resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
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.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
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.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
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.
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.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
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.
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.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
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.)
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
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.
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.
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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