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TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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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