resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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 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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04
Raising the Quality of Massage Education
By Stan Dawson, Vice President, Board of Directors for the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education
When the leadership team that started the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) discussed the mission and goals of the Alliance, the primary focus was on improving the quality of massage therapy education. The next logical question was: How? There are a few obvious possible answers.
Schools could be required to be nationally accredited. The education standards in the state massage regulations could be increased above the current levels, which tend to be at the 500 clock hour level. Curriculum standards could be implemented that make massage education more consistent from state to state. A Model Practice Act could be created that implements most, if not all, of the possible solutions to improving the quality of massage education. Teachers could be required to become more than content experts by learning more about how to teach. All of these possible solutions have been discussed for years.
National accreditation has been endorsed as an ultimate goal for the profession by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), the Commission On Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) and many leaders in the massage world. School owners have expressed resistance to the idea. Regulators tend not to back proposed legislation that has a significant opposition from a group that can make a legitimate claim that the new law would cause them potential harm, even to the point of putting small schools out of business. Consequently, even though it is a goal, accreditation is not widely regarded as a practical step to attempt in our current political atmosphere. That is a real pity.
The Entry Level Analysis Project (ELAP) could potentially lead to raising the education standards. It is a fairly long-term process, but a worthy one. COMTA, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) have all done job task analyses (JTAs) that could help with this project. COMTA has a set of competencies that are required for their accredited schools. The Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge (MTBOK) could help, but version one was not widely accepted and the Alliance's version two has not received much exposure. Nevertheless, the MTBOK can contribute to the sense of what competencies should be required for entry level practice in massage therapy. The task force charged with ELAP is using all of these. Setting standards for entry level practice will lead to the need for curriculum standards and eventually rewriting the state massage laws to establish a new sense of our education standards.
A common criticism of massage education is the lack of consistency from school to school in terms of curriculum. Massage schools do not have a common set of competencies. COMTA's set of competencies is one that could be used, but is not being applied across the massage education sector. The MTBOK project was thought to potentially lead to a consensus that could be used to develop curriculum standards. The Alliance undertook the development of a second version of the MTBOK not just to solve the issues left from version one, but also to help in the development of a basis for curriculum standards. The stewards who oversaw the MTBOK did not see fit to follow through on making sure that version one was useful to the profession and fulfill its promise. The ELAP process may yet correct that short-sightedness.
Raising the quality of massage education is widely regarded as being crucial to the quality of massage that the public receives. Improving the quality of the teachers who teach massage is a common sense way to improve the quality of both massages received by the public and massage education in general. The Alliance surveyed the profession in 2010, and got widespread acceptance of the notion that raising teacher standards could make a significant difference and should be attempted. In late 2010, under the direction of the Alliance's professional standards committee chaired by Dr. Rebecca Birch Blessing, they outlined five phases for a Teacher Education Standards Project (TESP).
Those five phases are:
The entire TESP process will take 5 to 10 years, depending on the commitment of the massage profession to raising the level of massage education. The AFMTE will be working hard to see this process through with the belief that it will make a difference for the quality and the image of massage nationally.
In the spirit of fostering a culture that supports raising the standards of excellence in massage education, and highlighting the TESP Core Competencies for Massage Therapy Teacher, the AFMTE is pleased to announce the establishment of the Educators of the Year Award. In partnership with Biofreeze and BonVital, two educators (one teacher in a school setting and one continuing education provider) will be recognized for their excellence in massage education. The recipients will be chosen based on their experience, teacher training taken, and how well they meet the core competency standards.
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