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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.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
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 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!
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
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.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
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."
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.
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.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
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.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
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.
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.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
December, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 12
Perception and Bias
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I'm never sure if anyone actually reads the columns I write for Massage Today, but I did hear from two individuals who read my October editorial. In my Massage in Times of Crisis article, I stated:
I received a letter from the President of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) that pointed out several valid concerns. However, it also suggested that my article proved a pro-AMTA reporting bias on my part, because I neglected to mention that ABMP's International Massage Week (initiated in 1995) pioneered this kind of awareness effort. His letter didn't cause me much introspection, though, as it followed right on the heels of a very different perception shared with me one week earlier, while I was attending AMTA's convention in Quebec City, Canada. At the convention, I was approached by one of the AMTA directors. He let me know, in no uncertain terms, that he was upset with my editorial because I wrote, "One of our nation's three major massage therapy professional associations," instead of crediting AMTA with the program. He accused me of an anti-AMTA bias in my article.
Am I biased? Most likely I am. Everyone has biases. I do try to minimize my biases in Massage Today, because I truly believe that all aspects of our profession need to be heard. On the above issue, I can appreciate both points of view. Both individuals are justifiably proud of their associations and programs. Both have a personal bias and a sincere desire to have their own organization seen in the best possible light, and to get the best PR. But both missed my point entirely! My editorial wasn't about AMTA. It wasn't about ABMP. It wasn't about any association or organization - it was about working together! I think they both proved my point. [Note: To his credit, Bob Benson, ABMP president, has initiated an offer to AMTA to explore issues in which the two organizations might collaborate for the benefit of the profession. I hope his overture receives serious attention.]
I was pleased to be an attendee at this year's AMTA convention (accusations of pro and anti-AMTA bias notwithstanding). It was smaller than the past several, estimated at a little more than 1% of AMTA's total membership. This is perhaps due to the out-of-country location that was more difficult to get to than the past several conventions, and/or perhaps to the general disinclination of people to travel subsequent to the September 11 tragedies. Those who did make the trip were treated to a time packed with high-quality professional experiences. A friendly dinner I enjoyed with Rolfers and Feldenkrais practitioners from Canada and the U.S., conversing in both English and French, was just one example of the unique nature of this particular event.
For those who haven't been to Quebec City, the location itself made for a unique and delightful destination. The ambiance was much more that of Europe than North America. The walled city and the lower Old Port section were visual delights steeped in charm and stunning architecture. It appears that there is no such thing as a bad restaurant in Quebec City, either. (Caribou in blueberry sauce - oh my!)
During the course of the convention, it was an honor to hear keynotes from some of the true giants of the massage and bodywork world. Attendees were able to hear Leon Chaitow, DO, ND (prolific author of many texts on neuromuscular technique, positional release, muscle energy testing, etc.) discussing "Understanding Bodywork's Unifying Principles." Job's Body author and Trager™ practitioner Deane Juhan also presented a keynote that examined "Touch as a Force for Social Change." ("Perception is proprioception," was a memorable quote from his keynote!)
Canada's Melanie Hayden, president of the Association of Massage Therapists and Wholistic Practitioners (AMTWP), made a special award presentation to AMTA for the development and deployment of its Massage Emergency Response Team (MERT). AMTWP members also donated funds in support of MERT, and Melanie presented a check for those donations as well. The award was received by outgoing AMTA President Steve Olson and MERT program Committee Chair Erika Lind. Educational opportunities for attendees were diverse and useful. The workshops attendees were able to choose from varied from the thought provoking and theoretical to the practical, "use next Monday morning," type. Examples of educational topics included: Optimizing Your Baby's Environment Through Infant Touch; The Power of Touch in Alzheimer's Care; Psycho-Physical Attunement and Fully Embodied Consciousness; Tai Chi Massage; Body Rolling: A Self-Help Therapy; The Heart of Ethics; Learning to Mentor; Lomi Lomi; and Understanding Tissue Memory and Its Implications. Two presentations that I found particularly outstanding were a two-part lecture and practicum workshop on Breast Massage, presented by the authors of the book by the same name, Debra Curties and Pam Fitch; and Osteopathic Soft Tissue Manipulation for Massage Therapists, presented by Leon Chaitow.
As you can see, the choices to be made in what and what not to attend proved quite difficult. Educational opportunities were not limited to the classroom. The exhibit hall housed an international array of companies educating attendees on the value of their products and services. The dedication to the massage therapy profession by these companies is to be praised ,as they dealt with international customs and shipping issues to serve the convention attendees.
So, those are my perceptions of a great convention held in a great city. They reflect all my biases and personal opinions. I'm certain that others may have come to different conclusions, given similar input. I still think it important that massage therapists and bodyworkers look more to areas of common ground than to areas of contention. Let's not assume that we're all working against one another. Yes, this means you!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to the address listed below:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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