resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
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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