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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
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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