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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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
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.
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08
Knowledge and Networks
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
As an unabashed academic and massage instructor, I've a tendency to look at how we organize and model our accumulated knowledge about the wider context of bodywork. The maps we create have significant effects on how we approach the acquisition and conveyance of knowledge, skills and abilities.
Massage, particularly when defined in an encompassing context of all touch practices, has many different subpractices (see my article, "Swimming Upstream Toward Effective Practice," in the March 2003 issue, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/03/13.html.) and many different theories of underlying action.When I periodically hear about someone advocating creation of "massage tiers," I have difficulty understanding how such tiers translate into measurable improvements in our ability to practice across the scope of what we might do. My worry is that such tiers have little to do with improvements, and everything to do with rites of initiation.
The criteria for evaluating the need for training and education, I believe, is that it is objectively needed to produce effective practice, including the technical, business and interpersonal facets. I also believe there is a tendency in our profession to want to use training as a gauntlet to promote commitment, the basis of which is noted by James Atherton in a short review of cognitive dissonance:1 "Ordeal is therefore an effective - if spurious - way of conferring value on an educational (or any other) experience. 'No pain, no gain,'as they say. The more difficult it is to get on a course, the more participants are likely to value it and view it favorably regardless of its real quality." Robert Cialdini makes similar observations in his treatment of social influence.4 Advocating training on such a basis is, I believe, a disservice both to the student and the ultimate consumers. Atherton is correct in noting the often spurious nature of the result.
For a long while, I thought the underlying problem with tiers was simply a factor of inadequate definition and too narrow motivation. Recently, I've realized that the problem is inherent in the broad scope of bodywork - tiers assume that knowledge is structured like a tree, with specialty branches spreading out above a single root. In contrast, massage knowledge forms much more of a web of interconnecting clusters, a shape that looks like a tree only when viewed very close at a single area of entry. In the more interior regions of such a web, the connections branch off to other clusters, eventually reaching other entry points and destroying the illusion of a single tree on which to base the concept of tiers.
Such webs occur throughout knowledge connections, social structures and the structures of life itself. Physicist Mark Newman has organized a gallery of web pictures showing their pervasive occurrence 6 and written an extensive technical review article on research into the structure of networks.5 Barabasi and Bonabeau wrote a recent introductory review,3 and Barabasi has written an excellent lay-oriented book on this research.2
Moving ahead with this idea of networks, consider putting together an online encyclopedia, containing pages for all the pertinent sections of knowledge for everything in massage and bodywork. This shouldn't be too fine-grained: something on the order of the sections in the chapters of a book. Technique sections might have demonstration video clips attached. By looking at the hyperlinks between pages, we would better understand the interconnection between information in different clusters. Areas with a lot of mutual interconnection would be self-defining as a study area. If an area exists that's linked from everywhere, it would pretty much have to be a natural core area.
Things that come to mind are information on touch itself, as Ashley Montagu put it, "The human significance of the skin." Other areas that I see as likely core foundations would be business skills, particularly for those running their own practices, and interpersonal skills. Areas on Western anatomy and physiology would have great emphasis from orthopedic massage but much less direct access from sections on Asian bodywork or energy work.
In summary, our overall knowledge of massage is too diversely connected to be tree-shaped, having a single core and specialty branches. Everything is by some route interconnected, but the density of interconnections varies greatly and creates separate clusters of study. Such a structure captures the paradox of being too diverse to ever appear to have a single root, yet too interconnected to appear totally separate. Massage is thus a totality that thwarts our efforts to compactly define it while greatly rewarding our efforts to pursue its many links.
Editor's Note: Due to the transient 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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