resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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