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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
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.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
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.
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.
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.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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