resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
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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