resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
Thinking in Practice
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
"Experts see the world differently. They see things the rest of us cannot. Often experts do not realize that the rest of us are unable to detect what seems obvious to them." Gary Klien, author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions.
The world of learning has long fascinated me. I've taken the opportunity to walk it from a number of different perspectives: a physics graduate student; a research scientist; a massage student, practitioner and instructor; a martial arts student and teacher; a music student; and a folk dancer. My experience has thus spanned both the academic and experiential realms; both the conceptual and the kinesthetic. And out of all these experiences, one lesson has become clear (and applied in multiple realms): You cannot just pour information into a student and expect it to become magically useful.
Creating useful skills requires skill practice in context, and requires changing the manner in which the student uses their mind and senses to perceive the world. Without this context, information lies dormant, unconnected and unusable outside of the academic realm. I've had the opportunity to verify in my own experience that "experts see the world differently,"1 just as Gary Klein, senior scientist at Applied Research Assoicates, concluded from his field research. This change in perception is not a result of classroom lectures, but a result of guided participation. If we want to create skilled massage practitioners, we cannot just talk at students or be satisfied when they have memorized definitions and phrases from books. We must encourage and guide them in gaining patterns of tactile memory coupled with active awareness of what they are encountering.
From his research, Klein summarizes what differentiates the novice from the expert into three aspects: a history of experienced patterns; the ability to project the effects of an intervention; and a tuning of sensory discrimination. "These aspects of learning can be tied to the two primary sources of power we have been examining: pattern matching and mental simulation. Pattern matching (intuition) refers to the ability of the expert to detect typicality and to notice events that did not happen and other anomalies that violate the pattern. Mental simulation covers the ability to see events that happened previously and events that are likely to happen in the future. We also encounter some additional sources of power. The ability to make fine discriminations must involve some sort of perceptual learning."1
In a recent book, Think Again,2 authors Sidney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell drew on Klein's research and other sources of neurological and cognitive research to better understand failures of decision. One of the things they noted is that experts rarely compare alternative actions. Instead, an expert will move directly to what experience indicates to be a viable solution. This can be both a strength and a weakness: a strength in that it generally produces a correct action quickly, and a weakness because it can also be the cause of occasionally missing alternatives or misidentifying a situation. One interesting aspect of this process is that most of the cognition happens at an unconscious level, as in the following quote taken from Think Again:
"Klein discovered that people with experience do most of their decision making unconsciously. They assess the situation by drawing on similar experiences from their memory, but much of this assessment process happens unconsciously. They then select a course of action from their memories of past actions. Finally, they test the practicality of this course of action by imagining what will happen if the action is taken. The imagining activity is the main conscious work that happens during a decision. What Klein had discovered is that we mostly make decisions unconsciously using experience, intuition, and imagination. We do not normally do much conscious analysis, such as identifying and comparing options or challenging assumptions and initial assessments."2
The conscious level of processing is primarily used only in unfamiliar situations and, for decisions where there is time, for consciously cross-checking the faster, unconscious process. It's fair to ask if this really is the case in health care. The answer provided for nursing, from over a decade of study by Patricia Benner and colleagues is a definite yes. The following is an excerpt from a book written by Benner, et al Expertise in Nursing Practice3:
"As a process, the diagnosis-treatment model was simply not apparent in the narrative accounts provided by nurses at any level, but clearly not in those by nurses practicing at the expert level. The judgments were rather characterized by immediate apprehension of the clinical situation, progressive understanding of the patient's story through his narrative accounts, and the capacity to notice qualitative changes by knowing the patient's pattern of responses; nursing actions were typically response-based, relying on whole intuitions of what had worked in past similar situations, and modified in accordance with this particular patient's responses to it. In this kind of fluid, skillful response, there was virtually no evidence of 'treatment' based on explicit nursing diagnoses."3
The above in no way diminishes the usefulness of anatomical information and abstract knowledge of techniques. What it does indicate is that, like pouring the molten bronze for a cast statue, the usefulness and integrity of the end result is only as good as the containing mold created by practice and experience. Without such a mold, all that is obtained for either statue or learning is a puddle of slag.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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