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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
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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