resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
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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