(Contributions to post from Dr. Tona Hetzler)
Dr. Mark Cheng spoke to the Graduate Seminar 710 athletic training class this week via Skype about clinical rehabilitation, the importance of athletic training in the educational field, and his own professional development. Dr. Cheng, L.Ac, PhD, is a Human Performance Specialist from Santa Monica, CA. He is an licensed acupuncturist by medical training and studies martial arts, specifically Shaolin kung-fu and Tai-Chi systems. At his private practice clinic, Dr. Cheng offers Tui-Na Chinese orthopedic manual medicine treatments, acupuncture, and Functional Movement Systems (FMS) neuromuscular re-patterning training for pain relief and human performance improvements.
Graduate athletic training (AT) students had the opportunity for an open discussion with Dr. Cheng about his views on the profession of athletic training. His response to this was that it is beyond his comprehension why there is not national mandate for an athletic trainer in every high school in the country. He further explained that he feel athletic trainers are the front line of sports medicine for active individuals and highly supports this profession.
Dr. Tona Hetzler felt that it was important for Graduate AT students to interact with Dr. Cheng so that they could see the concepts taught in the program such as FMS/SFMA and StrongFirst integrated in settings outside of the ones students are familiar with. “Often students in the program struggle at first seeing how FMS/SFMA and StrongFirst concepts can be effectively integrated into collegiate settings with higher level athletes”, Dr. Tona Hetzler explains. “Having someone like Dr. Cheng speak to the students is an important way for them to see that no matter the level of the active individual, movement pattern assessment is currently being used effectively in clinical practice across the country.”
Students in the class asked Dr. Cheng about his involvement with Tai-Chi and if this was an important tool to learn in treating patients. Dr. Cheng stressed to the students that Tai-Chi was just one of many tools. However, if a provider cannot accurately diagnose a problem and address movement problems, it does not matter what tools you have. He stressed the importance to taking time to improve your own training and do your own research. A major concept taken from this discussion is to perfect the skills you have, rather than just adding skills to know more. There is a great value to yourself as a clinician and to your patients when you establish a good, solid background and focus on skill refinement.
Thank you to Dr. Cheng for his involvement with the Graduate AT class at Missouri State University.
More information on Dr. Mark Cheng, including links to follow on Facebook and Twitter, may be found at http://drmarkcheng.com/