resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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.
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.
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.
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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