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Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
May, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 05
Rebirthing AOBTA: A Retrospective of Three Years as President
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
What do Shiatsu, Amma, Chi Nei Tsang, Nuad Bo'Rarn, Tuina, Acupressure, Jin Shin Do® and Anma Therapy all have in common? Yes, they have foreign-sounding names, but you won't find them on a menu: they are all forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT).They have evolved in different parts of the world but, like acupuncture and Chinese herbs, they have their roots in Chinese medicine.
Evidence indicates bodywork predates other branches of Chinese medicine. Our logo, painted and presented to AOBTA by Professor Jin-Huai Wang, means "bodywork" and dates back 4,000-6,000 years ago to China. It was found carved on bones in ancient prescriptions such as, "For stomach pain, press on a point 3 cun below the knee" (sound familiar?). Profesor Wang believes that Asian bodywork is the mother of Chinese medicine.
As members of the Chinese medicine community, we have more similarities than differences. We have the same theoretical framework. The NCCAOM offers national certification for Asian bodywork therapists, as well as for acupuncturists and Chinese herbologists. We have the same challenges, including educating the public on the benefits of our work and assuring our right to practice in each state.
In writing an article about the last three years as president of AOBTA, I figured I needed to make sure you knew who we are before I tell you what it is we have done!
AOBTA stands for the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia. It is a professional membership association which advocates public policy that protects and promotes Asian bodywork therapy and its practitioners, while honoring the diversity of the disciplines we embrace. AOBTA serves its community of members by:
This is the mission statement the Board of Directors and I created during our strategic planning meeting at the beginning of my term. To accomplish our goals, we started a "Stars" campaign that raised over $10,000, $5,000 of it from board members. We also slashed operating expenses of the organization, covering many of them out of our own pockets, so that we would be working securely in the black.
One of the first challenges we faced was that a significant number of people were offended by the word "Oriental" in our name, when we were known as the American Oriental Bodywork Therapy Association (AOBTA). I know that the OM community has wrestled with this issue for years and has kept using the word, but rather then potentially driving the problem deeper into our "body" by suppressing it, we used principles of Chinese medicine, brought it to the surface and allowed everyone to vent their opinions. When everyone felt that their opinions had been heard, we voted and that was it. We were able to keep our acronym and are still known as AOBTA.
Advocating Public Policy That Protects and Promotes Asian Bodywork Therapists
AOBTA has been proactive in the legislative arena by creating coalitions within the bodywork community. An issue in the past has been that Asian bodywork therapy was automatically subsumed under massage laws without consideration of our separate-but-equal training requirements and different national certification. This left many ABTs in the situation of having to go back to school to take a massage program when they already had as much as three years of training in their field. Already, 12 states have adopted the NCCAOM's ABT exam as an alternative to the national certification examination as we continue working to ensure equitable treatment and recognition of ABT in all states.
Honoring the Diversity of the Disciplines
We Embrace I believe this to be one of our greatest strengths, which has developed even further these past three years. AOBTA used to be thought of as exclusive in a clique-ish sense. We are still discerning in the fact that we adhere to our high standards, but we also welcome and honor all forms of ABT that follow our common curriculum requirements.
Initiating Appropriate Credentialing Criteria
Creating our own national exam has been a goal of the AOBTA since we were created 12 years ago. During the last three years, we have supported the NCCAOM in the first two administrations of the Asian bodywork therapy exam. Many of our members have passed the exam, receiving all of the benefits of national credentialing.
Defining Practice and Educational Standards
Education has made strides over the past three years with the development of our Council of Schools and Programs (COSP). We have seen the biggest growth spurt of COSP since the beginning of AOBTA. An added benefit to membership is that graduates of COSP schools automatically qualify to take the NCCAOM's ABT exam. We have adjusted the fee to encourage smaller schools to join and have also strengthened the communications structure. With the addition of an interim board position of COSP Director, we are hoping to grow and support COSP even more.
AOBTA has also expanded requirements for the student membership category to encourage more students to become involved with the organization, exposing them to the wonders of ABT and our standards of practice. A new category of membership, the Register Instructor (RI) level, has been created as well. Requested by our members, the purpose of this level is to create:
Providing Resources for Training, Networking, and Professional Development
As president of AOBTA, I have had the pleasure of being involved in and attending three top-notch conventions in which we have had some of the best presenters in the field. We have also held six regional seminars at regular intervals between conventions. Speakers have included Kiiko Matsumoto; Jeffrey Yuen; Alex Tiberi; Rick Gold; Pauline Sasaki; Bill Helm; Lonny Jarret; Pamela Ferguson; Jin-Huai Wang; Robbee Fian; Harriet Beinfield; and Efrem Korngold, as well as many other talented and engaging educators in our field.
As a networking tool and as an informative journal, our newsletter Pulse has continued to evolve in marvelous ways under the direct guidance of editor-in-chief Deborah Valentine Smith. Not only is it organized and even more readable, it arrives more regularly, more often and has increased in size by 50%.
Networking opportunities have increased with the development of more state chapters. AOBTA has broadened its networking into the worldwide arena of ABT and expanded its international relationships.
Promoting Public Education about the Benefits of Our Work, Our Principles and Standards
AOBTA has benefited from more media attention then ever. Natural Health, Andrew Weil's Self Healing and others have referred readers to AOBTA as the resource for information and practitioners of ABT. Two new beautiful brochures have been professionally designed; one outlining the benefits of membership, the other available as a promotional tool to inform potential clients about our work and who we are. We also have a new website (www.aobta.org), thanks to our extraordinary webmaster, Randall Sexton. It has a practitioner locator database as well as information about ABT and AOBTA. And if all that wasn't enough, we have also created a list of companies and organizations that give our members discounts. We even send members items such as pens and decals as promotional material.
I can't stress enough that the board of directors deserves the credit for AOBTA's "rebirthing" the last three years. We play and work well together, and I believe we have infused a fun, warm and caring atmosphere into the organization. Bear with me while I personally thank board members Debra Howard (who will be the next president by the time this is printed!); Yolanda Asher; Stuart Watts; Pauline Sasaki; Elene Page; Ruth Dalphin; Pamela Ferguson; Lynn Meffert; Rylen Feeney; Maria Spuller; Wayne Mylin; Phil Guzelf; and Toshiko Phipps. We couldn't have accomplished any of this without a huge amount of commitment and work from everyone on the AOBTA Board and the support from the staff, Angela Pflugfelder and Janet Dobbs.
I will be continuing on as director of education while Debra Howard continues to carry out AOBTA's mission! Most important though, I'd like to thank all AOBTA members for their support. We couldn't do anything without our members! They really are the ones that create the yin substances (membership dues and even extra donations) that support our yang activities. It's their involvement that makes AOBTA all that we are so we can continue to promote the field of Chinese medicine as a whole.
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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