Welcome from Tom, and Why I developed this course
Welcome to ProlotherapyEducation.com, and to the new course Prolotherapy: Getting to the Point!
I have been putting on courses for years and noticed that large number of students come to the courses to learn how to inject a joint or ligament but not why they were injecting these areas. This seemed like a natural response because using a needle requires some visual as well as practical experience and seemed to be the biggest problem in learning prolotherapy. The why could be learned from a book. Over the years needling was demonstrated and practiced on plastic models and sometimes on each other. This process is time consuming and tedious for both the student and teacher. The demand to learn how you are needling over knowing why you are needling still drives the courses in Latin America attended by several different groups. This teaching bias created my most hated question over a cadaver, “Now why am I injecting this?” It was asked of me at least once in every course, causing me to feel like I failed as a teacher.
Wanting to know the how before the why creates a conundrum because both require a lot of teaching time–and this is a limited commodity in these courses. I experimented with different amounts of time devoted to the why’s and how’s, but no combination was ever satisfactory. The courses were always too short to cover everything, so I began thinking how I could teach the information more efficiently and organize it better. This helped but it also made the course so content-rich that almost no one could concentrate on the large volume of material by the time we reached the Saturday afternoon sessions.
I began looking for alternative presentation programs in early 2013. I tried Prezi but this just made the didactic lectures more visually interesting but not shorter. In a different part of my life—skiing, I was also seeking some learning changes because I was frustrated at with progress of the coach I was using. I stumbled on Harald Harb, who opened the door to a new way to ski. The how was new and the why made a lot of sense. He teaches skiing by breaking down the ski turn into multiple learnable skills and the lets you work on them separately and combine them to make a better turn. My coaching experiences with him were filled with ‘Ah ha’ moments, some of which spilled directly over into teaching prolotherapy, like breaking down prolotherapy into skill sets: learning anatomy, history taking, doing physical examinations, creating differential diagnosis of targets, customizing landmarks and understanding needle handling. When combined, all of these skill sets will allow you to understand the how and why of prolotherapy as learnable skills.
At about the same time as Harald entered my life, a patient Gavin Maurer came to see me for knee pain and overheard me talking about a Prezi presentation. At the end of my treatment he said that he was involved with a company in Boulder, In The Telling, that had a new teaching presentation platform TELLING Story. He thought that what I did would be perfect for their program. I think he was right! He has been instrumental in making ‘Getting to the Point’ a reality using this unique platform.
Once I began working with In The Telling, it became clear that we could break down teaching prolotherapy in two parts–the why parts and the how parts. The why parts could be learned just as well using web based technology and it would be less expensive and easier for the student. The how parts could all be combined into a three-day landmark identification and cadaver course that requires little didactic teaching.
It also turned out that breaking the information into two parts allows time for learning assessment. The “why” learning could have tests and achievement evaluation and the “how” parts could use video and imaging to assess needle placement for learning assessment and CME credits. The combination of these tests could also lead to an assessment based certificate from the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).
The goal of getting a student from what they need to know to the why, then to the how can be combined in a user-friendly way. These modules and the associated cadaver laboratories lay the foundation for adding prolotherapy to your practice, and consistently and accurately hit your target, or “Getting To The Point”.