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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
April, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 04
Half a Mind
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
In searching to fulfill our kinesthetic and interpersonal selves, some of us have diffused inward through the membrane surrounding the domains of massage, almost as if an osmotic pressure drew us forth. For those conversant with the lymphatic system, consider it a type of Starling's Equilibrium. The permeable nature of entry into part-time massage practice originally drew me to transit back and forth between high-tech and high-touch. Should the membrane surrounding entry into practice be made less permeable by raising entry requirements, the flow of those such as myself will likely divert to other venues.
Cliff Korn's March 2002 editorial [www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/03/11.html] touched on attitude differences between part-time and full-time massage professionals. I am going to revisit some of the considerations he raised in that article, and touch on an additional consideration: demographics.
Here in California, 193 massage schools are supervised by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education (BPPVE) under the Department of Consumer Affairs. In contrast, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Web site lists 28 schools in California, a few of which wouldn't fall under the BPPVE jurisdiction. One conclusion that can be drawn from this discrepancy is that the vast majority of California massage schools are teaching modular programs with initial segments shorter than the 500-hour AMTA entry criterion. At a recent panel discussion at De Anza College in Cupertino, Les Sweeney, executive vice president of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), noted that the average initial module length of ABMP member schools in California is 175 hours. I believe such schools exist in a very particular ecological niche in terms of their economic and social benefits.
On the economic side, these short-term career-training modules are not eligible for federal financial aid. Such aid requires accreditation and a minimum program length of 600 hours. Taking on the extra costs, record-keeping requirements, and job-placement minimums associated with accreditation and financial aid would force most of these small schools to either grow or close. What these schools serve well, and thrive in meeting, are the needs of pay-as-you-go, adult profile learners. Many of these adult learners are seeking career transitions or augmentations, an example of the latter being sports trainers adding massage skills to their toolkits. A characteristic pattern I have seen over more than a decade of teaching in a modular program is for students to use the initial module for immediate-but-limited entry into the massage profession. They then use their practice earnings to continue with further modules over a period of several years, improving their business and marketing skills as the scopes of their practices grow.
A recent report by the National Center for Educational Statistics summarizes a number of the differences between those entering postsecondary training with adult career experiences, and those who might take such training immediately follow secondary schooling.9
An Australian report on lifelong learning also notes the growing reliance on self-employment and balancing the requirements of multiple jobs.1
What emerges from this discussion is that California supports a pattern of modular schools with early entry training that is a near-optimal match for adult learners in career transition or augmentation. I believe such schools are in the forefront of an emerging paradigm for the 21st century; they fulfill a role of facilitating development of meaningful life work for students juggling significant other responsibilities.4 As compared to their larger counterparts with longer single programs, modular schools are more oriented to the attitude profile of adult learners - who have been noted to be more self-directed; bring in more life experiences, be more goal-oriented; demand more immediate relevancy of material; and be more focused on immediate application than younger learners.6,7
There are also synergies between these modular career-training programs and their surrounding communities. The general manager of a southern California school estimated recently that 15 percent of its students are learning skills to support home care of ill or aging family members. Because of the short-term, modular nature of individual training sections, the classes also serve a function for those undertaking self-directed career exploration. Such career exploration is a learning process embedded in a larger context of growth and personal exploration.5 Such exploration is often triggered by life transitions; it forms an essential adaptive response to an era of rapid social and economic change. Entering massage training can be a result of self-reflection and a desire to help others more directly, with the decision still to be made whether a total career change will take place.2,8 While these community functions of modular training are far from sufficient to support a massage school in themselves, they augment and enrich the vocational training environment that can be offered.
In his editorial, Cliff Korn noted that full-time massage practitioners seemingly place more emphasis on networking, and certainly on being more represented at conferences. Overall, I believe this is a difference not in the importance placed on networking, but in the manner in which it is accomplished. For the part-time practitioner, continuing education often is achieved while on vacation from other jobs, partially depleting what remains for family activities. Every training activity must stand on multiple legs. Multiple-day or weeklong workshops often have higher payoff in both usable skills and more in-depth networking than shorter conference interactions. For some of us, massage is a multitasking experience. We give it our all during our segments of participation, but on the average, have only half a mind to give.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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