resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06
Advice to Future Massage Therapists
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Let the debate begin as to what to do about substandard schools. As more of the public accepts massage therapy based on word of mouth, or on research that proves it is effective, we face a dangerous backlash if the typical therapist cannot meet the public's expectations.
The rapid proliferation of massage/bodywork schools has created concerns regarding the quality of education being received by future therapists.Of course there are many excellent schools, but there are more and more substandard programs that not only dole out substandard training, but do not even provide the courses and number of hours they advertise. Practicing therapists have great influence over potential students. With that in mind, I offer these suggestions to future therapists and hope that practicing therapists, the primary audience of this publication, will pass them along.
So you want to become a massage therapist/bodyworker? You want to help people while earning a living doing something you love to do? Massage/bodywork may be the right opportunity for you. First, you must get some training. The best way to do this is to go to a school. Choosing the right school is one of the most important career decisions you will ever make.
How do you find the right school for you? The good news is that there are now lots of schools teaching massage/bodywork. The bad news is that many of them provide very poor quality education. Every field has its bad apples. The goal of this column is to help you avoid biting into one of them, especially on your first bite. Be aware that many schools do not actually provide all the hours and/or all the courses they promise in their promotional material. Do not completely trust any school's advertisements. Do some serious research. This is your career. You want to get off to the best start possible, don't you?
Consider several schools, and visit each one. Do you have the ability to move to another city or state? It may be worthwhile to attend a better program. If this is not an option, consider that it may be worth driving further to attend a better program, instead of the most convenient one. Visit each school several times. Try to meet and talk to several students. Would they enroll at this school if they had it to do all over again? Find some recent graduates of the school. Interview them about their experience. Ask pointed questions and get specific details. Be sure the graduates feel they received what they were promised. Realize that you may encounter a hard to please individual, or an easy to please one for that matter, so check with several others until you are comfortable.
Check with practicing therapists in the area for school recommendations. Keep in mind that some therapists are very loyal to their alma mater, so contact as many therapists in your area as you reasonably can. Try to find a consensus with which you are comfortable. If a consensus cannot be found, be suspicious and look further.
It is a good idea to get a massage from graduates of a school you are considering. Realize that one individual is not necessarily representative of the work taught at the school. You should be receiving professional massage if you intend to give it. This remains true after you graduate and are practicing as well!
Contact the state regulatory board, if the state has one. Have any schools you are considering had complaints filed against them? If they have, investigate further. Be sure the problem has been resolved. Sometimes a complaint process can cause a school to really shape up. Other times, it shows a major flaw you may want to avoid.
Also check with the State Department of Education. Consult The Better Business Bureau and The Chamber of Commerce. Often people will file complaints with these organizations instead of a government agency. If complaints have been filed against a school you are considering, be sure you are comfortable with the situation before signing up.
Be aware that there are many types of massage techniques. Massage/bodywork schools only provide entry-level training. That means just the basics. To specialize in a particular area or style, plan on taking additional courses during school and after graduation.
Once you have selected the school with which you are the most comfortable (and hopefully the most excited about attending), enroll. Here's a very important tip: It is your responsibility to be sure you receive all that you were promised and paid for. Keep a diary or log of every hour you spend in school. Record the subject studied and the instructor. Are you getting the promised instructor, presenting the promised hours in each subject?
Should you accidentally wind up in a school that is not providing what you are paying for, you must be able to document the inadequacy in order to attain a remedy. A timely-kept diary is about the only way to do this. Do not do this in a hostile or suspicious manner. Do this as a professional habit of keeping accurate records. You will have to do it for your business, so you might as well start now. Hopefully you will find that you have received more than your money's worth! Should you discover you are not receiving the education you contracted for, what should you do? First, bring it to the attention of the school administration. Do not give them your log. Give them only a copy of it, or you may lose your evidence. If they do not remedy your complaint quickly, file complaints with the State Department of Education, the State Massage Board (if your state has one) and your local Better Business Bureau/Chamber of Commerce. Your local county attorney may also be of help. This sounds like a lot of hassle -- It is. However, it is the only way to protect yourself and to protect others in the future.
The unfortunate thing about entering this emerging new profession is there are some risks you must protect yourself from to ensure your success. The fortunate and exciting thing is the incredible opportunity available to you, to be the best that you can be and to help so many people.
Best wishes for a long, happy, healthy and prosperous career. Your hands are needed. Prepare them well.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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