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resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
July, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 07
Massage Education Failing, Part V
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Editor's note: Parts I-IV of this article appeared in the March-June issues of Massage Today.
In my previous four articles, I've discussed the failing educational system of our profession.It is easy to find fault and moan about what's wrong. It is always more difficult to improve things. I am just a guy who writes a monthly column. I have no illusion that I have the answers to all the problems in massage education. My writing about it may not change anything. My real goal is to educate you about the extent of the problem and hopefully to stimulate an open discussion within the profession that will lead to positive change.
You can change things. Education must be dealt with at the state level. It will require concerned therapists, educators and schools who care about quality, to get together and come up with solutions that will work in their state. The laws and procedures in each state are different and must be dealt with individually. Ideally, there should be some consistency state to state. However, since there is no national leadership, you will have to do the best you can in your area. Do not attempt to organize all the schools or every educator. Only those with a true commitment for quality deserve your attention. Never attempt to reach a consensus of every school. Consensus is the absence of leadership.
It is the lowest common denominator process that prevents excellence. It is time to strive for excellence. It is time for leadership. It is time to do what is right. You who care must fight for what is right. Do not allow the K-Mart mentality of mediocrity or the whining of underachievers deter you from setting the highest practical standards possible. Set your goals and make your case to your regulatory boards and education departments. Most board members and legislators will side with an argument for excellence. It only takes a few dedicated individuals to change laws and rules.
Many of you have written asking how you can help, how you can join in, how you can improve things in massage education. This is how. Find other people in your state who care. Get together and write a proposal. Take it to your state licensing boards and legislators and departments of education. Then, stay in regular contact with them until action is taken.
Petitions may have to be circulated to show that many people, both professional and public, are concerned with your cause. Most people will sign a petition urging excellence and high standards. Only those involved in the substandard education will resist. They will not have the creditability or the evidence to win the debate.
In part four of this series, I made three suggestions to improve massage education. I suggested two years of college as a prerequisite for students entering massage/bodywork schools; three years of successful practice experience for instructors and one year for teaching assistants of massage/bodywork techniques; and thirdly, and requiring students to keep a daily diary of every hour of training they receive. I offer these suggestions as a place for those of you who care to start the debate.
This month, I have two more suggestions. My suggestions revolve around two organizations, COMTA and the Council of Schools. Whoa, look at the hands go up. Don't bother to write about my being a shill for the AMTA. I commend the AMTA when it does well, and knock it when it doesn't. Its sponsorship of these two organizations is good. COMTA had to be started by someone. No one else was willing to fund or tackle true accreditation for massage schools. It is a huge process to organize an accrediting agency. There needed to be an accreditation program for massage/bodywork programs. Finally there is one. (Refer to the June article.)
AMTA initially funded COMTA. Now, COMTA is administratively independent of AMTA, complete with its own elected board of directors. This is the same process that was used to start the national certification process. Right now, COMTA accredits massage/bodywork programs and the institutions that provide them. This makes the schools eligible to administer financial aid programs for students. The other accreditation agencies only accredit the institution. This is why so many accredited schools have such lousy programs. They run their businesses well and pass institutional accreditation. This is easy for community colleges and established trade schools, which explains why many of them get by with poor-quality massage programs; only the business is accredited. (Of course, there is also the phoney-baloney mail-order accreditation from the psuedo-association that accredits nothing, but looks like it does. This disgrace to education and our profession needs to be outlawed. It is consumer fraud.)
To require small schools to go through a legitimate accreditation process would destroy them. Many large schools do not go through the process because they do not want to deal with financial aid programs, anyway. Schools must increase revenue by at least $36,000 just to cover the costs of administrating financial aid. However, if there was pressure from the profession, COMTA could create program accreditation, which would not involve the expense of being approved for and administering financial aid. This needs to be done. Once accomplished, all schools should have to become program accredited within three years of opening.
The other suggestion is a sort of school mentoring program. The best organization now in place is the Council of Schools. Yes, it is sponsored by AMTA -- Get over it. It is also an administratively independent organization. While good schools are not going to mentor their competition, nor should they, an organization like the Council of Schools allows schools to network, receive instructor training, work to create educational standards and hopefully raise the level of education in the profession. While membership cannot and should not be required, it needs to be made politically correct to belong. (PC needs to be good for something. Maybe this will finally be it!)
It is time to march forward. The problem is clear. Entry-level education for the massage/bodywork profession is failing and must be improved. I've proposed a few solutions - come up with more of your own, hopefully better ones than what I've presented. A mechanism to accomplish change has been outlined. It is up to you, to all of us who care, to act. The longest journey is initiated with the first step. It is up to you who care to take the first step. Go now! May your efforts benefit suffering humanity!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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