resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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.