Feb 17, 2012

By Andrea Carter

A medical researcher, Dr. Wendy Levinson, from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada performed a study  in 1996, to determine why certain Medical professionals in the United States are sued and why others are not.  I found this article of interest because it made me consider the level of professionalism as a BodyTalk practitioner and Instructor.  What are we doing in correlation to the expectations of the public?  What standards do we uphold and practice that lends to a positive experience of BodyTalk rather than a negative one?

First I'll share the findings of Wendy's study.  The model used was recordings of conversations between physicians and patients in the United States of America.  Roughly half of the physicians had never been sued, the other half had been sued at least twice.  Based solely on the conversations that were recorded there was a distinctive difference between the two groups. 

First, Physicians who had not been sued, spent 3 minutes longer with patients than those who had been sued.  Secondly, the physicians who had not been sued led their patients through appointments by saying things like, "First please tell me what is happening with your health, then I'll ask you some questions, and then I'll examine you."  Thirdly, they told the patient that after the examination they would be told of the findings AND they could ask questions regarding the findings.  The group of physicians who had never been sued also participated in ACTIVE LISTENING, stating things such as, "that doesn't sound very comfortable, can you tell me more, describe that further for me", and this group was also more likely to laugh and be funny during an appointment. 

What amazed me most, was that according to the data, there was absolutely no difference in the quality or quantity of information given to the patients.  The only difference was how they talked to their patients.  (If you are interested in looking further into this, please feel free to check out:

This leads me to consider that the perception of a successful appointment with a physician, is whether you feel that you've been heard and seen.  Consider this, how apt are you to make an appointment with someone who you do not enjoy, who treats you like a number, or who does not ACTIVELY LISTEN to what is happening with you and your health?  How responsive can you be to this person and how much would you be willing to trust their opinion about your health? 


Next put it in context of a BodyTalk Practitioner. Using these 2 different client scenarios which scenario would you feel more heard and seen?

Scenario #1 - I walked into the office and was greeted by my BodyTalk Pracititoner.  I was taken to a clinic room, told to lie down, and that the session would take place, the practitioner would tell me the links and then there would be tapping on my head and heart.  Once it was all over I paid and left.  I have no idea what the "formulas/links" meant, I just know that there were a lot of techniques that didn't make sense to me. 

Scenario #2 - I walked into the office and was asked to fill out an intake form.  Then once I had finished, I was greeted by my BodyTalk Practitioner.  I was taken to the clinic room and asked to have a seat, and the practitioner then asked me how I had heard of BodyTalk?  I gave her my exposure to it, and then we went through the intake form together.  She noted anything that was an issue for my health, and asked me specific questions about it - such as - "I see here that you have circled a 4 for the dry cough, you must be coughing very often.  How does that affect your daily activities?  How does that affect your sleep or concentration?  Is there anything that you do when you begin coughing like that, that helps?"  We took about 10-15 minutes to go through the intake form and then she asked me if I knew how a session went or what to expect.  I was then told exactly how she practices BodyTalk, including why she was closing her eyes!~  She was focusing and using a specific technique to help her focus and get into the zone.  With each formula that came up she told me what it was and how it could be relating to my life, and how my body was responding to it.  We then did do some physical techniques, with the tapping of the head and heart, which she explained to me why there is tapping on the head and heart.  Once it was all done, she asked me if I had any questions and recommended that I follow up with her in a few weeks.  She also told me that if I had any questions or comments that I could contact her via email. 

The communication that we have with our clients as BodyTalk practitioners, is more than important!  We are practicing energy medicine, which tag lines: communication, synchronization, global healing...can practitioners achieve this with the general public if the communication occurring in the session is not understood?  Can we achieve this when we do not have a good understanding of how a session happens?  Can we achieve this when our clients have no idea what Switching or Active Memory or Body Genics means?  When I read this study by Wendy Levinson, it really made me question how we approach a session with a paying client. If we were to take the time to go through these general expectations that the "general population" seems to have adapted as a positive experience with a physician, the standard and professionalism within what people can expect of a BodyTalk practitioner would also raise immediately. 

Our public may not understand why or how it did, but in using the same levels of standards for communication, we would also enable the patient to trust the process.  When our communication is clear and concise, their ability to commit to their health and healing is made easy because they trust the process.  Just as the study outlined that leading the patient through what is going to happen lead to not being sued, that to me states that level of trust is there - we don't sue physicians we trust!

This month, I challenge all BodyTalk practitioners to try this out.  Try leading your new clients through the session prior to performing the session.  Try explaining the formula to them in basic terms, not BodyTalk lingo.  Try connecting with patients in a totally different way than you have been and see what happens.  Connect with me on the forum and let's see how we can help each other become more professional.

In Warmth,

Andrea Carter

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