resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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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