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Pulse Newsletter | May 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020   (0 Comments)
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AOBTA and the COVID-19 Crisis: Update


by Deborah Valentine Smith, AOBTA President


The Chinese character for “crisis” combines the radicals for “danger” and “opportunity.” When the distancing policies were put in place across the country, we expected the impact to be devastating to our profession. In some ways it has been, but it has become apparent that this situation also offers us the opportunity to find ways to transform the expert-to-client relationship, which is the model of most Western health care, to what we have always promoted: the empowerment of our clients. We have always taught self-care and life-style practices that sustain their health rather than creating a dependent relationship based only on illness. How interesting that people stuck at home right now are hungry for what they can do themselves to stay healthy and to ease the symptoms that don’t require hospitalization. We can give them those tools, and at the same time acquaint them with the power of Asian Bodywork Therapy.
Adapting to virtual rather than in-person strategies is not all that radical a change for us. There are lots of ideas out there that are not just substitutes, but real and powerful ways of sharing the wisdom of ABT virtually. I found the free material from Cliff Andrews and to be especially eye-opening, as in, “Duh, I knew that!” It is practical and only a baby step away from what I do already. I’ve tried some of these ideas with clients and the response has been resoundingly positive. People are not only looking for activities to fill the days at home. Activities that also support their health and well-being are especially popular. So this is our time to get ABT out there!

Check out these AOBTA resources:

  • AOBTA Wellness Community Page on our website. I’d suggest you start with Cliff’s video for the sheer encouragement to leap over limiting beliefs about what’s possible. You’ll find many other valuable links broken down into material for clients, for practitioners and for educators. This is an interactive web page. Please contribute! The learning curve is wide-open. What may seem like a no-brainer for you may be a light bulb for someone else. That has certainly been my experience.
  • Lunch & Learn - May 20, 12p EST, Ethical Ways of Transforming Your Practice during COVID-19, with Pamela Ferguson, AOBTA Certified Instructor. Register through section below, or look for the upcoming registration email. The session will be recorded and made available to members who can't attend synchronously.
  • Member Support Zoom - look for announcements of regular informal Zoom get-togethers where AOBTA members can bounce ideas and experiences off of each other and share some community Qi! The first meetings were on financial assistance. They were very helpful in sorting through the mountains of information and offering tips that expedite the sometimes daunting process of applying for aid. April 14 was for schools and programs - COSP members can access the recording in the COSP group on the website. April 23 was for individual practitioners - you can access the webinar recording on the Wellness Community Resources Page and the PDF and PowerPoint here.

Our Financial Situation
The financial health of the organization depends on the health of the members. Our primary income is your dues. As expected, we’ve seen a drop in renewals in the past two months. I know you have all seen the positive impact on our communications and member benefits since we hired our Managing Director, Communications Consultant, Member Relations Consultant and Legislative Consultant. We are making financial decisions month-to-month regarding our consultant staff and expenses. We hope to be able to continue the excellent work they have been doing rather than reverting to volunteer labor for these important functions. Your support is crucial.

  • AOBTA Dues - we are committed to keeping AOBTA membership accessible.  We’ve instituted monthly payments and other options for members that need assistance with the yearly dues. Please call the office at 484.841.6023 to make arrangements that will work for you. And if you can contribute more than the usual amount, please do so!
  • AOBTA Convention 2021 - at this time we are committed to keeping the dates for the convention to April 30 to May 3, 2021. Of course this will depend on COVID-19 situation at that time, but please keep the dates open. If we cannot meet in person, we will find a way to meet virtually. We will be releasing information about early registration by July 2020. Consider donating to the Judah Roseman Scholarship Fund to support members who need financial assistance to participate.
Can We Treat COVID-19 Symptoms?


A Protocol for Virtual Guidance in Self-treatment for Lung Distress


by Cindy Banker, AOBTA-CI in Five Element Shiatsu

Editor's note - this is part one in a two part series. The second article, to appear in the next month's Pulse, will be on the theory behind the treatment.
Before I sat down to write this article this morning I briefly checked through the paper. I get the paper now online rather than relying on real newspapers. This is a side effect of being a full time RVer with no permanent address, but it is also a sign of our times. I’m sure this will no doubt help save a lot of trees as well as reduce my current risk of exposure to the coronavirus. My chief concerns in the paper today were the conflicting warnings being issued about what to do about the impending tornados over the south this weekend as well as the usual updates about the coronavirus crisis. Tornados trump COVID-19, it turns out, with the conclusion that if you are somewhere that is under imminent threat of a tornado you should head to the nearest shelter. Of course, do your best when you get there in terms of trying not to get too close to other people; and perhaps by now you will already have a mask or two which you might want to wear while you are there. We are in Savannah, Georgia, right now, fortunate on both counts by virtue of only being marginally at risk for tomorrow’s (Easter Sunday) tornadoes and not in a densely dying color on the coronavirus map.

I hesitated to try and write this article at this time, also weighing a variety of risks, pros and cons as to what is the best and most sensible advice to offer. At the AOBTA Board meeting I attended yesterday (by Zoom of course), I shared...
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Ethical Qi - Ways of Transforming Your Practice During COVID-19

by Pamela Ellen Ferguson, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA-CI, GSD-CI and LMT (TX)

Hey, friends! Adapting overnight to ABT telemedicine? Or Zoom conferencing? Close colleagues in acupuncture and ABT contacted clients (and students) instantly to offer email sessions, practical acupoint advice, tips, resources, ways of staying focused, pools of solace and support in these disturbing times. I look forward to connecting with many of you during my upcoming AOBTA Lunch & Learn webinar and hope you are able to apply for unemployment and/or small business support in the meantime.

Most practitioners are offering sliding-scale or gratis sessions for clients caught in a tailspin of unemployment and delayed income. Where clients can afford to pay, and depending on the region, some colleagues are  charging between $20 and $50 an hour, or $30 for 30 minutes. Regular clients working from home pay...
Read the full article
Ethical Qi

Lunch & Learn Webinar  |  Wednesday, May 20, 2020  |  12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Register for this webinar
Watch April L&L
Watch March L&L
Become a presenter
The AOBTA Wellness Community continues to grow and develop. Included are resources for Self-Care, Practitioners, and Educators. With regard to Self-Care, the emphasis is on maintaining your health and well-being, with a collection of self-care links, tools, strategies, handouts, articles, and fun stuff. For Practitioners, it's all about honing your skills, adapting your practice, and being a resource for others, and includes a collection of information about preparing to relaunch your practice, links for financial assistance information, how to communicate with your clients, perspectives and strategies for supporting people with COVID-19, and more. Educators have particular needs, and this section, for instructors and schools, focuses on adapting, connecting and contributing, with tools for communicating with your students, ideas for adapting your classes to online formats, and resources about financial assistance. Have a look, get the help you need!

AOBTA Board of Directors | Election 2020

The Elections Committee is now accepting board nominations and candidate applications! This year we are electing the Vice President, Treasurer/Secretary, Director of Membership, Director of Events, Legislative Director, and Director of COSP. May 15, 2020 is the deadline for candidates to submit completed nomination packets. For all the details and other deadlines, go to the AOBTA elections page.

Visit the AOBTA elections page

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

Consider becoming a Lunch & Learn Webinar presenter.

Get details and apply

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 next meeting


In the April Pulse the article "Autism and Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure®" was solely attributed to Lisa Van Ostrand. The attribution should have included Winky Scarlota, M.Ed., AOBTA-CP, and Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressurist®, as co-author. Sorry for the oversight.


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