resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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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