resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
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.
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.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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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