resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
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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