resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
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.
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.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
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.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.