resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
April, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 04
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
"If all we are interested in is technical competence, then we have become a trade school. If technical competence exists but not the necessary attitudes, values, and behaviors of the professional, then our graduates may wear the trappings of that profession, but would no longer be a representative of the profession."3
Professionalism seems to be a term that gets mentioned a lot and explored little.Searching the Internet for the keywords "massage and professionalism," I came across an AMTA Web page that stated, "professionalism in the field of massage therapy has been greatly elevated in the last 10 years," and an Oregon Massage Therapists Association page proclaiming that a purpose of the association was "to support and develop massage professionalism." Both pages assume that we know exactly what was professionalism is. Do we?
Perhaps the most common perception of professionalism is an ongoing commitment to learning and improving skills.1,2,5 Some feel that continuing education should be forced upon a profession's members. Tan notes, however, that for physicians, the minimal results of such forced learning have been sobering.8
He believes a far better approach than coercion is to instill the curiosity of discovery, encouraging members to be seekers of knowledge rather than rote learners or copiers of lecture notes: "Ah, we see a servant's heart and the motivation to serve. Motivation is not exactly the same as incentive. Motivation comes from within, and innate drive. It is a humane value, whereas incentives are social constructs or individually valued rewards for desired behavior."8
Believing professionalism stems solely from learning and certification can become a recipe for idolizing the trappings and missing the essence. Striving for training and occupational regulation is not equivalent to creating professionalism. Law, medicine and pharmacology seem to worry that their professionalism is being undercut.3,4,8 However, there is no evidence that their levels of technical education or occupational regulation are waning.
Professionalism, I believe, is less about what we require externally from those entering the profession, and more about what we evoke within their hearts. The commercialism of what we offer needs to be balanced by the spirits of service, collegiality, pride, independence, leadership, and integrity.7 Commitment is much easier to inspire by offering a challenging example than it is to force by rules and regulations.
According to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "Personal relationships lie at the heart of the work. Even in the face of the vast technological advances of the information age, the human dimension remains constant, and these professional obligations will endure. ... A business can focus only on profits. A profession cannot. It must focus first on the community it is supposed to serve."4
As professionals, we are accountable for our actions and communication. There is a wide consensus that civility and altruism are corner stones of professionalism. Within any profession there are differences in background and perspective. Offering each other civility and respect rather than elitism and disdain are indicators of professionalism. Be quick to offer a helping hand to less advanced colleagues and equally be slow to undermine a colleague's position by an inappropriate remark or document. Justice O'Connor strongly believes that even within the conflicts of law, one can "disagree without being disagreeable."4 Our tasks of civility within massage are simpler. Our attitudes should be kept congruent with our healing goals of touch.
As professionals, we have a fiduciary relationship with clients, and an obligation of trust and compassionate concern for the client's welfare that takes priority over other concerns. Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard Law School from 1916-1936, perhaps framed this best. If we strive toward professionalism, we could do far worse than to heed his words: "[W]hat we mean by the term profession when we speak of the old recognized professions (medicine, the law, ministry). We mean an organized calling in which men pursue a learned art and are united in the pursuit of it as a public service. As I have said, no less a public service because they may make a livelihood thereby. Here, from the professional standpoint there are three essential ideas: organization, learning, and a spirit of public service. The gaining of a livelihood is not a professional consideration. Indeed, the professional spirit, the spirit of a public service, constantly curbs the urge of that instinct."6
Furthermore, "The term [professionalism] refers to a group...pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of public service - no less a public service because it may incidentally be a means of livelihood. Pursuit of the learned art in the spirit of public service is the primary purpose."7
Editor's Note: Due to the unpredictable nature of the Internet, some links may not be operational.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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