resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
July, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 07
Put Your Hands on Your Monitor, Part Two
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
In my last column, I made two errors. I would like to set things straight right up front. I don't bury my mistakes. First, I stated that the Career College Association (CCA) was part of a campaign to reduce classroom hours in massage programs.That is false. I received inaccurate information from a usually reliable source. While individual schools are working to replace some classroom hours and, in some cases, already are providing distance learning programs to all students, the CCA's President, Nicholas J. Glakas, has made it very clear that CCA, as an organization, is not involved in any such campaign. I apologize for my misstatement and for any angst or problems it might have caused.
Second, due to a poorly worded sentence, some people wrongly assumed I was attacking and demeaning the disabled, the handicapped and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It was never my intention to do so and I am sincerely sorry if it appeared that way to anyone. A longer version of this apology was published in the June We Get Letters & E-mail section of Massage Today (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2006/06/14.html). I support the ADA and the rights of disabled individuals to have full access to society and, in particular, the massage profession and massage education programs.
The classroom hours standard for massage education was established in approximately 1985 to guarantee massage schools actually were providing the amount of training hours advertised. I am not aware of any distance learning technology that was in existence at that time. There were no career colleges with massage programs at that time either. This standard has been consistent for more than 20 years. It has been written into the licensing statutes or administrative rules of most regulated states. In other words, in many states, it's the law that massage schools must provide classroom hours. Nothing has changed recently to inflict classroom hours on massage schools.
Sadly, many schools are breaking the classroom hour laws and providing distance learning programs in states where classroom hours are required and where the NCBTMB test is the licensing exam. One of the classes many schools provide, or want to provide by distance learning technology, is ethics. Teaching an ethics class illegally! This is pitiful. What a great example for new students - if you don't like a law, just ignore it. Why should students or therapists obey the laws and rules of the profession if the schools don't? This is a dangerous example to set. Where does it end? What's wrong with a "happy ending" if it generates more profit?
Can ethics classes be taught effectively with distance learning technologies? It doesn't matter. It's illegal or against the rules to do so. It's the same for any other class at this time. Until the law is changed, schools are obligated to follow it, so the question becomes irrelevant.
Why my passion over education standards? I entered this profession 20 years ago. It was the establishment of education and licensing standards that elevated massage in the public's awareness. If standards are lowered, making it easier and easier to gain entry into the profession of massage, there is a significant threat that the line between ethical and unethical will blur or disappear. Do we, as a profession, want that to occur? Is it worth taking any chance that it might?
What is the future of the massage profession? Here is a quote to me from one of the career college distance learning advocates: "You represent 'the old guard' of massage therapy (Thank you) and many of your associates are either close to retirement or will sell their schools to a corporation. It is obvious to us that revolutionary changes are in motion that will change the massage guild into an allied health career profession."
Allied health is not alternative and it's not independent. It's under the complete control and direction of the existing medical system. Is this where you want the profession to go? Do you want to be under the PT assistants?
I have nothing against career colleges or corporations. I do have a problem with the ones that are breaking the rules established by the profession they are serving not to mention the laws established by many of the states where they operate.
Maybe we are framing this debate incorrectly. Maybe the classroom hours standard is not the best way to insure quality, ethical therapists. How about a new standard that specifies the knowledge and hands-on skills that a graduate should be able to demonstrate, not just the hours of a program and where they are taught? Of course, this would mean changing a lot of laws and administrative rules. So while the profession develops a new meaningful education standard, let's also develop a piece of model legislation that gives us real professional recognition and protection while guaranteeing the public's access to our services.
Here is my compromise suggestion: Career colleges want the laws and rules changed so they can provide distance learning. We need a more uniform series of licensing laws. How about we work together? Let's develop new education standards. I suggest we start with the New York law at 1,200 hours and add the specifications of what a graduate should be able to do in order to graduate. With a program of this length, distance learning could be used for lecture classes. Concurrently, we should develop model legislation. It's time we strive for the highest common denominator instead of the lowest. The career colleges can then use their lobbying funds to enact the law changes. They will get a huge return on this investment from longer programs, uniform standards and distance technology implementation. However, until the laws are changed, through the legislative process not the courts, schools should obey the existing laws and standards. Fair enough? The right minds could bring this about in two to three years. How about it?
This is an editorial column and is thus my opinion or "My View From Here." I speak only for myself and not for any organization. I can see from "here" that any further discussion of massage educational issues on my part is a waste of good ink. I have brought the issue(s) up and offered my suggestions. It's up to the organizations and other stakeholders (that's you, by the way) to determine the future of this profession. If you care at all, get involved. Hold your associations, regulatory boards, schools and fellow therapists accountable and let them know your views and positions. If you don't work to determine your destiny, your opportunities and your profession's standards, a few others will, and they will not have your best interests at heart. Democracy only works with an educated, informed, participating population. Apathy is the food on which tyrants grow. In these times, tyrants seldom are individuals; they are more likely to be organizations, bureaucracies and large businesses. This column will no longer discuss massage education. I have other fish to fry.
See you in September!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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