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It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
October, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 10
I Didn't Know It Would Be This Hard
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
I have been a massage therapist since 1992 and an educator since 2000. If you have read any of my articles, you know I teach the business curriculum at Swedish Institute in NYC but have also taught in Boston and in continuing-education settings around the country.My life is all about the business of massage and teaching students how to "work smarter, not harder." That being said, this profession requires hard work, especially at the beginning when trying to build a practice. Even after a practice is established, hard work is still needed to keep clients coming back and maintain a certain level of success.
My goal is to teach undergraduate students what to expect in their professional life and help them to understand the real world. In general, I think I do a pretty good job. However, some of my graduating students have contacted me and said, "I didn't realize it would be so hard." This opens up a bagful of questions. "What do you mean by 'so hard'?" "What specifically about this profession is hard?" "What did you expect?" Those are just three of the questions I want to rattle off when I get that call. My time with students is limited to 24 hours over six weeks, but on at least four occasions, I inform them about how difficult it is working in the field, especially in today's economy.
During the lecture on career options, I talk about the physical nature of this work and the necessary self care to preserve your body. In the practice-building lecture, we discuss emotional burnout and I share the current AMTA statistics regarding the average professional life span of a massage therapist being six years. Embedded in the finance lecture, earning a living is discussed as it relates to exchanging time for money but also in terms of the economy and why people are hesitant to receive massage. The marketing lecture and its undercurrent are about hard work. By no means do I sugar-coat it. That's four times in the course of six weeks that I inform students how hard it is to become successful and maintain it. I am sure other teachers in other classes are relaying the same message.
So why are the students shocked upon graduation and entering the work force? I have given it quite a bit of thought. I have decided it's the "That doesn't apply to me" syndrome. As educators, we can teach what we think is important but only if the student feels it applies to them will they note, absorb and apply it. That must be it. What else could it be? I know they are in the room when I tell them these things and I have to think they hear it at least a couple of the times.
At this point, I feel I need to make a clarification. Hard work is good and does not equal unhappiness. Quite the opposite is true. In fact, if you love what you do, it doesn't even feel like work. I love hard work and the rewards that come with it. If things were easy, everyone would do them. I like doing things that are different, require specific talents and have rewards at the end of the rainbow. My lectures about hard work are not meant to scare students, but I have a feeling some folks look at massage therapy as an easy road or a quick fix. I have to be the voice of reality. If you have entered this field for the quick fix, get-rich-quick scheme or easy ride, you will be one of those AMTA statistics to which I alluded. Luckily for the rest of us who don't mind hard work, we'll scoop up your clients and pick up where you left off.
This might sound like a rant to you and if you have read this far, you are probably not one of the folks who are afraid of hard work. In fact, I can bet you have already achieved a certain level of success. My hope though is that students or new graduates are reading this article and realizing that massage therapy is hard work. Aren't the most rewarding things worth working for? It wouldn't be very rewarding if it was easy. So keep plugging along, planting seeds, marketing, talking to everyone and working hard because it is SO worth it. Stay focused.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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