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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 03
Swimming Upstream Toward Effective Practice
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Every now and again, I find myself grabbing some morsel of thought and running upstream through the frothing waters of accepted massage opinion, much like a salmon returning to its home waters. Today's morsel stems from a question posed to me about "how to improve the profession of massage." The center current of opinion, down which most previous effort has run, is that credibility for massage practice is obtainable by coercing the profession together through licensing and mandatory certification. Licensing, however, was never a tool designed by the government to imbue credibility and excellence of practice. It was only intended to protect the public from practices that could cause great physical or economic harm, and for which reasonable consumer knowledge and caution were inadequate remedies. There are no medical statistics indicating that massage practices, especially at the levels covered by licensing, fall into this camp. Similarly, mandatory certification has fallen short of addressing needs of practice that are sufficiently focused to be evident and useful. Applied nonspecifically, certification exams needlessly eliminate many people who are not proficient at short-term memorization, yet could contribute successfully into the more kinesthetic subpractices of massage. Such exams also are often too general to benefit subpractices more dependent on the manipulation of remembered details.4,5
Instead of the route of government-coerced cohesion, I believe it is past time to acknowledge and value our diversity of subpractices. It is time to create guidelines that provide specific guidance to schools, students and employers for what we actually do in different venues or subpractices of massage. I have taken a rough cut at defining a set of such subpractices in Table 1.
Note that the subpractices do not organize in a single line of increasing knowledge and skills. Likewise, the various subpractices are not all at the same level of knowledge and skills, but simply in different directions of applied technique. Therefore, we can talk about tiers and experience meaningfully only within a given subpractice. Across the total scope of practices, there are different needs for details of anatomy and clinical technique; skills of basic touch and human presence; formality of personal appearance; business skills; and interpersonal skills of communication, psychology and sociology. In many of the areas, communication skills and understanding of the applicable psychology may be as or more important to outcomes than particulars of massage technique. The importance of attitude and support noted for sports injuries is equally applicable to supporting recovery from illness in hospital settings or enhancing quality of life for the aged.2,7
My examination of guidelines on the process of creating guidelines has resulted in Table 2. Key aspects of the process are that it be evidence-based; involve all key players; and allow for its own evolution. We must take on the intensive process of first defining massage subpractices, then working with all affected parties to define knowledge, skills and abilities needed to practice effectively in each venue. It is only by hammering out a rough consensus of all participants for each subpractice that we will achieve workable guidelines. It is only when such guidelines have proven to be both useful and widely used that they should be considered as standards.
In seeking to form guidelines that promote our ability to engage effectively in a subpractice of massage, it follows immediately that we need a measure for effectiveness. In this, we owe a debt to the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923). In 1906, Pareto observed that 20 percent of the Italian people owned 80 percent of their country's accumulated wealth. This 80/20 rule of imbalance has since been found to be applicable to many situations.6, 8
Based on the 80/20 rule, we may reasonably expect that, day to day, 80% of the tasks will be performable using about 20% of the subpractice expert's domain-specific knowledge and skills. The implication is that, if a person entering the subpractice comes with this 20% of the subpractice down cold, they will be able to accomplish much without having to stop constantly to consult a mentor or information resource. In all likelihood, they will have much more time and leeway to accumulate incrementally via experience the subsequent 80% of skills and knowledge. By encoding such expectations into guidelines that meet the criteria of Table 2, I believe that we can do much to make our efforts at training and practice more effective.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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