resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
February, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 02
Attention to Learning
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
The last couple of weeks, I have succumbed to the pleasures of revisiting some long fallow kinesthetic roots. When I was a graduate student in physics, I started taking massage and dance classes to enforce some sense of balance in my life. Surprisingly, many of the movements required to massage effectively seemed intuitive to me. Years later, when I began teaching massage, I realized the reason. There had been a period when, for much the same reasons of balancing life, I had baked the majority of the bread I consumed.
I learned to move with my whole body to knead the bread, rather than relying only on the easily fatigued intrinsic muscles of my hands and forearms. I developed a relaxed and steady tempo that allowed me to maul the dough into its required elasticity without tiring. I also developed my sense of touch, to feel the subtle changes in texture that occurred as the dough neared the point at which it was ready for its first rising.
Thinking back, as I recently made bread once again, I acknowledged that my first massage "instructor" used no words, but nonetheless gave me much feedback. From a behaviorist viewpoint, my attention and efforts were rewarded and reinforced by the bread I ate and shared with friends. When I began to learn massage, these neuromuscular patterns were already in place to transfer to a new and equally rewarding application.
What this story exemplifies for me is the diversity of kinesthetic and interpersonal skills that we bring to our first formal massage class. Both skills of interpersonal awareness and communication and those that require learning movement patterns can be transferred to new applications. Our minds and bodies don't care that we originally learned such skills for another purpose. Often, we learned them early and use them without being conscious of that use or of when we practiced and perfected them. In thinking of such skills as innate or intuitive, we fail to acknowledge those who modeled and reinforced them, in some instances before we had words capable of expressing our gratitude. We also fail to remember the amount of attention, awareness, and practice that was required of us. Returning our awareness to these early lessons allows us a model for what we already do well, and for extending our learning in new directions and to new depths.
Stages of Competence
Robert Jolles is a trainer of trainers for Xerox. In his book How to Run Seminars and Workshops, he presents a model for the stages of learning a new skill. The four stages are unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence. Following this model, in the beginning we are unaware that we don't have a skill in place, and may also be unaware of our need for the skill. As we progress, we become aware that we need a skill and that we haven't mastered it. We then turn our focus and attention to learning and practicing the skill. Sometimes someone breaks it down into small increments for us; sometimes we practice the whole of what we see demonstrated as best we can. As we practice, we begin to learn new perceptions and motor skills that can add further refinements to practice. At last, when we consciously think about it, the skill is ours to use, and with more use and practice, the skill becomes natural and we begin to use it unconsciously. We have progressed through the learning stage, but over time will have to bring our attention back to it again and again to adapt to changing conditions, regain proficiency after a lapse of use, and keep current with new innovations.
Awareness Follows Attention
Learning occurs by becoming aware of interactions we previously did not perceive, and by consciously practicing movements until they become part of our kinesthetic vocabulary. In perception, awareness follows attention. As we consciously remind ourselves to attend to what our sense of touch is telling us as we massage a classmate or client, our awareness of differences in shape and tissue texture sharpens. As we consciously attend to nuances in others' gestures and body postures, our abilities to consciously be aware of the communications we are receiving increases. We can enhance our nonverbal perceptions by exposure, such as watching a movie with the sound off or observing the body motions of those con receiving increases. We can enhance our nonverbal perceptions by exposure, such as watching a movie with the sound off or observing the body motions of those conversing in a coffeehouse. Finally, as we practice movements with attention, we become aware of what we tried and what resulted. When we observe ourselves and noncritically note the results, we allow ourselves to learn new kinesthetic vocabulary short, habitual patterns of movement and balance that are the basis for our abilities to walk, dance, ski, play a musical instrument, and practice massage.
As we learn and practice, the behaviors and skills that are reinforced by our environment and our internal values take hold, as they did in our early lives. Given motivation and a gentle hand, there are few limits to what we can accomplish via the direction of our attention.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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