resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
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.
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.
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.
March, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 03
Creativity and Cooperation
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Ten evenings of filmmaker Ken Burns's documentary on the history of jazz have impressed me in ways that spill over from the purely musical. Interwoven within the sound clips, biographies, and cultural history were themes on creativity and cooperation. I believe these themes are important to massage as we continue to explore, and struggle with how best to create an attitude and context for our own learning and practice. Using these themes from jazz as a lead-in, I'll give a brief overture to some observations on creativity and cooperation from drawing and systems thinking, leaving more thorough development for future columns.
One theme vividly expressed by the documentary was how much the ability to create and innovate depended on inner drive and on exposure to other innovators in short the creative context. When a situation became stagnant and overly formalized, the cutting edge of innovation moved on to a new source and venue. A second theme expressed throughout the series was the delicate balance between implementing individual agendas and being sensitive to the feedbacks and interactions with the total system of other musicians participating in a session. Wynton Marsalis most clearly gave voice to this balance:
A final theme from jazz that I want to underscore is the respect and acknowledgement given to individual virtuosity, rather than to a common standard. Bandleader Duke Ellington orchestrated his compositions to showcase the particular skills of members of his band, rather than for generic trumpeters, saxophonists, and drummers. As massage therapists, we too will benefit from respecting and giving appreciation to each other's massage skills and approaches, even when they differ substantially from our own goals and practice. Being dismissive and coercive are sour notes.
Playing music requires mastery of individual phrases, which in turn requires mastery of individual notes and relations between them. Slowing down to perceive the details is not unique to music. Art instructor Betty Edwards (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain) observed that she could talk about drawing or she could draw, but that it was extremely difficult for her to do both at once. She hypothesized that a shift in processing mode was occurring. When she was talking, her mind was operating in a verbal-symbolic mode that largely ignored details. To draw successfully, she needed to shift away from symbols into a mode of perception that attended to the details of lines, shapes and shading. We make this same shift when moving from the concept of a muscle into feeling it take form beneath our fingers, as a client engages it ever so slightly.
Professional negotiators have made parallel observations. The inability to find consensus often stems from becoming stuck in symbolic positions, rather than from irreconcilable differences in actual needs. In debates about massage education, we play out this theme by arguing about the need for hours of education, what I call "round hour syndrome," rather than letting the required hours flow naturally from a determination of the need for specific educational content. When we discuss the need and timing for specific content, the discussion becomes much more concrete and much less postural and divisive.
Jazz improvisation depends on interaction. It is a dynamic process of listening, adding something new, and then listening for the response. At an intuitive level, jazz musicians become masters of systems thinking the acknowledgement of the myriad interconnections and feedbacks between individual components of a total system. Given such feedbacks, you can never change just one thing. Like the musicians in a jam session, all other aspects of a system will respond to any change introduced. If you focus too much on any one area, it's always done at the expense of everything else. Getting the right balance is an art, not a given.
These relatively simple postulates of systems thinking have profound implications for massage education. Massage educators may assume that kinesthetic and interpersonal skills will always be the strengths of entering students. Rather than teaching towards the totality of what we want to produce, we are tempted to simply continue former practices with the application of an enhanced anatomy and physiology "Band-Aid." Not only is this extremely bad thinking from a systems approach, but, as massage attracts a wider range of students, it's often less and less true, even as a first approximation.
Education can act as a filter and an enhancement. Ultimately, our profession will evolve from the details of what we explicitly value and nurture. My hope is that our ears and hearts will be able to hear the value of the melody and the interlacing harmony within our diverse profession. May we remain flexible enough in our personal agendas to listen to each other, and to let those entering our art find their own expression of virtuosity within it.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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