decisions? Tell us about it in the comments below. Some people smarter than me have said, “Great questions make a great life.”

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Dr. Chris Stepien, DC, Full-Body ID Certified, ART Certified, CSCS, and CrossFit Level 1 Certified, fixes your annoying and frustrating pains, even when it's been over 6 months and you've seen 3-5 other doctors or therapists without lasting relief Barefoot Rehab in Denville, NJ. And when you're sad, depressed, or not enjoying life, Dr. Chris wants to hug you. He invites you to reach out, no matter what your concern is. Barefoot Rehab is here to serve you.
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