resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.)
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.
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 09
Beyond the Rub
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
It is time to put heart back into massage. When I started the series of columns on failing massage education, I first documented the failing, then proposed several suggestions I believe could improve massage education.Most of my suggestions involved imposing additional government regulation on the profession in general, and on massage schools in particular. This is probably necessary in the short run. However, government is always the worst way to do anything except maybe to fight wars and collect taxes. Texas massage therapist David Lauterstein, RMT, says it well:
Once government establishes a minimum, that minimum also becomes the maximum. Why do more than you have to? While a few will strive for excellence, most will attempt to barely meet the minimum standard. I have observed several states before and after licensing. Before licensing, there were one or two good schools and one or two lousy schools. A few years after licensing, there were one or two good schools and dozens of lousy schools. Is this the desired result? I hope not!
It finally dawned on me that what has been lost in all the clamor is heart. The heart of massage is being lost Massage has the potential to be the premier wellness modality in health care. Wholism is the birthright of American massage therapy (as well as being just "good science.") The current medical emphasis in massage, and the emphasis on energy work freed of any logical constraints, seems a great loss in so many respects. Both paradigms sell the potential of massage/bodywork short. Most energy work has such little grounding in the physical sciences that it achieves no consistent results beyond the parasympathetic response of laying down in a calm environment for awhile. The medical emphasis usually focuses on nothing more than "rub here for this and there for that." It is usually taught with emphasis on insurance billing (drooling for dollars) and acceptance by the gods of the sickness sciences. Neither have much heart or wholism.
If we focus on sickness, we will have more and more sickness. That is the way the universe works. The allopathic sickness system has not lessened the amount of sickness by studying it. In fact, it has increased sickness, irregardless what it may have done for lifespan. The focus needs to be put on wellness. Until we study wellness with the fervor we study sickness, we will never achieve wellness. Since there is more money to be made treating sickness than in curing it, wellness will never be a priority in the allopathic system.
The same is true for massage education. If we put our focus on its failures, we will have more and more failure. If we concentrate on low quality, we will achieve it. If we study incompetence, we will have more and more incompetence. It is time to put our focus on excellence. Right now our emphasis is on competence. Competence is a lowest common denominator process. Our current system of regulation and national certification is a lowest common denominator standard. The results show it is not working. It is time to focus on and strive for excellence. David Lauterstein again puts this so well:
Greg Lawton, DC, of the American Medical Massage Association (AMMA), puts it another way:
To me, all this comes back to heart. If you are truly working from the heart, you will, out of love and compassion for your fellow human beings do the absolute best you can. You will never be satisfied with your level of knowledge and skill. Just learning to rub will not be enough. Just teaching others to rub will not be enough. Your desire to help others will drive you to study both the physical and the non-physical sciences. It will lead you to study holistic health. It will drive you to practice the principles of holistic health in your own life, so you can be an inspiring and motivational example to others, especially your patients and students. Heart will guide you to strive for excellence. It will not stand for incompetence or even just competence, either in yourself or the profession.
We need a lot more heart in massage education if we ever hope to move beyond the rub.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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