resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
June, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 06
A Discussion About Continuing Education
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Are you a life-long learner? I know I am. At times, I think I could be happy as a perpetual student. I love the process of evaluating what I know, comparing it to the knowledge and beliefs of whoever is teaching a class, and then choosing those items that fit into my specific needs and circumstances that I can take back to my practice.
When I first graduated from massage school, I found there was a whole new world of education available to help me make great strides in my capabilities.There were many and frequent "ah-hah" moments for me. As my thirst to learn more grew and my time was spent in ever more workshops, the "ah-hah" moments started to diminish significantly. I learned rather quickly "there wasn't much new under the sun" and many of the things I was learning were similar actions and thought processes repackaged with different marketing terms. When I first recognized this, I was appalled, lamenting my loss of "ah-hah." I quickly outgrew my simplified and unrealistic expectations of continuing education though. I no longer find it necessary to get a wealth of new ideas from each workshop I attend. I also now realize that "similar" doesn't equate to "the same" and I find that nuances of style and intent actually are more than the same old thing with a new name. I don't need big "ah-hah" moments these days. One new idea, technique, or way of evaluating a situation that I can use in my practice is all I need to make me feel I'm getting real value for my education dollar.
I recently was reading responses on a massage chat group that expressed varying opinions on the desirability of mandating continuing education and requiring finite amounts annually. For me, the discussion was moot, as I am a member of several professional associations, all of which require specified hours of continuing education. I am nationally certified, and required to obtain continuing education hours if I choose to maintain that certification. My state also requires hours of continuing education to continue to practice. This has been the case for me since I began practicing in 1993, so I just accept it as "what is."
Most of the time, I think requiring a certain amount of continuing education on an annual basis is a good idea. The fact that CE is required lets me deduct the cost of the education on my tax return. Now, the IRS does have stipulations for this deduction in addition to it being required by law or an employer. The continuing education must "enhance or maintain skills." Being a CE Junkie, I end up in workshops of varying quality. Some I have attended were so bad that it would be doubtful if they meet this criterion.
One issue with continuing education has confused many in the last several years. At least as long as I have been practicing, continuing education has been provided in "CEUs" (Continuing Education Units). I believe 50 minutes of instruction equals one CEU. Recently, we see less use of the term "CEU" and observe it replaced by CEC (Continuing Education Credit) or CH (Contact Hour). At least one professional association and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) use this terminology. It stems from definitions of the International Association for Continuing Education Training (IACET). The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) was created by IACET as a measurement of continuing education. One (1) IACET CEU is equal to ten (10) contact hours of participation in an organized, continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction. When I checked the list of authorized providers on the IACET Web site though, I could find none that appeared to offer continuing education in massage-related subjects.
I was impressed to find there is an organization whose sole focus is to positively influence the quality of continuing education. So does this mean that IACET-approved providers, or NCBTMB-approved providers are always going to be providing CE that is useful and of high quality? Not necessarily. Both organizations appear to be more concerned with the educational process of the provider than the content of the workshops presented. IACET's Web site says, "IACET approves the process, not the content - our standards apply across all disciplines. Through an emphasis on the educational process, the standards ensure clear program development and valuable learning outcomes."
The IACET's process approval is one I wish massage therapy CE providers would either obtain or emulate. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of our CE providers were measured on criteria in Organization, Responsibility and Control, a System for Awarding Credit, Learning Environment and Support Systems, Needs Identification, Learning Outcomes, Planning and Instructional Personnel, Content and Instructional Methods, Assessment of Learning Outcomes, and Post-Program Evaluation? (Those are the 10 criteria IACET uses in approving providers.) The criteria would represent a systematic approach to cause learning to occur. It might not guarantee high quality, but it would go a long way to make it much more likely!
Since this time last year, I have enjoyed a varied menu of continuing education. I have experienced Ethics, Seated Therapeutic Massage for Carpal Tunnel, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Documentation in the age of HIPPA, Advanced Clinical Skills: The Pelvic Bowl, Myofascial and Deep Tissue Techniques, Breast Massage, and Massage Therapy and the Shoulder Complex. I have no intention of using everything presented in these workshops in my practice, but I am ever so glad to have taken them. My clients and I are better off because I chose to invest the time and money. Just as a new table, advertising or signage is an investment in your business, so too, is education. Check out www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf to assist you in determining how much of your education investment you can deduct from your taxes. As a matter of fact, I need to check with a tax advisor myself because later this year I'm participating in a continuing education program on a cruise ship at sea! I want to make sure I get a business deduction from the portion of the trip that represents work-related education. Maybe I'll see you there, and we can both get a nice write-off and help our practices at the same time!
Thanks for listening.
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters related to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue or online. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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