resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08
Knowledge and Networks
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
As an unabashed academic and massage instructor, I've a tendency to look at how we organize and model our accumulated knowledge about the wider context of bodywork. The maps we create have significant effects on how we approach the acquisition and conveyance of knowledge, skills and abilities.
Massage, particularly when defined in an encompassing context of all touch practices, has many different subpractices (see my article, "Swimming Upstream Toward Effective Practice," in the March 2003 issue, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/03/13.html.) and many different theories of underlying action.When I periodically hear about someone advocating creation of "massage tiers," I have difficulty understanding how such tiers translate into measurable improvements in our ability to practice across the scope of what we might do. My worry is that such tiers have little to do with improvements, and everything to do with rites of initiation.
The criteria for evaluating the need for training and education, I believe, is that it is objectively needed to produce effective practice, including the technical, business and interpersonal facets. I also believe there is a tendency in our profession to want to use training as a gauntlet to promote commitment, the basis of which is noted by James Atherton in a short review of cognitive dissonance:1 "Ordeal is therefore an effective - if spurious - way of conferring value on an educational (or any other) experience. 'No pain, no gain,'as they say. The more difficult it is to get on a course, the more participants are likely to value it and view it favorably regardless of its real quality." Robert Cialdini makes similar observations in his treatment of social influence.4 Advocating training on such a basis is, I believe, a disservice both to the student and the ultimate consumers. Atherton is correct in noting the often spurious nature of the result.
For a long while, I thought the underlying problem with tiers was simply a factor of inadequate definition and too narrow motivation. Recently, I've realized that the problem is inherent in the broad scope of bodywork - tiers assume that knowledge is structured like a tree, with specialty branches spreading out above a single root. In contrast, massage knowledge forms much more of a web of interconnecting clusters, a shape that looks like a tree only when viewed very close at a single area of entry. In the more interior regions of such a web, the connections branch off to other clusters, eventually reaching other entry points and destroying the illusion of a single tree on which to base the concept of tiers.
Such webs occur throughout knowledge connections, social structures and the structures of life itself. Physicist Mark Newman has organized a gallery of web pictures showing their pervasive occurrence 6 and written an extensive technical review article on research into the structure of networks.5 Barabasi and Bonabeau wrote a recent introductory review,3 and Barabasi has written an excellent lay-oriented book on this research.2
Moving ahead with this idea of networks, consider putting together an online encyclopedia, containing pages for all the pertinent sections of knowledge for everything in massage and bodywork. This shouldn't be too fine-grained: something on the order of the sections in the chapters of a book. Technique sections might have demonstration video clips attached. By looking at the hyperlinks between pages, we would better understand the interconnection between information in different clusters. Areas with a lot of mutual interconnection would be self-defining as a study area. If an area exists that's linked from everywhere, it would pretty much have to be a natural core area.
Things that come to mind are information on touch itself, as Ashley Montagu put it, "The human significance of the skin." Other areas that I see as likely core foundations would be business skills, particularly for those running their own practices, and interpersonal skills. Areas on Western anatomy and physiology would have great emphasis from orthopedic massage but much less direct access from sections on Asian bodywork or energy work.
In summary, our overall knowledge of massage is too diversely connected to be tree-shaped, having a single core and specialty branches. Everything is by some route interconnected, but the density of interconnections varies greatly and creates separate clusters of study. Such a structure captures the paradox of being too diverse to ever appear to have a single root, yet too interconnected to appear totally separate. Massage is thus a totality that thwarts our efforts to compactly define it while greatly rewarding our efforts to pursue its many links.
Editor's Note: Due to the transient 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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