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To Teach is to learn among other things

By Kento Kamiyama PT, DPT

Teaching in Japanese? Ya I was nervous and I’m lateralized here (oops wrong seminar)

Couple weekends ago, I hit a milestone in my career teaching the first Neurokinetic Therapy seminar in Tokyo, Japan to well respected athletic trainers, chiropractors, physical therapist, massage therapists and acupuncturist.

Although I was born and raised in the US, teaching in Japan has been a long term goal of mine.  Teaching in Japan…check!

As I teach more and more, I come to realize several things:  teaching is still learning, don’t throw out what you know and preparation is key for traveling.

Teaching is still learning

When one thinks of teaching, many don’t think they learn as much.  However, I find it quite the contrary.  Although I may know the material a little more in detail than attendees, you are teaching to 20-30 different (or less/more) brains and perspectives.  This often leads to similar yet vastly different point of views and questions depending on the background.  These different point of views can broaden your horizon.

When I teach, I tend to openly encourage my students to ask questions.  I’ll also set expectations that I’ll do my best to answer but if I don’t have the answer, I apologize and research it later.  This allows the walls to break down and creative juices start flowing.

While I usually can answer most of the questions, there are times the questions are dense or just a different perspective that I learn that there is another way of thinking!  Or they find details that I haven’t found which leads to other possibilities.

This allows you to see the material from different perspectives; furthermore, solidify your material and see minutiae that you haven’t seen before.  I always notice, the more I teach the more I learn AND even become better as a clinician.

Dalai Lama
Thank you oh wise one

Don’t Throw Out What You Know

Just because you had a paradigm shift in how you treat, do not chuck the information or training you had before.  The techniques or system you had before worked for a reason.  Practice the new techniques or systems, find the connection and make it your own.

I will have to warn you.  Before you make it your own, make sure to practice and fail/succeed the material you have learned.  As Dalai Lama would say (did I just quote two in a row?  yes I did):

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively”- Dalai Lama


Dr. Kawai a well respect chiro in Japan.  If it wasn’t for him, NKT Japan wouldn’t have happened

Preparation is key for your health when traveling

Since I started teaching, I’ve done fairly well and had good/great feedback.  However, my body took quite the toll with traveling.   Why?  I always prepared for my lectures but I did not prepare for traveling well.  Poor preparation lead me to poor execution on training, eating healthy and sleeping.  Hence, this time (since time difference is 14 hours), I made sure I prepared.  This lead to less procrastination and better execution. Dr. Dooley’s post on jet lag was exceptionally helpful.  Here were some points:

  • Sleep on their world clock.
  • Short naps if needed
  • Hydrate…. ALOT
  • Get some organic green powder to keep your immune system in check
  • Do light training/movement drills
  • Have supplemental herbs for sleeping (I.E. – ZMA, valerian root)

By sticking to these, I had minimal jet lag and was able to get back to work immediately without feeling as much jet lag.

One studious group here


If you want to know your material, start teaching yet listen.  Don’t worry about being perfect because you will never be.  Making the mistakes and continuing is what makes the process perfect :).

Happy Teachings.



1 Comment

  1. Pingback:Moving onto 2016!Cool Things I learned in 2015 | Kamiyama Physical Therapy

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