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critical thinking | TABLE LESSONS 80 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k n ove m b e r/d e ce m b e r 2 0 2 3 Change Your Perspective A Bigger Picture Can Lead to Bigger Relief By Douglas Nelson We can learn problem-solving skills from our own experiences or from practitioners in other disciplines. In the following case, both. A few months ago, I was invited to speak at a conference in the profession. I was honored to be asked and was looking forward to speaking. Travel went f lawlessly, and I arrived a day before my presentation. Sitting in my hotel room that afternoon, I was enjoying the unusual experience of having ample time to go over my presentation. That's when it started. As I was reading, I began to feel an ache in one of my maxillary molars on the left side. Within the next half hour, the discomfort increased. I explored the area with my tongue, trying to figure out which tooth was involved. Strangely, I couldn't decide. I pressed with my tongue, then a finger, then f lossed to try to identify the tooth, and I still wasn't sure (Clue No. 1). I decided to do an online search for "dentists near me" to check if someone had time to see me. (OK, the odds of that happening on a Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. were slim to none.) I spoke to three dental offices, but none had any openings. The attitude was pretty much, "Thanks for calling and good luck." By the time I went to the banquet hall to do a sound check for the presentation, my concern was growing. I was now feeling a deep aching pain in my mandibular molars directly below the original area (Clue No. 2). The situation was going from bad to worse. Trying to hide my discomfort from the conference organizers, I finished the soundcheck and retreated to my room to rest. While lying on the f loor and trying to breathe my way to some relief, I began to feel a familiar pain in the upper thoracic spine (Clue No. 3). TAKEAWAY: When the symptoms span a greater area, step back and consider what larger principle could explain it. PINE WAT T/UNSPL ASH

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