resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
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, etc.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
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.
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.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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."
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
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.
January, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 01
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support on this, the one-year anniversary of my column and, coincidentally enough, of Massage Today! I appreciate your questions and suggestions, and I answer all letters.(If you wrote and did not receive a reply, your message got lost in a shuffle between new computers. Please try again.)
I thought this would be a good month to answer the most commonly asked question I've been asked: "How can I learn more, and what books do you recommend?" I'd also like to tie this question in to a much larger issue - how people portray themselves, particularly with regard to their training.
First off, qi is a completely experiential phenomenon; you cannot learn about it from books. It is energetic in nature and thus, elusive. There is absolutely no substitute for training with an experienced instructor. You can get an idea about the functions of qi, etiology, pathology and treatment strategies from books and articles, but it is not going to come together without someone to help sort it all out. Start collecting brochures from places that you know are reputable, such as www.aobta.org and other websites. Decide if Chinese medicine is really what you want to do, then figure out how to do it!
As far as books go, there is one that I recommend that, if you only buy one book for the rest of your life, get Foundations of Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia. It is not cheap, but divide the price up over the years that you will use it and it is clearly a bargain. Foundations of Chinese Medicine is the most readable, comprehensive text written in English (or Italian if you would prefer). Everything in it is applicable to shiatsu and Asian bodywork. If you also want an acupoint book, try Peter Deadman's Manual of Acupuncture. It is also expensive, but you'll never need another meridian and point location book. Either of these books can be ordered from redwingbooks.com, and AOBTA members receive a discount.
So, let's say you've read all my articles, and purchased and read both of the abovementioned books. Maybe you've even taken a weekend course. Are you ready to add shiatsu to the list of "specialties" on your card? Probably at this point you're response is, "Heavens no, of course not!" but I know for some it may be tempting. It seems fashionable these days to list many specialties on business cards, websites and other places.
One problem in doing that is, people are less likely to call you. Narrow down what you specialize in. Interestingly enough, the more you specialize, the busier you get! The public perceives those who claim to do many different practices as jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none. The public is accustomed to seeking out "specialists." There are obviously other reasons to seriously consider how you portray yourself.
How do you feel about people who say they do massage therapy after maybe only a few weekends of training? If you think this does a disservice to your profession, you may sympathize with how I feel. Substitute the word "shiatsu" for "massage" in the scenario above. It is painful for me to see people with little or no training portray themselves as shiatsu therapists.
I have been studying for over 15 years, and I have only covered the tip of the shiatsu iceberg. How much is enough? What is the minimum? Just as the National Certification Exam (NCE) is considered as entry level into the massage profession, the Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) Certification Exam, administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), is considered the benchmark in the field for shiatsu and ABT. Each exam requires approximately 500 hours of training as requisite; the curriculum requirements are separate but equal. Both the NCCAOM and the NCBTMB are NCCA-certified and members of NOCA. The NCCAOM also certifies acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists, has been in existence almost 20 years, and has exams accepted for licensure in over 40 states.
Do I think that there are excellent shiatsu therapists who have not taken the ABT exam? Absolutely! However, I believe that by taking the exam, they would benefit themselves and the field of ABT as a whole. Do I think that there are excellent shiatsu therapists out there with less than 500 hours of training in ABT? Maybe. But few would come close to having the high level of sensitivity, knowledge, assessment and treatment skills that I expect from an Asian bodywork therapist.
In Japan, 2,200 hours of training are required to practice shiatsu. I don't think Americans are ready for that benchmark yet, but maybe you see my point! I am happy to say that ABTs have a friend in their quest for practitioners to accurately and ethically represent themselves. AMTA has received a lot of bad press due to "the lawsuit," and I really think it's a shame.
I know Cliff said that he didn't want to appear biased in his last editor's column, but I am fine with coming out as very partial to AMTA and its current board of directors. I personally prefer to be represented by an organization that is membership-driven, nonprofit and that supports high educational standards in the field. I know many of you find that other organizations better fulfill your needs, and I respect everyone's choice!
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.