resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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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