resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
December, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 12
How People Learn
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Like those who dress as giant salmon and run the San Francisco Bay-to-Breakers from finish to start, I sometimes find myself going against the accepted flow. The impetus this time was provided by a colleague's statement attributing the growth in the use of massage to a certain "standard of training," and also expressing a fear that all of the "good work" could be undone by a loosening of standards.
While I am a staunch supporter of using marketing and public education to reach out and touch as widely as we can with massage, I believe that both the credit and the fear are unfounded. Even more akin to my symbolic salmon, I believe that much of the current push for "standards of training" is founded on a flawed educational model of how we learn.
The Foundation on which Massage Has Grown
Statistics on sports participation indicate that one of the most important trends to begin in the 1960s was "a new focus on self-fulfillment and a heightened awareness in self-improvement - an outgrowth of which was a budding awareness of personal health and physical fitness."1 This shift in attitude entered the mainstream in the 1970s, resulting in the running boom at the end of that decade with a subsequent spread into other activities. The overall growth of physical activity participation flattened in the 1990s, with activities in health clubs growing at the expense of other venues. In short, during the 1990s there was a shift toward seeking external motivation and facilitation, a shift synergistic with increased utilization of massage. Couple this with the observation that 23% of current health club members are at least 55 years old, a 379% increase since 1987.2
There were two other concurrent cultural themes that I believe changed attitudes in ways that had major positive impacts on massage utilization in the United States. The first was that U.S. athletic organizations were forced to respond, however reactively, to the widespread use of massage by foreign competitors. The second was the dramatic increase in sports participation by girls and women following the 1972 enactment of Title IX.10,11 To a great extent, growth in massage has ridden on the groundswell of the increasing number of women with a positive history of physical activity, and the shift in expectations that they have created.
Teaching for Understanding
There are those who advocate the requirement of a seemingly ever-increasing number of hours of education as a prerequisite to entering the massage profession. If the motivation for this advocacy is to produce corresponding increases in practitioner competency, such requirements are of sadly limited benefit. Educational research over the past 20-30 years compellingly demonstrates that learning in the classroom context often leads not to usable understanding, but only to the ability to successfully answer test questions 3,6,7,8,9. Study after study has found that, by and large, even the best students in the best schools can't take knowledge learned in one setting and apply it appropriately in a different setting.3,4,9
Within the academic setting, students can learn to be successful with short-term memorization and use of "right-answer" cues. In contrast, actual practice requires very limited memorization of facts. The massage practitioner must have the deeper understanding required to find information as needed and then to be able to use it to make therapy decisions in the face of ambiguity. Research indicates that the environment that seems best able to foster the understanding leading to usability has much in common with traditional apprenticeships.7,8 In the modern cognitive apprenticeship, however, it is not just the tasks but the thinking underlying them that must be made "visible" and reflected upon.5
Such apprenticeships can be created within the context of traditional schools. A modular, tiered program can move the student into early practice, while providing resources for the ongoing training and dialog that passes the context of expertise from teacher/mentors to increasingly skillful practitioners. There should be a progression of successively more difficult tasks within the conceptual scaffolding and coaching provided by the mentors. Testing should not be concerned with memorization and regurgitation but with the student's ability, on being presented with the relevant data, to choose between conclusions that can be drawn from it.8 Within the profession of massage, it is time that we base our training requirements on 21st century insights of how people learn.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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