resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
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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