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The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
February, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 02
Share with Your Clients the Cure for Drive-By Healing
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC and Michele McGrew
Sandy, a craniosacral therapist with a quick laugh, loves watching her clients' expressions when they get their first taste of freedom from pain. "I feel like a magician!" she says. Her only complaint? "I wish they'd stick around longer.They feel good after a session or two. Can you imagine how they'd feel after a few months?" Sandy is suffering with what we lovingly call Drive-By Healing Syndrome. The cure? Offering outcome-based programs designed to help your clients achieve major breakthroughs or a total transformation in their health and well-being and in their lives.
We laid out the structure for a strong holistic program in "Six Steps to Help You Establish a Six Figure Practice" (April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04). Now, here's the glue that holds it all together: holistic coaching. Holistic coaching is a set of skills that gives your clients the opportunity to reveal and fulfill their most inspiring goals. And, in the context of healing, you have valid reasons to offer programs that help your clients reach those goals in empowering ways they never could have achieved alone.
The challenge comes in setting winning coaching goals, which require a healthy dose of expertise and intuition. You're asking your clients to project themselves into the future, which can be tricky because they may not know what's possible or realistic. That's why, as their coach and health advocate, it's your responsibility to help your clients set compelling and achievable goals. Then every session in your program, whether it's hands-on or by phone, leads them toward those desired outcomes.
Because goals, like dreams, are set in the future, they ultimately reflect your clients' subconscious beliefs about what's possible for them. And those beliefs are governed by the brain's Reticular Activating System (RAS), which acts as a filter between the subconscious and the conscious mind. The RAS is a complex network of nerve cells and fibers that regulates our cardiovascular, respiratory and motor responses. It also receives all the sensory signals that come in through the central nervous system, and then it filters out what you become aware of based on what has meaning for you.
Have you ever bought a new car and then noticed that same model popping up everywhere almost overnight? That's your RAS at work bringing information into your awareness that normally would have remained in your subconscious mind. In that same way, when you consciously focus on achieving a specific goal that has purpose and meaning, your intention seeps into your subconscious mind where your RAS can watch for solutions for you.
Winning Coaching Goals
After coaching clients for nearly a decade, we've found four key conditions most helpful in setting and achieving winning goals:
1. They're specific and described in the positive.
All too often, clients come to the table with goals that aren't detailed enough for them to know when they've reached them. "I want to feel better" and "I want to lose weight" are moving targets that are difficult to measure. To help your clients transform their health and well-being in dramatic ways over time, their goals must be specific and meaningful enough to seriously motivate them. So you might ask questions like:
Notice, too, if your clients' goals are more about what they don't want rather than what they do want. If your clients are saying something like, "I don't want to feel pain when I wake up in the morning," the RAS will go rooting through the subconscious mind for something that matches "pain when I wake up in the morning." Ouch! Instead, ask your clients to swap those "don't wants" for "do wants." Saying something like, "I want to feel calm and energized when I wake up in the morning," triggers the RAS to search for feelings of calmness and energy, and bring them to the surface.
2. They're in your clients' control.
Have you ever thought everything in your life would be awesome if everyone else would just behave? (Haven't we all?) There's just one big glitch in that plan: We have zero control over other people. That's why your clients can only reach goals that are in their personal control. Imagine a client recovering from cancer who wants her doctors to stop talking down to her. Since she can only control her own actions and attitude, she could set an intention to be more relaxed, direct and assertive with her doctors. Or (here's an advanced coaching tip), you can ask her a powerful "reframe" question like this:
"What if your doctor talking down to you was no longer important to you?"
Whether she's changing her action or her attitude, your client is changing something in her control. So she's much more likely to achieve the outcome she wants.
3. Your clients must be able to tell when they've achieved them.
Coaching in the sports world is designed to help athletes reach or exceed their performance goals. While the same may be true in the health arena, your clients typically have much more at stake than a medal. Often, their entire quality of life is on the line. Yet thanks to the help of a supercharged RAS, each new success your clients achieve in any area of their lives will expand their capacity to succeed in every area of their lives. Why? Because the RAS will be looking for success and bringing it into your clients' awareness.
That's why it's crucial to encourage your clients to embody every win, big or small. They need to know when they've reached their milestones so they can celebrate and acknowledge themselves. You can help by asking coaching questions like these:
Remember, the more specific the answers, the easier it is to help your clients chunk them down into action steps that'll get them to the finish line.
4. They must be in alignment with everything else your clients value.
No matter what your clients want to achieve with your help, if there's any sense of conflict with the rest of their lives, the subconscious mind will cause them to sabotage their success. For example, if your client wants to get well enough to travel around the world, but she's a stay-at-home mom with two young children at home, she may be running a subconscious script that says reaching her goal will hurt her kids. Until she brings that belief into the light and questions it, she'll almost certainly fall short of her goal.
Now, the process of shifting beliefs is so critical to holistic coaching, we could easily write an entire book about it. (And we may!) For now, just remember to ask your clients coaching questions like these:
When you use criteria like these to help your clients set empowering coaching goals, you help their RAS make their boldest desires real. Like magic.
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
Click here for more information about Michele McGrew.
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