resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
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.
January, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 01
We Get Letters & E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
Editor's Note: Some letters have been edited for space and clarity.
The State of Massage Education
I must agree with Ralph Stevens that massage education is still failing (November 2003, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/11/10.html); however, I do not believe that adding more hours to training programs will automatically result in higher standards.
Many schools with 500-hour programs fail to make the best use of those hours, and tacking on additional hours would simply result in more wasted time for students.I fear the problem runs deeper than hours or even external standards imposed by accreditation agencies. At the heart of the issue, the failing of massage education reflects our society's dreadful "dumbing down" of education, in general. We have shifted the focus of education to coddling students, and making them feel good, regardless of their performance. True education demands excellence!
Instead, we kowtow to slackers, afraid to bruise their fragile egos by pushing them to be accountable to higher standards, work harder, and strive to achieve their best. As a nation, we have forgotten that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary! When we spoon-feed "knowledge" to students, we rob them of the joy of true learning. They learn nothing of the struggle to master an idea or skill, and the confidence that is built as a result of that struggle. To quote Michelangelo: "If people knew how hard I have had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful."
Gail Frei, LMT, NCTMB
(Editor's note: Read more about Gail's position on education in her article, "A Quality Education Benefits More Than Students," in this issue. www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/01/04.html)
There are many massage schools lacking in quality. I have been teaching for three years now, and have seen less than adequate teachers in the massage profession. My [school's] program is one of the most expensive in the state, but we seem not to give the students their money's worth!
Some more comments on Ralph Stephens article: I don't feel that the educational level of practitioners is as much of a threat to our profession as the proliferation of massage parlors. Businesses that represent their work as "massage" when they have only one credentialed therapist are committing acts tantamount to misrepresentation and fraud. The organizations that offer these businesses memberships should also be sanctioned.
Also, after 10 years as a registered nurse in holistic health, I must agree that despite its problems, it may be essential for the U.S. to switch to a national health plan. While Mr. Stephens may not want to help pay for the care of affluent Americans, I hope he understands that he is currently paying for the care of many "noncitizens." Many of my patients "worked the system," getting better health care than was available to me. Yes, it will be a tough fight to limit health care to the basics for all and pay-as-you-go extras, but won't it be worth it to have all Americans covered for basic medical necessities, including post-accident massage?
Suzanne Christy, RN, BSN, CMT
Misgivings About Massage Poll
Massage Today's October 2003 online "Massage Poll" asked: "Do you think the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCE) is a reliable tool to evaluate the knowledge and skill of a massage therapist?"
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) is interested in the perceived value of its exam and national certification. That's why NCBTMB conducted a survey in conjunction with FGI Research (a unit of Yankelovich Research) of nearly 800 practitioners this September. In direct contrast to Massage Today's results, the NCBTMB survey indicated that:
Survey participants were selected randomly from three categories - current nationally certified practitioners; those who had let their certification, lapse; and certificants approaching their renewal period - for the 20-minute phone survey.
The discrepancy between Massage Today's poll and NCBTMB's study lies in the nature of the research. Massage Today indicates that its poll is "nonscientific," but fails to mention that visitors to its Web site may vote on the poll as many times as they wish. Massage Today stated that the survey results represented "responses from 4,166 people" [December issue]. In fact, the survey may not represent the responses of 4,166 people inasmuch as it represents 4,166 votes - not exactly a fair representation of the voice of the profession.
National certification is more than an exam - it's an entire program of requirements developed to ensure competency and standards, including 500 hours of formal in-class education or a portfolio of comparable experience, as well as passage of the NCE and a pledge to uphold NCBTMB's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Certificants must recertify every four years to demonstrate continued competence. Considering these factors, it's difficult to accept the Massage Today poll as a true indicator of practitioners' perceptions of the NCE and national certification.
NCBTMB is committed to maintaining the quality of its certification program and listening to its certificants. We will continue to pursue our mission to foster high standards of ethical and professional practice through a recognized credible credentialing program that assures the competency of practitioners of therapeutic massage and bodywork.
Garnet Adair, NCTMB Chair, NCBTMB
The following letters were not published in this month's print version of Massage Today.
"Canyon Ranch at the Venetian only finds 'acceptable' candidates from the Nevada or Utah Schools of Massage Therapy"
I am writing in response to the featured article "An Interview with Blake Feeney, Director of the Canyon Ranch Spa Club" (Talking Spas, September, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/15.html); specifically, in regards to a quote in the article pertaining to where Canyon Ranch at the Venetian finds "qualified personnel."
It is well known in the Las Vegas massage community that Canyon Ranch at the Venetian will only accept applicants who have graduated from either the Nevada School of Massage Therapy or Utah School of Massage Therapy (both schools are from the same parent corporation).
Applicants who have "confidence, therapeutic skills and a professional massage," as well as spa experience and local licensing are summarily ignored. Bottom line is: Canyon Ranch at the Venetian will hire a graduate from the Nevada or Utah schools with zero spa experience, zero private practice experience, no licensing, no national certification, and zero continuing education. Other applicants -- no matter how experienced, qualified or credentialed -- are ignored.
Surely, in a resort town with a thriving spa industry and many quality massage schools, there are any number of candidates who possess the skills to land a position at any resort spa. And while some spas are specific in their expectations of applicants (such as having at least one year of spa experience), I find it odd -- bordering on discriminatory -- that Canyon Ranch at the Venetian only finds "acceptable" candidates from the Nevada or Utah Schools.
The glossy corporate spin of the article only pays lip service to the mirage of Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian as an equal opportunity employer when it comes to massage therapists.
"I had the same experience with NCBTMB"
Just viewing letter to the editor from Robert Orzel [December 2003, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/12/14.html]. I had the same experience with NCBTMB. I went to an AMTA-approved school in Washington, D.C. nine years ago, passed the national certification exam and was licensed by my state. Then I moved to Arizona where they do not recognize national certification. I also think there should be a grandfather clause. I know exactly how Robert feels. Maybe if more of us spoke up, the Board would look into this.
Readers Appreciate Our Writers
I am a Sports Therapist in Gaborone, Botswana, Southern Africa. I really enjoyed [Michael McGillicuddy's] article on post-event sports massage (September, "The Art and Science of Post-Event Massage," www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/09.html). It was straight to the point and made for easy reading.
I was pleased to see [Karen Jones'] iridology article in October's Massage Today (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/10/05.html) and was glad to see information on the International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA).
It is nice to see a mostly accurate description of iridology in the media, as this has often not been the case. One thing I find helpful as a massage therapist is identifying the presence and amount of contraction furrows. A client with a high quantity of these concentric rings is most likely to have extremely tight muscles and a lot of resultant myalgia. They [tend to] desire the deepest massage work to help unwind those tight muscles. Without significant lifestyle changes (i.e., slowing down, exercising, yoga/stretching, deep-breathing/relaxation practices), they are destined to be long-term massage clients! On the other hand, clients with loose iris stroma cannot tolerate deep work and do best with lighter work.
Dr. Bill Caradonna, Cofounder, IIPA
I'd like to compliment Maria Mathias on her article, "Infant Massage - Everyone Benefits" (November, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/11/05.html). The content is excellent, and it is written in a way that is very easy to comprehend. The main points are very well stated. A wonderful summary!
Thank you to Ralph Stephens for providing a clear, true voice for our profession; for your activism; for your wisdom and understanding of our current health system; for demanding accountability and integrity from our massage schools; for a vision of health care that is inclusive; for your independent thinking; and for defending your right to present your "view."
I look forward to more insightful columns and am glad you care so much about our profession. Mahalo nui loa, Ralph Stephens, and Massage Today for publishing a man of conscience.
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