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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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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?
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."
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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?"
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.
June, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 06
When a Question is Not a Question
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
If you have a good working relationship with your clients, odds are, it's because you can speak openly to one another. Besides your hands, clear communication is the most effective tool you have to help your clients.By learning some simple steps, you can elicit ways to help them far beyond reducing their muscle tension, anxiety or pain. As in any conversation, the questions you ask are critical to obtaining the information you need to create an honest and effective relationship.
In my new book, "Conversation Transformation: Recognize and Overcome The 6 Most Destructive Communication Patterns," I discuss the four categories of questions that people ask. Two are useful when employed in your practice, and two are not, because they don't provide any useful information. This second type of question only serves your purposes, usually unconsciously, not that of your client. The two types of inquiries that will lead to frustration are leading questions and righteous questions.
You may ask more of these in your daily routine than you realize. These are opinions in question form, implicitly seeking agreement rather than new information, or no information at all. "Doesn't that stretch feel great? All my clients love it." Or, "Don't you think it would be better if you were not sitting at your computer all day? That's the problem most people have." With a leading question, you're conveying to your client that you want agreement with your assessment, rather than learning more about his or her individual needs.
These are attacks in the form of questions, expressing blame or indignation. Although you're not likely to ask a blatant form of a righteous question, like, "What were you thinking?" A more subtle version might be asked without your realizing the impact like, "Don't you realize what all that stress is doing to your body?" Your clients are looking to you for help in dealing with stress or a chronic problem. A righteous question chastises them for their lifestyle or blames them for what they probably realize are stress-inducing practices. These types of questions are likely to make your clients feel worse about themselves when they're coming to you for help and relief. The attacking nature of these questions is usually in the voice tone.
The two types of questions you DO want to ask, because they will elicit the kind of information that might help you to get to know your client better are broad questions and narrow questions. This may sound counter-intuitive, but both of these types of inquiries invite thoughts, proposals, conclusions and opinions that you may not have considered. First, is the open-ended question.
This is the largest possible funnel for information. You define the topic of conversation, but you don't put any limits on what the client might say about the topic. If you ask, "Before we begin the session, tell me how you are feeling?" You may get more insight than you expect. You might also be able to determine what's stressing them that could lead to fear, anxiety or prevent their body from healing an injury. You can narrow a broad question without getting too specific and your client will be able to give you a more specific answer in reply. For instance, you could ask, "Tell me how your new exercise program is going? Or,"How are you feeling about our work together?"
This is a much smaller way to funnel information. The answers are now strictly limited to "yes" or "no," or an isolated piece of data. You are asking for specific information like, "On a scale of 1 to 10 how much pain are you in now as opposed to two weeks ago?" If you turn a narrow question into a leading question, where you "lead" the client to a specific answer, the funnel gets even smaller. "Isn't that injured knee much better?" is a narrow and leading question that leaves only one acceptable answer, agreeing with you. While it's okay to get specific about determining your client's real needs, using broad questions will often help your client open up to you and feel comfortable being honest and forthright. Like most successful relationships, there has to be give and take, and your client needs to feel safe and free from judgment.
Remember, with most leading questions, and all righteous questions, the funnel for information is fairly blocked. Keeping your communication pathways open will serve you well. Open lines of communication are critical to creating a good client-therapist rapport, but they're just as important in all of your relationships.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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