resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
March, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 03
Relying on Intuition
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
"When we classify an aptitude as intuitive, it conveniently serves to remove it from the list of things we need to teach or confront. Perhaps, however, this accepted map does not match the territory it supposedly represents. Could it be that achieving mastery beyond technical competence is less innate than we customarily believe? My answer to this question is that I believe that implicit skills both underlie and transcend what we typically think of and teach as massage skills. Following a common terminology from psychology, I refer to these as metaskills. My second premise is that more is known about the structure and communication of these metaskills than we usually believe. A major reason for this disconnection is that much of the knowledge we seek is scattered across the boundaries of several disciplines. The good news is that it is exactly such knowledge, from regions where different disciplines cross and intermingle, that often newly inspires creativity and invention. My third and final thesis in writing this article is that what we learn about our metaskills can fundamentally influence how we conceptualize and teach the practice of massage therapy."3
A little more than a decade ago, I started several years of pondering and slowly piecing together an article on intuition and metaskills. Apart from a few preceding lines, the paragraph above was the opening statement of that article. The passage of a few more years has only strengthened my conviction that much of intuition is, in reality, a simple expression of experience-based expertise operating at an unconscious level of the mind. Those years also have added more supporting resources.
My starting point this round is Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink, a lay introduction to our use of tacit knowledge and unconscious decision-making. In the book, Gladwell ties into the field research on decision-making done by Gary Klein.4 What Klein had expected to see, based on theories and laboratory studies, was experts making rational comparisons of two or more alternatives. What he discovered, however, was this wasn't how the real world worked. The great majority of the time, people unconsciously recognized a situation as "prototypical" of something in their experience and moved directly into action. Klein termed this process recognition-primed decision-making (RPD), something Klein also noted as being a model of intuitive response. When the situation was even more novel and a single response wasn't obvious, people would engage in "satisficing"- mentally simulating possible responses one by one and picking the first one that would likely work. The mental simulation allowed experts to spot weaknesses in a potential response without trying it. The process was rapid, generally occurring in less than a minute. Logical comparison was used only in learning situations outside of prior experience. It resulted in far slower responses and less certainty of achieving desired effects.
Klein recounts research done by co-worker Beth Crandall, who studied how nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a large hospital judged when a baby was developing a life-threatening infection. Often these premature infants only weighed about 2 pounds each, sometimes less. Crandall saw that the nurses could react to the start of sepsis even when objective tests were still coming back negative. Rather than starting from objective knowledge and developing methods by which nurses could detect the onset of infections, Crandall's research delved into what expert nurses were doing unconsciously. She catalogued that into cues that could be used to more quickly train expertise. In short, Crandall was discovering how to train nursing intuition. This process of eliciting how naturalistic decision-making works is the subject of cognitive task analysis, a domain to which Crandall, Klein and Robert Hoffman have contributed their own field manual.1
In his book,4 Klein provides us with a statement about training that's as applicable to massage as to the professions he specifically studied:
Klein's observations don't say that information is unimportant, but they do emphasize the need for teaching anatomical and other didactic information within the framework provided by hands-on experience. The conclusions Klein makes from research thus run counter to what I've observed as a trend in massage training: delaying hands-on experience while stressing the purely didactic. While Klein focused on challenging situations - those that would place the most stress on expertise - he is also explicit that the results are even more applicable to commonplace situations. He found the same responses in design engineers who had weeks on a project as those who had to make life-or-death decisions within seconds.
With experience, we most often act without conscious consideration of the exact sensory input to which we are responding. Our unconscious minds recognize the patterns of sensory information and our hands "tell" us what to do. When we achieve this ability, we join a wide interdisciplinary corps of experts. It's part of the power of "knowing" just the point that invokes a change.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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