resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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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