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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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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