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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
February, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 02
The SMARTER Approach to Achieving Goals
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
If you are anything like me, you have a to-do list of projects you are never quite able to finish -- or even start. Perhaps some of these items have been on your list for years, but a lack of time or other circumstance prevents you from moving on them. This article will review the SMARTER way to organize and complete those items on your to-do list.
S = Specific
A = Attainable
R = Reasonable
T = Timely
E = Evaluate
R = Reorganize
To focus your efforts and begin moving in the right direction, you first need to be specific about each of your goals. Thinking about your goals is good, however, writing them down in specific detail is the only way to clearly define them and solidify them in your mind. When putting your goals to paper, make sure they are straightforward and free of ambiguity. For example, instead of: "I want to lose weight," try: "I will lose 10 pounds over the next 10 weeks." Instead of: "I want to make more money," try: "I will increase my income by $2,500 over the next 12 months."
We've heard it said that if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Reviewing your goals and documenting or measuring your progress daily will help you to make the choices that continually point you in the right direction.
For example, documenting your workouts and the foods and drinks that pass through your lips, as well as using the same scale to weigh yourself are ways to measure your progress toward your weight-loss goal. You'll also confirm your measurable progress by noting how well your clothes fit, the numbers on the scale and how you feel about your accomplishments. To measure your financial goals, you'll have to track your spending versus your income or find measurable ways to track what draws more business to your practice. Paying off debt, opening a savings or retirement account, or investing in tools and/or seminars that increase and improve your knowledge, thereby aiding your treatment sessions, are all effective methods of measuring your financial progress.
Is your goal realistically attainable? If you are naturally stocky or big-boned, for example, setting a weight-loss goal that would be difficult for a super model to achieve isn't realistic and probably not attainable. In fact, setting unrealistic goals likely will result in burnout and failure. However, losing 10 pounds and improving your all-around level of fitness are definitely attainable goals. It's also important to identify realistic, attainable actions that you can take to move you toward your goal. For example:
Problem: Sweets and snacks pose a weakness for me.
Problem: I tend to overeat when I dine out.
Financial goals can be attained easily by realizing that consistent efforts can produce big returns. For example, making or saving an additional $50 a week x 4 weeks = $200 a month x 12 months = $2,400 a year. Another $200 a week x 50 working weeks in a year = $10,000 additional in annual income.
Instead of working twice as hard to earn more, it's easier to improve your bottom line by simply spending less. Is this an attainable goal? Sure! Buy in bulk from wholesalers and save on items like detergent, linens, face-cradle covers, lotions, oils, creams and topical analgesics. Watch for special offers and use discount codes whenever possible and re-evaluate what you have purchased in the past and then ask yourself if purchasing the same item(s) is the best choice moving forward.
How about implementing realistic, attainable methods to make passive income such as selling products like topical analgesics? One company offers complementary educational brochures personalized with your name and contact information with a sample pack of the product attached.
Don't reinvent the wheel, just model what works for others. Is there something you could offer to distinguish your practice from the competition and attract new patients? Medical doctors often offer free screenings or educational classes, chiropractors offer free X-rays and spinal exams. Massage therapists can offer a free evaluation that includes postural analysis, muscle and range-of-motion testing, orthopedic assessments and a trigger-point educational session. Offer these services at a value to new patients who purchase a series of treatments. By adding to your menu of services or making some minor adjustments, attaining your financial goals is within reach. For more practice-building tips, read Tools to Succeed for Massage Therapists (MT, May 2009).
Now that you know what it takes to attain your goals, you must know that your goals, and the steps toward achieving them, are reasonable and sustainable in both the short and long term. Create a separate "do-able" action plan for each project by making a list of two short-term and two long-term goals related to the project. Next, list the tasks required to complete each short-term and long-term goal. By outlining your goals and each task needed to achieve them, you will have created a detailed blueprint to navigate your course. The key here, of course, is to make sure you are using reasonable methods to attain your goals.
Part of your action plan for losing weight might include getting some form of exercise every day, drinking more water and using smaller plates. Are these lifestyle changes reasonable and sustainable? If so, you are on your way to permanently achieving your goal. If not, you'll need to determine what steps are reasonable to you. Perhaps it's more reasonable if you allow yourself one "cheat" day a week.
Is setting aside $50 a week reasonable for moving you toward your financial goals? If not, how about $20 a week? Again, you must find what works for your situation. For more on creating lists to help you achieve your goals, read The Power of the List (MT January 2008).
To successfully achieve your goals, you must set completion dates. Setting timelines for each task gives you clear targets and deadlines. Without completion dates, your goal will always be open ended. To learn more about finding the time to achieve your goals, read The Power of a Minute (MT, June 2007).
To determine if you are on track toward accomplishing your goals, you should review and evaluate your efforts many times a day; at least at first. The more you review your goals and focus on the actions you need to take to achieve them, the sooner your goals will become a reality. Continually evaluating your progress will also help you find your weak points and identify the areas that need improving. This process also helps you evaluate if your time and efforts are being spent wisely. One rule of thumb is to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on 20 percent of the things that produce the greatest results. This is also known as the 80/20 rule. For more about the 80/20 rule, read The 80/20 Rule: Maximizing the Return on your Investment (MT, March 2008).
Once you have determined what works and what doesn't, make the necessary adjustments to your approach to maintain focus and stay on track. Continue to regroup and reorganize your efforts until you know you are on a stable path toward success.
The SMARTER approach to achieving your goals is similar to cooking. First you need to know what you are cooking (Specific). Then you pull together the amounts (Measurable) of each ingredient (Attainable), and bake everything at a specific temperature for a determined (Reasonable) length of time (Timely). Then you taste (Evaluate) the food and finally decide how you will modify (Reorganize) your recipe to improve on your next attempt. Have fun with the process, and please let me know about your progress as you apply the SMARTER approach to achieving your goals in all the areas of your life.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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