resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.