Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2019 July

Do you have students in your class who are hearing challenged? Some useful tips!

By Pamela Ellen Ferguson Dipl.ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA(r)-CI, LMT (TX)

It’s really helpful if hearing-challenged students approach you before the class with any special requests. I’ve taught students, here and in Europe, who tell me they favor the left (or right) ear, so I make a point of standing on the side of the “favored ear” when I work one-on-one with them during practice time.

Students who are excellent lip-readers really appreciate it if they can sit with a close view of your mouth (seriously) – and this is a great way of reminding you to avoid mumbling!

For those moments when a student chooses to remove her/his hearing aid to avoid picking up every sound in the room, don’t give instructions with your back to the class. Unless you are facing a wall-sized mirror.

How well I recall a Taiqi teacher who turned around with his back to the class and mumbled instructions. Several of us (hearing and hearing-challenged students) had to run around to face him to figure out what he was saying!

One of my hearing-challenged graduates in Berlin, Germany, completed her Shiatsu training while at medical school – her intention was to maximize the healing benefits of touch, meridian, and acupoint work for hearing-challenged patients, and to ensure that other doctors never turned around while talking to patients!

Pam Ferguson is the Asian Bodywork Therapy Dean Emerita of AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, Austin Texas. She has authored major textbooks such as The Self Shiatsu Handbook:, and TAKE FIVE – the five elements guide to health and harmony. Together with Debra Duncan Persinger PhD, she co-edited SAND TO SKY – Conversations with teachers of Asian Medicine. She is the ABT columnist for the monthly Acupuncture Today.