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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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
December, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 12
Dealing with Clients Who Put Themselves Down
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
Anyone working in the helping professions is bound to encounter individuals who are highly self-critical, continually describing themselves as flawed or deficient in some way. As massage therapists, we might hear clients say, "I'm horribly out of shape" or "I know I should stop being so lazy and take better care of myself."
There are two types of problems with this type of thinking. The most obvious problem is an emotional one. Having negative thoughts about oneself tends to generate negative emotions — sadness, frustration, hopelessness and even despair.
Less obvious are the practical consequences. When people blame or attack themselves, they make it more difficult to understand and resolve the challenges they're facing. Vague, accusatory generalizations like, "I've been irresponsible" or "I'm so out of shape," distract the person from the specific facts that they feel badly about, such as not exercising at all for the past week, or being unable to climb stairs without getting out of breath. It starts to seem as though they need to make a profound, global transformation either in their personality (somehow becoming a responsible person) or in their body (somehow becoming "in shape"). That's a daunting prospect.
In our role as health care practitioners, we have an opportunity to help our clients approach these issues in a more constructive way. To do that, we need to resist the temptation to simply disagree with them ("No, you're doing great") or to criticize their thinking ("You're way too hard on yourself"). These responses can either lead to an argument ("You're just saying that to make me feel better") or give the person more fuel to attack themselves ("You're right; I need to have a more positive attitude. I've always had low self-esteem").
Instead, our task is to refocus the conversation. Help the person to identify the specific facts that are bothering them, and then problem-solve what they could do about them. Suppose they've fallen behind on exercising. You might help them to consider which factors in their life have supported regular exercise (such as having a workout partner or setting a regular time to exercise each day), and which have stood in their way (perhaps their workout partner moved away, or a work commitment has interfered with their regular exercise time). With these specifics in mind, they'll have a much easier time coming up with solutions — such as finding a new workout partner, setting a new time to exercise and so on.
Encourage your client to come up with these ideas themselves rather than simply giving your own suggestions. In that way, you can help them shift from feeling helpless and ineffective to being empowered to make positive changes in their life. In my own practice, I've often found that gently guiding individuals to strategize about their problems — rather than simply blaming themselves for them — is one of the greatest contributions I can make to their long-term health and well-being.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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