resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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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