resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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