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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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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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