resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
Is It Time to Implement Levels of Education?
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
In my previous article, the question of whether massage is a trade or a profession generated many interesting responses (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/03/11.html).One came from a person on the trade side: She claimed to be a "multiple-degreed professional" who teaches massage at the continuing education level, but misspelled many words, including "therapeutic." She informed me, "It is a massage, not brain surgery!" and indicated that she is part of a group that will "file a class-action lawsuit over any attempt to raise core requirements for massage therapists" in her state. She feels massage is nothing more than a trade, and "how dare anyone try to professionalize it," especially through education. This supports my theory that the status quo will always defend its cash flow.
From the professional side, a therapist from Canada held up his country's 3,000-hour model, which has a bachelor's program on the way. He wondered when the United States would catch up. Those are the extremes. They are far apart. David Palmer and others have promoted the idea of a multi-level profession for a long time. I have always resisted the idea of a tiered profession. The professional boundaries and scope-of-practice issues between each of the levels would be one of those proverbial "sticky wickets." The challenge is in defining where relaxation ends and therapy begins, and the entry-level education requirements for each level will undoubtedly create interesting discussion. I am beginning to think it may be the best idea after all. Is it time to establish and recognize a trade level and professional level of massage?
The trade level would be chair and table relaxation massage routines only; the professional level would include wellness enhancement and therapy. I'm just asking - not advocating. It's a discussion that needs to take place again. It was discussed and rejected in the early 1990s, but things have changed a lot since then. From my view, it is beginning to appear inevitable that some sort of split must occur. However, it will require a dramatic change in our current educational structure, which leads me to the next point: how to increase the quantity of skilled massage educators.
What's a School Without Instructors?
A fellow philosopher went beyond the trade/profession argument to point out that it will be very difficult to raise the educational component of our profession, unless we raise the competency of massage educators in entry-level programs. He is working on developing innovative programs that will accomplish that. He said:
The Council of Schools has been sponsoring massage instructor conferences for the last few years. This program needs to be expanded. Our educators need more training, especially in teaching psychomotor skills to adult learners. In regulated states, massage boards need to lead the way in establishing instructor credentials.
Do we need to create an instructor level or class within our profession? Of course, this would require determining what the requirements should be to become a professional massage educator. It needs to include more than just being a practicing therapist. (Last year's graduates are not acceptable as instructors.) It especially needs to be more than a therapist who cannot make a living doing massage or has destroyed their own body doing massage. Such incompetence does not need to be passed along. Whatever change happens in massage education, it will occur as a slow, evolutionary process...In the meantime, how about something useful, instead of philosophical?
The Deltoid Trap
Most of you only know me as a controversial columnist. While I enjoy sharing my views on the politics and philosophies of our profession in order to motivate people to think (and hopefully act), my first love is massage therapy and helping people find relief from their pain. To make my column more immediately useful, I plan to include a short, practical, clinical tip occasionally. The following relates to the upper trapezius muscle generally thought to elevate the shoulder, which is really more of a stabilizer that holds the clavicle against the sternum (www.chiroweb.com/archives/22/05/09.html).
This muscle often harbors trigger points that cause headache-like pain from the base of the skull, up around the ear to the temple. I often find it difficult to get this muscle to relax, and the trigger points refuse to deactivate. Look at "The Musculature System" wall chart from the Chicago Anatomical Chart Company, drawn by Dr. Peter Bachin. Notice the trapezius fibers share a common fascial attachment with the deltoid at the acromion process.
"Ah- ha!" I exclaimed when I noticed that. I treated and stretched the deltoid and went back to the upper trapezius, treated it again - and it melted into my hand - the trigger points reducing in 10 seconds of sustained pressure. Headache gone! This has worked hundreds of times for me. Think about it. Look at it. Try it. Your patients might like it!
Until next time, remember: A bad law is worse than no law at all, and no matter what you choose to call it, to the public it's all just massage.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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