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Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
June, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 06
Just Tell Me What I Need to Know to Pass the Test
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
These are the words to make any instructor wince! I want my students to be inspired by what I teach. I'd like them to learn Asian/Chinese medicine because it's fascinating and it works. But practically speaking, like it or not, exams are necessary for evaluating theoretical material learned, setting standards and creating laws.There is also a certain amount of information you need to commit to memory before you are able to pass an exam. This article is designed to help you learn the Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) theory portion of the National Certification Exam (NCE) so you can continue to do whatever it is that you love the most. The NCBTMB states that the NCE covers some basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and although this outline is as simple as you can get, I can't guarantee that it covers all of the questions asked.
I have to tell you truthfully though, that if this subject matter doesn't thrill you and/or you have had little or no training in ABT, don't worry. According to Cliff Korn, a past chairman of the NCBTMB, there is only a small percentage of the content outline pertaining to traditional Chinese medicine on the exam, and you can probably miss every single ABT question and still pass. Call the NCBTMB if you don't believe me! Spend your time studying the information that you learned and know it well, rather than trying to cram a lot of material into your head that you may find irrelevant to your practice.
Don't get me wrong, I am a big supporter of the NCE. If you graduate with a degree in massage, take the NCE whether you think you need it or not. You will be glad that you did, particularly if you ever decide to move to a state that requires it for licensure.
If you practice any form of ABT, such as shiatsu, acupressure or tuina, I recommend you take the more appropriate ABT exam offered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The NCCAOM has been the benchmark in Asian medicine for almost 20 years; their acupuncture certification is already being used in 42 states for licensure.
The benefits for doing so are numerous. Diplomate ABT (NCCAOM) is the highest certification available in the field of ABT, clearly distinguishing the education and standards as separate from massage. If you practice any form of ABT, I believe that this is the single most important action you can take to support your personal growth, your profession and the field of ABT as a whole.
So if you are determined to forge ahead and learn "just what you need to pass the exam," here are my suggestions, followed by a five-month game plan to learn some basics.
Admit That You May Be Afraid
Many people suffer from exam anxiety. Most of the time it's not rational. I don't remember ever failing an exam in my life, but I still suffer from exam fear.
If you feel the same way, get someone to work on your Kidney meridian to help you calm your fears. The Kidneys in Chinese medicine relate to the Water element, which relates to fear.
Lie face down. Ask your partner to hold the Kidney shu points bilaterally. (Bl 23, located 1.5 cun/anatomical Chinese inches from the space below L 2.) With their free hand, have them thumb-press up from your sole along the medial posterior aspect of your leg slowly. Ask them to finish by rubbing the lower back vigorously, then gently holding the area beside the lumbar vertebrae bilaterally with their palms.
Form a Study Group
All of my students who form study groups do well on their exams. Start five months ahead of time if you need to cover a lot of material that you haven't already learned thoroughly in your course of study.
Commit to meeting one time a week and stick to it. Divide the list of topics to cover evenly over the time you have left before the exam. (See below for a suggested basic outline.)
Rotate among the people in the group presenting a topic each week. For example, one person on the list presents the basic yin/yang theory with relative associations the first time you meet. Use handouts, drawings and any other materials you can think of to make it interesting and fun. Laugh as much as possible as that helps to open your Heart/Mind and you will remember things longer. If you like the people you are studying with, it also has a similar good effect on your memory, as this all relates to the Fire element.
Start each meeting by quizzing each other on material that you went over last time. When you ask a question that draws a blank, give someone time to pull it out of his or her memory reserves. If they still can't get it, when you finally tell them the answer, they will tend to remember it longer.
Here is a 20-week game plan for covering basic ABT theory:
The night before and day of the exam, get plenty of rest and relax. My clients swear that they do better on exams if they have a shiatsu session the night before. There are points and meridians that can be worked on specifically for clear thinking and grounding, allowing you to access the information that you studied so hard.
Eat a warm, nutritious breakfast.
When you sit down to take the exam, even before you look at anything, make charts of all of the elements, meridians and times. You then have something to refer to if you blank out during the exam from overload.
Skip over questions you don't know and go back to them later. You may find that another question will spark your memory and you will get that question. When you finish the exam, go over it again for careless errors.
If you follow these steps and prepare methodically, you have nothing to worry about come exam time. But remember, if you pass the NCE, it's a national certification in massage and bodywork, not specific to Asian Bodywork Therapy such as shiatsu or acupressure. Advertise your credentials proudly, accurately and ethically!
Author's note: For a more detailed study guide, see the chapter by Barbra Esher and John Johnston in the new edition of Tappan's Healing Massage Techniques, due out at the end of this year.
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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