resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
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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