resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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