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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Several issues ago, I mentioned how much I enjoy attending massage and bodywork conventions. I started off this year by attending the National Convention of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA), held in New Orleans.I picked a great way to start the year!
The AOBTA convention, with a theme of "Coming Full Circle," was actually a grouping of several meetings held in conjunction with one another. All of them were worth the trip to an unusually cold and windy New Orleans.
One convention highlight was the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) workshop on Item Writing. Debra Duncan, NCCAOM executive director, conducted the workshop. All NCCAOM Diplomates in Asian Bodywork were eligible to participate. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is a nonprofit organization established in 1982. Its mission is to promote nationally recognized standards of competency and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the purpose of protecting the public. The NCCAOM is a member of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). It is also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which represents the highest voluntary certification standards in the United States. NCCAOM Certification in Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) was offered in 1996 through Credentials Documentation Review. The first Comprehensive Written Examination in ABT was given in October 2000. NCCAOM is committed to a three-part mission of establishing entry-level standards for the safe and competent practice of acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, and Asian bodywork therapy; evaluating applicant qualifications through national board examinations in these areas; and certifying practitioners who meet NCCAOM standards of competency. Item writing is an important part of the credential program process, as it ensures that the test component of the credentialing process is current and reflects the input of field practitioners. The AOBTA informed all of their members that the workshop would be convened at the convention so that all diplomates could ensure that their input was received. Those who chose not to participate in this important credentialing function have diminished their impact in shaping the profession!
Another component of the convention was the meeting of the AOBTA Council of Schools and Programs (COSP). Educational entities that have been approved for COSP membership have an important place in the AOBTA system, as graduates of COSP Schools or Programs are automatically granted AOBTA membership upon receipt of their application form. I was very pleased to receive a warm welcome to attend the COSP meetings as a member of the professional massage and bodywork press. Rylen Feeney, AOBTA's Education Chair, facilitated the morning business session. In addition to reviewing and modifying the COSP membership fee schedule, it was announced that Pamela Ferguson, dean of Asian bodywork at the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin, Texas, was named interim director of COSP. The COSP director is a new seat on the AOBTA board of directors. In additional actions, the COSP established a steering committee to develop bylaws and a mission statement, and to explore the feasibility of becoming an independent, stand-alone organization. The group further held discussions on the similarities and differences between "schools" and "programs", and reviewed the role of Certified Instructors and explored the potential role of a proposed Registered Instructor designation. Stuart Watts facilitated an afternoon session, and COSP members reviewed successful ways to grow their schools and programs. There were great networking opportunities for the representatives of COSP schools and programs.
Barbra Esher, AOBTA President (and Massage Today columnist) gave a breakfast address to the convention attendees. In her last term as president, her talk was bittersweet as it represented the last time she would address the AOBTA national convention as its president. She recognized many who had been instrumental in developing and growing the organization from its inception. The AOBTA was formed in 1989 with the coming together of a number of associations, which represented individual disciplines of Asian Bodywork Therapy. Barbra explained the "Coming Full Circle" theme by reminding the audience that AOBTA's first national convention was also convened in New Orleans. (Barbra also had the entire room roaring like lions, but that's another story altogether!)
The convention keynote speaker was Lonny Jarrett, M.Ac. Lonny is a graduate of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute and a Fellow of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He holds a master's degree in neurobiology and a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Lonny teaches and publishes extensively on inner traditions of Chinese medicine and pulse diagnosis. His address focused on pain as it is predicated upon separation from true self. He explored health from the standpoint of knowing who we are, why we are here, and what we are supposed to be doing about it!
As in almost all massage and/or bodywork conventions, education played a major role in the activities. A wealth of information was disbursed in the many workshops attendees selected from. World-class presenters of the Asian bodywork therapies taught all of the workshops. Post-convention workshops included an NCCAOM ABT Exam Preparation Course designed to help senior students and graduates prepare to successfully complete the NCCAOM ABT exam, and a Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) On-Site Evaluator Training Workshop. In this, Carol Ostendorf, COMTA executive director, provided initial training for certified instructors interested in serving as members of COMTA on-site review teams.
Coming full circle in my own right, the AOBTA convention did nothing to discourage my love of conventions; it only encouraged me to participate in more. Being with a large group of friendly, helping people who are justifiably proud of their profession, their organization and their accomplishments is very stimulating and nourishing for the spirit. Of the many new friends and acquaintances I made, there are several who I hope will be future contributors to Massage Today. I was particularly pleased to get so much positive feedback from the convention attendees on the first-year growth of Massage Today. Many sought me out to let me know how much they liked getting Massage Today and thanking me for covering their convention. I was made to feel included and very welcome. It was certainly my pleasure.
If you haven't caught the spirit to support your regional and national conferences and conventions, you're missing the boat!
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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