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Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
April, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 04
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
"If all we are interested in is technical competence, then we have become a trade school. If technical competence exists but not the necessary attitudes, values, and behaviors of the professional, then our graduates may wear the trappings of that profession, but would no longer be a representative of the profession."3
Professionalism seems to be a term that gets mentioned a lot and explored little.Searching the Internet for the keywords "massage and professionalism," I came across an AMTA Web page that stated, "professionalism in the field of massage therapy has been greatly elevated in the last 10 years," and an Oregon Massage Therapists Association page proclaiming that a purpose of the association was "to support and develop massage professionalism." Both pages assume that we know exactly what was professionalism is. Do we?
Perhaps the most common perception of professionalism is an ongoing commitment to learning and improving skills.1,2,5 Some feel that continuing education should be forced upon a profession's members. Tan notes, however, that for physicians, the minimal results of such forced learning have been sobering.8
He believes a far better approach than coercion is to instill the curiosity of discovery, encouraging members to be seekers of knowledge rather than rote learners or copiers of lecture notes: "Ah, we see a servant's heart and the motivation to serve. Motivation is not exactly the same as incentive. Motivation comes from within, and innate drive. It is a humane value, whereas incentives are social constructs or individually valued rewards for desired behavior."8
Believing professionalism stems solely from learning and certification can become a recipe for idolizing the trappings and missing the essence. Striving for training and occupational regulation is not equivalent to creating professionalism. Law, medicine and pharmacology seem to worry that their professionalism is being undercut.3,4,8 However, there is no evidence that their levels of technical education or occupational regulation are waning.
Professionalism, I believe, is less about what we require externally from those entering the profession, and more about what we evoke within their hearts. The commercialism of what we offer needs to be balanced by the spirits of service, collegiality, pride, independence, leadership, and integrity.7 Commitment is much easier to inspire by offering a challenging example than it is to force by rules and regulations.
According to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "Personal relationships lie at the heart of the work. Even in the face of the vast technological advances of the information age, the human dimension remains constant, and these professional obligations will endure. ... A business can focus only on profits. A profession cannot. It must focus first on the community it is supposed to serve."4
As professionals, we are accountable for our actions and communication. There is a wide consensus that civility and altruism are corner stones of professionalism. Within any profession there are differences in background and perspective. Offering each other civility and respect rather than elitism and disdain are indicators of professionalism. Be quick to offer a helping hand to less advanced colleagues and equally be slow to undermine a colleague's position by an inappropriate remark or document. Justice O'Connor strongly believes that even within the conflicts of law, one can "disagree without being disagreeable."4 Our tasks of civility within massage are simpler. Our attitudes should be kept congruent with our healing goals of touch.
As professionals, we have a fiduciary relationship with clients, and an obligation of trust and compassionate concern for the client's welfare that takes priority over other concerns. Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard Law School from 1916-1936, perhaps framed this best. If we strive toward professionalism, we could do far worse than to heed his words: "[W]hat we mean by the term profession when we speak of the old recognized professions (medicine, the law, ministry). We mean an organized calling in which men pursue a learned art and are united in the pursuit of it as a public service. As I have said, no less a public service because they may make a livelihood thereby. Here, from the professional standpoint there are three essential ideas: organization, learning, and a spirit of public service. The gaining of a livelihood is not a professional consideration. Indeed, the professional spirit, the spirit of a public service, constantly curbs the urge of that instinct."6
Furthermore, "The term [professionalism] refers to a group...pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of public service - no less a public service because it may incidentally be a means of livelihood. Pursuit of the learned art in the spirit of public service is the primary purpose."7
Editor's Note: Due to the unpredictable nature of the Internet, some links may not be operational.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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