resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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