Back pain

This is a fantastic article on back pain…..everything you need to know and forgot to ask!  I found this article to be a very useful tool to pass along to my patients, or even post in my clinic…even though it isn’t related to my course, it may be helpful to pass along to students as an example of ways to educate patients.


Lesson Planning – Creating a Positive Learning Environment – Questioning

I selected a website from the University of Saskatchewan to use in my classroom for more effective communication, specifically using questions in my lecture.  I do not make use of this teaching technique enough and i feel it helps the students grasp what information they do know and what they still need to learn.  This website has some simple pointers to use when questioning students that would be very easy to implement in the classroom.  I specifically feel the pointer about waiting 15 seconds after a questions will be of great benefit to me.

Policies and their impact on learning


I recently came across an  article in Faculty Focus that discussed the challenges of policies in educational institutions.  One portion of the article discusses how these rigorous policies require mandatory attendance in order to pass a course.  The institution I teach at requires us to enforce an attendance policy, a very valid policy given that much of the program is practically based.  However, the article discusses an alternative way to ensure students follow that policy rather than just stating it as a policy.

every term I seem to have a few students in my class who challenge the attendance policy.  They feel they could learn faster and more effectively on their own, they have other courses that demand their attention and would rather focus their efforts on more pressing activities for those other classes.  My usual response is a combination of discussing the benefits of learning with a group of students; their exchanges in class,  problem solving treatment techniques and hearing the challenges that others may be having with a specific patient or technique that they may not have thought of or encountered.  In the Faculty Focus article they discuss how you can actually show the student how poor attendance impacts their course grade by cross referencing days they missed with topics on exams they missed.  I love this idea!  I can’t wait to use this in practice in the classroom.  This seems like a very practical display of the value in attending class.



Calkins. B. Roll call [online image]. Retrieved December 2, 2015 from

Lesson Planning – Experiential learning


I chose this website from the University of Waterloo to improve my delivery of hands on trades between classmates in a practical class.  I asked student patients to give student therapists feedback; however, I feel the self reflection portion from this model will help the student therapist improve their treatment based on their reflections.  The student patient and therapist could share their reflections with each other and problem solve to improve their treatment.  In my Neurology course students are treating student patients who are mimicking the condition, so I see value in this model in aiding the comprehension of treatment.

Pain processing, men vs women.


(Altmann, 2014)


As a massage therapist one of my most common questions for patients is about pain.  Describe your pain, is it dull, aching, sharp, shooting, does it come and go or is it constant.  Pain is one of the biggest reasons patients seek out massage therapy.  This recent article in Massage Therapy Canada discusses new findings on pain and how the immune system plays a part in the transmission of pain, as well as how this transmission difference in men and women.  This new research on how pain is perceived, interpreted and delivered could have an impact on how we question our patients about their pain and what type of treatment plan we design for them or what other complementary therapist we include in their team.

As an educator, this article also illustrates why it is so important in our profession to ensure new graduates are able to explore the ever evolving viewpoints and research on how the human body functions.  In a classroom I could see starting a web search assignment on new research/trends in massage therapy and having  students problem solve how this new information may impact their treatment of a patient.  Ensuring that students are able to stay current on new research/trends in our field will be pivotal in staying current, to ensure they are offering the best they can to each patient.

In my own personal practice this particular article makes me wonder if the immune system (specifically killer T cells) takes part in the transmission of pain in women, then would a reverse treatment of boosting the immune system have an impact on the degree of pain felt?  As a massage therapist, recommending medication is out of my scope of practice, however, I can refer patients out to a Naturopath, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor (TCM Dr) or suggest they speak with their Western Medicine Doctor.



Altman,G (2014). Nerve cells dendrites sepia. [online image] Retrieved

November 26, 2015 from


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