resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04
Raising the Quality of Massage Education
By Stan Dawson, AFMTE Board of Director
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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