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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
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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