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Pulse Newsletter | March 2020

Wednesday, March 4, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Sound and Asian Medicine

by Richard Gold, MSTOM, L.Ac

Sound is ubiquitous. It surrounds us here on earth. There is sound in interstellar space. Satellites pick up sound vibrations from our Sun. Recent scientific research has detected a consistent hum on the planet Mars. All these sounds have effects.


Sound is among the most transformative and healing energies on the planet. Sound can:

  • relax us and make us calm,
  • move us to great heights of emotion,
  • restore balance and harmony, and
  • help make us healthy and well.

In the realm of healing techniques, sound work inhabits a curious space - it has been used for thousands of years and now is on the frontiers of modern neuroscience and clinical medicine.

The energetic and healing potential of sound was well known in ancient China. The Chinese character 藥 (yào) refers to a medicine or drug, and is composed of two parts. The top part, 艹, is the Chinese radical that indicates grass and grass-related plants, including herbs. The lower part, 樂 (pronounced yuè or lè), is a Chinese character in its own right, and has two meanings. These are: 1) music, and 2) delight and happiness. Therefore, the Chinese character for medicine combines the characters for music and herbs, recognizing the importance of nutrition and music in our health and happiness.

In addition, the Nei Jing, dating from approximately 236 BCE, contains numerous allusions to music, applying metaphors such as harmony, pleasant tones, and sequential minor and major tonics to describe the dynamics of the five elements.  In the Nei Jing, each of the five elements is ascribed...

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In this year of reflection, we’re reaching out to those that were engaged in the formation of the AOBTA, asking them to share personal recollections of the time. Nothing formal, simply what was happening at the time, from the view of the particular individual. This is the second sharing by Cindy Banker!
Organizing the Profession of Asian Bodywork Therapy in the 1980s: a Personal Reflection


by Cindy Banker, M.A., AOBTA-CI, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA Director of Education, AOBTA Peer Review Committee Chair

We were no longer in an initiation phase by the 1980s. Instead, we were in the initial phase of maturity and we wanted to “professionalize” and “standardize” the things we had to offer. We were able to look around and discover other practices and people who were qualified and serious about other new forms of alternative healing, most of it also having been germinated in the 1970s. By the 1980s many of us were interested in creating a profession.

None of us had any interest or training in Western massage. In those days we felt like we were part of a revolution in health care. Books were being written about self-healing (indeed, one was titled Healing Ourselves), and that pretty much summed up the feeling.

However, doing Shiatsu was not something that seemed
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First ASA Newsletter
Looking Back: the First American Shiatsu Association Newsletter


by Brian Skow, M.S., CP-AOBTA, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA Communications Consultant, AOBTA AZ State Representative


The first American Shiatsu Association (ASA) newsletter was produced in August of 1986. The contents include an announcement of the first ASA convention, articles on the Shiatsu Society of the United Kingdom, “The Development of Oriental Medicine in Japan” (Toshiko Phipps) and “The A.S.A and the A.M.T.A” (Cindy Banker), biographies of Pauline Sasaki and Shizuko Yamamoto, advertisements for “Toshiko’s Natural Shiatsu Massage” (with some interesting items for sale), The Do-In Video (VHS and Beta!), and the Gautama Institute for Shiatsu Education, and an interview with Armand Sticoo on acupuncture licensing and its lessons for Shiatsu. A good read! Interesting history, especially as we can see the beginnings of long-persisting, contentious relationships with Western massage and legislators.
1989 ASA Directory
Looking Back: the 1989 American Shiatsu Association Membership Directory
by Brian Skow, M.S., CP-AOBTA, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA Communications Consultant, AOBTA AZ State Representative
By 1989, the American Shiatsu Association (ASA) had 208 members in total. The directory lists members by state. Have a look, you might recognize some names! In addition, there are advertisements for the New England Shiatsu Center, the International Macrobiotic Shiatsu Society, Nippon Shiatsu Daigaku (Toshiko Phipps), a Shiatsu Therapist Program (Pauline Sasaki), Five Element Shiatsu (Robbee Fian), the Shiatsu School of Canada, the N.Y. Institute of KiShiatsu and Macrobiotics (Susan Krieger), the Boston School of Ki (Kiku Z. Miyazaki), and the East-West College of the Healing Arts. Wow, we’ve been at it, in various ways, for some time!
read the newsletter...
read the directory...


If you are an instructor, we want to promote you!

Consider becoming a Lunch & Learn Webinar presenter.

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AOBTA staff and member volunteers have been engaged in an extreme effort to protect the ABT profession in Illinois and Massachusetts. 

This effort is vital to your ability to practice - even beyond the borders of those states!

read the latest report...

Planning for the 2021 Convention is in full swing and you are invited to join the fun!

There are many ways to participate in the upcoming party - join the committee and find out how.

join the 3/20/2020 meeting...


The annual election cycle for the AOBTA Board of Directors begins soon.

Watch your inbox for details!

Visit the AOBTA website



Wednesday, March 18, 2020

12:00 - 1:00 (ET)

register for this webinar

Sound & Asian Medicine

Presented by Richard Gold, MSTOM, LAc.

Join Richard Gold in an exploration of the role that sound plays in Chinese Medicine.

Richard will be presenting on this topic at the next AOBTA convention in 2021.

This will be an informative preview of this fascinating topic!

Watch February L&L
Watch January L&L
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AOBTA and MMIP have created new liability insurance options exclusively for AOBTA members!

The premium policy is now more affordable than ever; a new basic policy option has been added for $97/year, and the same great coverage for students continues to be available.

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This basic policy provides the same excellent liability coverage (including moxa, cupping, and qua sha) without paying for the extra add-ons!

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