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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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."
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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