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Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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?
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
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.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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.
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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.
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.
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
The Therapeutic Value of Listening
By Sheryl McGavin, MBA, OTR/L, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
One of the most critical concepts we learn in CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is the importance of supporting the body's ability to self-correct. Dr. John Upledger teaches us about something he calls the "Inner Physician." This innate body intelligence knows precisely what it needs at any given moment to heal.But to follow the guidance from that intelligence and support the body's self-corrective mechanisms, we must first learn to listen.
Indeed, over many years of practicing and teaching CST, I have come to believe that listening is the single most important skill you can develop to improve your therapy skills, your ability to palpate subtle movements of the craniosacral system, and your ability to help more clients relieve their pain and dysfunction.
When I talk about listening in the therapeutic sense, however, I don't just mean with your ears. I also mean listening with your hands and all of your other senses. It's true that the common definition of listening focuses on the sense of hearing. But think about what happens when we apply that same concept to the sense of touch.
Consider the following definition of listen, taken from Dictionary.com. Then see what happens when you substitute phrases and ideas that show you how the same concept applies to your tactile senses.
Notice the common word in all three of these definitions? It's "attention." Teachers and professionals in a wide variety of areas (i.e. leadership, management, conflict-resolution, etc.) often describe techniques like "focusing attention on" or "attending to the speaker fully" to be able to absorb the information being shared. They also describe specific tactics to improve listening, such as waiting for the speaker to finish, and listening without thinking about other things, formulating your response, or judging what the speaker is saying.
When you listen effectively and give your full attention to the speaker, you're not talking. You're receiving information. And in this information you'll discover what you need to know to respond appropriately. It is in this listening phase of communication that you can truly learn about the other person.
In the same way, when you touch a client's body, it wants to share information with you about its structure, function and health. Use your hands, and abide by the same guidelines you follow when you're listening effectively with your ears. By giving the body your full attention without doing other things, judging the information or formulating a response, you're able to more effectively hear what the body is saying to you. Then you can follow the body's lead and fully support your client's self-corrective healing process.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Sheryl McGavin is a certified instructor, international speaker and examiner for The Upledger Institute. She runs a private practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where she integrates occupational therapy with CranioSacral Therapy for clients of all ages. You can reach her at
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