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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
September, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 09
The Ethics of Learning
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
I got an e-mail the other day from a massage practitioner interested in my MotherMassage home study program. She also wanted the name of a practitioner in her area who had taken my three-day workshop so my student could teach her the hands-on techniques.Or, she asked, could she just learn prenatal massage from the videos on You Tube?
I subsequently logged on to the prenatal massage videos posted there and was horrified. After viewing many of them, I can see how the misinformation by these self-appointed "experts" can be confusing and misleading for practitioners and outright dangerous for expectant mothers. There was only one clip (shown on CW11-TV) that demonstrated accurate and appropriate massage techniques.
I am not shocked at this anymore. I have become inured to these cheap shots. I get this all too frequently in my classroom when massage practice managers send one or two employees to take my class for the sole purpose of teaching the rest of the staff the prenatal protocol when they return. I hear this same scenario from other presenters as well. For any facility to offer specialized treatments by unqualified practitioners is unethical and irresponsible. I ask you: Would you want to receive a medical procedure from a doctor who was shown the procedure once from someone who just learned it themselves? Or perhaps from a doctor who watched the procedure on a video or read about it in a book? I don't think so.
While one certainly is more extreme and potentially life threatening than the other, the same conceit remains: The only way to learn a technique and receive the on-site supervision of a trained professional is to attend a workshop in the preferred modality offered by a qualified practitioner.
I am confounded that massage professionals who mostly go into this proud profession because they want to help people and believe in natural healing processes, would cheat the very people whom they claim to care about. What does this say about the state of our profession? Are a few rotten eggs going to spoil it for the rest of us who do take the time, expense and care to come to a class?
I recognize the majority of massage practitioners are conscientious and eager to learn new modalities to enhance their professional and personal growth. But there still are too many out there who think buying and watching a video or reading a book qualifies them to practice a new technique and charge their clients a premium for their new skills.
Home study courses or textbooks alone can't teach hands-on training even if a video is part of the package. Those practitioners who take the easy way out and avoid attending workshops and pursuing continuing education courses, do themselves and (worse) their clients a great disservice.
Approved programs are offered all over the country by qualified professionals. Determined and interested massage practitioners have numerous opportunities to enjoy these stimulating workshops. Motivated practitioners might have to travel far distances (and incur steep expenses) in order to receive the training they seek, but the education and experience are well worth the trouble. I have had students from Europe, America and the Caribbean, and even students with young children attend my classes. So these difficulties don't have to become road blocks.
Hopefully, advanced education courses are taken because of interest in the subject matter, not simply to fulfill statutory or national continuing education requirements. Regardless of the impetus, attending hands-on classes still remains the only effective way to learn hands-on modalities.
Massage videos or reading a book can serve useful purposes. They can reiterate and reinforce techniques that already have been learned in the classroom and they can remind practitioners of body-saving and hand-saving mechanics. But they should not serve as the primary source of training. You can't ask a video/book questions and the video/book cannot provide feedback as to whether or not you are doing the techniques correctly.
Home study courses also fill a void. They provide fundamental information about a modality to offer an overview of a specific technique. From that, students can determine if they want to pursue the subject further and attend a class. These home study courses don't - or shouldn't - qualify anyone as a specialist in a specific modality. Nor should anyone assume proficiency in a technique because they passed a home study program. To call yourself an "expert" in a modality after a home study program or video presentation is dishonest at the very least and borders on consumer fraud.
Massage practitioners and bodyworkers must embody high standards of training and professionalism. Watching a video (whose sources are sometimes questionable) or reading a book (also sometimes questionable) and considering oneself adept and competent are not the ways to set and uphold these standards.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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