resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01
Bodywork Therapies of Asia
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
"What are you doing here?" was the question put to me 10 years ago at a meeting in Maryland to create a massage law. It may be the same question you are asking now when you look at an Asian medicine column in a massage publication.
The woman who made that comment had a point.Asian bodywork therapies (ABT), a term used to include shiatsu, acupressure and other forms of bodywork with their roots in China, have no resemblance to "massage" as she knew it and would complicate the process of getting her law passed. She was right, there are few similarities.
If you put massage and ABT curricula side by side, the only places they would overlap are anatomy, physiology, ethics and CPR, leaving the remaining 400 hours to deal with entirely different techniques, treatment principles and practice. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) administers our national board exam. For all intents and purposes, Asian Bodywork Therapies (ABT) are not massage, they fall under the umbrella of Asian medicine.
But wait a minute. Of the 30 states with massage laws, and the 23 responding to a survey given by the Maryland Board of Chiropractors, 20 of those states include shiatsu and other forms of ABT under their laws. And over 1,000 massage therapists list that they on the AMTA website locator service, perform forms of ABT (like shiatsu and acupressure).
According to the AMTA standards of practice and code of ethics, their members, "meet the standards established for his or her profession" and they "market themselves in an accurate, truthful and ethical manner." So you would assume that they have passed the NCCAOM OBT exam or at least have met the standards to sit for it. Sadly, this is not the case. Few have met a fraction of the standards established for the profession.
I do not mean to single out AMTA this seems to be an accepted practice in the massage field. Yet I find it more painful to see it done by AMTA members because I associate them with high ethical and professional standards.
ABMP's website is no better, revealing just as many practitioners who misrepresent themselves. They don't list shiatsu as a separate modality, though. They call it an "interest."
The International Massage Association (IMA) has far fewer practitioners who listed other modalities on their website, but that may be because it costs more to list techniques. The more they pay, the more they can list, with no verification in training. Still, the most skilled shiatsu practitioner that I could come up with only had 20 hours of training!
I know there are many well-trained, proficient bodywork therapists practicing forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT), but unfortunately, they seem to be outnumbered by those with minimal or no training in ABT.
Many massage therapists think of ABT forms such as shiatsu and acupressure as "massage," but few have had the training to fulfill the national standards. So, I see my column as a great opportunity to educate people on the depth and breadth of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT).
In this column, you are not going to find simplistic suggestions like, "for a headache, press LI-4." That may mask the symptoms, but it won't address the cause, and besides, it will only be effective if it is a yangming headache. What you need to do first is look at the client's five element type and emotional and spiritual relationship to the headache. Then differentiate whether it is jueyin, yangming, shaoyang or taiyang; if it is caused by an excess or deficiency; dampness, wind, heat or cold and so on. Then you can choose points and meridians that will not only relieve the symptoms of the headache, but treat the root of the problem as well.
Besides headaches, other topics I'd like to focus on include back pain, shoulder pain, menstrual irregularities and other common problems our clients bring to us.
Send in your suggestions for future topics. I must emphasize, though, we don't "treat" any of these conditions. We look at the signs and symptoms that the client is presenting, then find and treat the underlying root of the problem. Using Chinese medicine treatment principles and techniques, our goal is to bring our clients into a state of homeostasis in which they can heal themselves.
Reading this column will not give you the level of skill to say that you practice shiatsu or acupressure. But I'm hoping that it will inspire you to study this ancient healing art so that you can truly call it your own.
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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