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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
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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