resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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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