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ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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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