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News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
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.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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.
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.
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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
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.
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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