resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
The Art of Authentic Listening
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
For most of my adult life I have interacted with people in later life stages living with debilitating conditions. Things like: brain injury, hip fracture, stroke, hearing loss, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and frailty.Interacting with a person with any of these conditions can be challenging. For example, their speech may be slurred, or they may be confused or talk about their grief and sadness. It has been my experience that one-to-one focused massage sessions tend to invite people to open up about their circumstances. It's not always easy to know how to respond properly. I've learned that communication doesn't start with special techniques or the "right" way to respond. It begins with authentically listening.
Authentic listening is a sacred art. It is listening with presence that goes beyond what your ears hear and what you say in response. It is listening with your heart; it is responding from your authentic self. It is listening for the essence of the interaction and connecting heart to heart.
If we were to take an honest look at how we normally listen, we would appear attentive and listening to the words the other person is saying but, may be distracted by our own thoughts about what we are hearing, and already forming our response. Or we may be having judgments about what is said. Most of the time, we are more involved with our own experience than that of the other person.
Becoming an Authentic Listener
Listening from the heart requires self awareness and a willingness to expand your comfort zone. Intend to listen more authentically. What follows are considerations for becoming an authentic listener.
Quiet your mind. Our minds are in constant motion. There are plenty of internal and external distractions that draw our attention. Getting centered and quieting the mental chatter opens a space for deep attentiveness.
Be willing to listen without judgment. Judgment is a form of reacting based on our own past experience. We often react because our personal triggers get pushed. It is important to become aware of what your triggers are in order to not shut down open communication. As you listen, simply receive without judging what is said. This opens a space for deep trust.
Commit to patience. We live in a rushed world and tend to move on to the next thing rather than attending to what is in front of us. True communication can't be rushed. Be patient with yourself and the other person.
Remain in the moment. Let each moment of the interaction unfold naturally without trying to steer it a certain way or without preconceived ideas about where the conversation needs to go.
Avoid the temptation to formulate a response. Listen first, then respond. Our tendency is to be mentally forming our response while the person is still talking. Focus first on what the person is conveying, then form a response.
Be honest. If you are unable to be fully attentive, it's better to let the person know than to pretend you are listening. Perhaps you are preoccupied or tired. Letting the person know you care but that you can't give your full attention is acting with integrity.
Listen with your eyes. Observe the nonverbal messages, both the speaker's and your own. What is the body posture telling you? Is the voice tone consistent with the spoken words? What is the facial expression?
Listen to the silence as well as the words. Learning to be comfortable sitting in silence with another person is one of the most powerful forms of communication. Silence allows the hearts to connect, and a sacred dialogue is spoken.
Gladly receive the gifts of authentic listening. When you listen from the heart, you enter into a mutual experience of giving and receiving. Let yourself be uplifted by the experience as you uplift the life of the other.
Authentic listening is not about doing anything. No formulated response. No need to fix anything or to make the person feel better. It is not counseling or analyzing. It is about being, not doing. Being with the other person and caring about their experience.
Think on This
To close, I want to share a couple of quotes and ask you to reflect on them to further capture the essence of authentic listening.
"Hearing is something that happens to us. Listening is something in which we choose to participate" - James E. Miller
"Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes on the people around us." - Rachel Naomi Remen
If our paths should cross, I'll do my best to listen to you.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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