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We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Poll Results for the following Question:
Which is the most important issue to be addressed by the massage profession?
Total Respondents: 187
Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors
to this Web site.
Licensure/regulation I am a Registered Massage Therapist in Canada and here students have to have 2200 hours in order to complete the massage therapy program. After they complete their program they then have to take a province Board examination. In Canada, massage therapy is regulated by the Health Professions Act and is covered under medical insurance. Massage therapy is based and equal to many medical professions. I would like to see that same kind of knowledge and exceptance in the United States, many people seem to not know the medical benefits of massage and see it more as a "spa treatment" rather than a medical healing. I think it is important to educate the public on the benefits both physically and mentally of massage therapy.
Research showing value of massage i am in private practice for 1 year. i am amzaed at the lack of knowledge most people have in regard to the medical benefits of bodywork. i give medical treatments, not a service. i am a healer. what i do is not about indulgence or a treat. bodywork needs to be marketed as a necessary part of our lifestyles. what i do is just as valuable as what a md, dentist, surgeon, etc...does. in order for the general public to respect and honor what bodywork professionals do, bodywork collegues need to respect and honor the work. we all need to keep telling the public about the medical benefits of bodywork and do alot more research, double blind studies, just like the western world does with the drug companies. we need to speak their language to get recognized and respected.
Licensure/regulation I think massage therapy has been researched plenty. That is not to say that it shouldn't continue so it can be further proved beneficial to those who doubt. The licensure regulation is of most importance because if that is taken care of it will do a lot to get rid of the "massage parlor" stigma.
Licensure/regulation I truely believe that there are two main issues that have to be resolved before our field can take the next big leap forward that we as therapists as well as a segment of the public demands. It is critical that the large massage oraganizations ( amta, abmp, ima, etc. ), as well as each practitioner, show the general public that professional massage therapy is not a front for prostitution. A myriad of different media channels are right at our findertips. We need to continue to release the ground breaking research that seems to now be coming out on a weekly basis regarding the beneficial effects of bodywork. If we are able to double up on these efforts, as well as include many other means of re-educating the American populace as a whole, I feel we as therapists will have much more agreement on the issues of licensure/certificatio/freedom of access. I personally don't feel we need licensure or even certification, but instead like the law that minnesota has that allows The People to choose whether they want a trained or licensed practitioner. If we continue to re-educate the public, we may just be rewarded with a lot more lenient zoning laws. Many of use have been under the jurisdiction of Vice and answerable to laws that were initially set up for prostitution. This has to end so we can get back to our businesses and operate in a more friendly and less police regulated and governed venue.
Inclusion in managed care especially in soft-tissue trauma, massage is a
highly beneficial additive to regular chiropractic
and medical care.
Increasing the educational requirements and enforcement of unlicensed practitioners will help Massage therapy gain greater professional acceptance. I have worked with a number of very professional MT's but there are still that are stepping over the line, and getting away with it because of such lax enforcement.
Research showing value of massage Nothing will promote the profession of massage therapy like good, scientific, peer-reviewed research on the benefits of massage, distributed to physicians and other mainstream health professionals.
Research showing value of massage Both licensure problems and association with prostitution are largely due to the ignorance of the general public. Research and education are the most effective means of dealing with ignorance.
Licensure/regulation Equally important is research showing value of massage.
Please keep up the good work. Your addition to the massage world has been a breath of fresh air.
Thank you very much.
Lexi Simonton, C.M.T.
Licensure/regulation Licensure in regards to health care is usually expected by the public, and the public is suprised when they learn that a state does not regulate the profession. As more and more of the public turn to massage therapists as "first stop" health care providers, it becomes more crucial to minimize "the potential" for harm by untrained and under-trained practitioners. For example, women seeking pregnancy massage, especially in their third trimester, need to have the benefit which comes with trained therapists who are aware of contra-indications as well as endangerment sites, and correct positioning techniques.
It seems that those who are embracing the "Freedom of Access"-type legislation initiatives fail to realize that such regulation fails to acknowledge the "National Standard" which has developed in the US.
Licensure/regulation Serving as 1st Vice President of the AMTA-GA Chapter, the most important issue being addressed in the state of GA by far, is licensure. With a bill proposed, it is bringing the massage therapy profession together to voice their concerns, comments, corrections, and praises about this bill so our profession in GA will remain secure if this bill passes into law. This issue has drawn unity from across the state. Therapists are eager to learn about the bill and how it may affect them. So how do we educate our therapists statewide? Our 3rd Vice President, Robb Doyle, set up a email group so all voices could be heard ( ).
I have practiced for 11 years and I do not desire to be included in the managed care arena. Talk to your doctor and ask him/her how they like it!
Erasing the stigma of "massage parlors" will slowly diminish over the years to come as we educate the public about therapeutic massage and the benefits.
I enjoy reading the research showing the value of massage and so do the doctors that I work for however, the clients that I see are the evidence that shows the value of massage and the benefits of this wonderful profession.
Blessings to you!
Jane Johnson, LMT
Research showing value of massage It is difficult to choose just one. However if research is available to educate the public on the value of massage therapy, then the stigma of massage parlors would dissipate and managed care programs would be more accepting.
I am quite content with my National Certification ranking. Living in NJ I feel this state if so over regulated that I don't see the value in licensing. I was originally behind the AMTA movement to make this happen. It passed the State Senate and Assembly. The Governor would not sign it. The outcome of months and months of work is that as MTs we are now going to be REGISTERED. What this means to be is that I now get to pay the State several hundred dollars to be in a registry that provides absolutely no benefits, except inform the public that I have met the State's criteria. I feel the National Certification Board does this. I still will not be allowed by the Insurance Commission to bill insurance companies IF I would choose to. Choosing to would be another story. I am NOT in favor of joining the insurance companies that have set up "alternative services" (they just want to get on the band wagon) who want you to give their subscribers a reduced fee regardless of whether you are providing a swedish or a neuromuscular therapy session (they are requiring the same price). The price is usually a flat rate of $45 or 20-25% off of your rate which would come out to the $45. If therapists who agree to this would only realize that the insurance companies are trying to get us to accept the lower rate, so that if licensing ever goes through, we will not be able to bill the standard rate that other professionals charge for this service. (I've worked in Dr.'s office, where the service is billed in 15 min increments a fee of $30 to $40.)
Then the insurance companies are not paying you . . . the client pays out of pocket, however the insurance companies still feel they have a right to client information records upon demand. It sounds illegal to me or at the very least a violation of privacy for the client.
Also, if a doctor refers someone because of a medical problem, the clients usually needs a therapy like neuromuscular or myofacial - NOT swedish. It takes advanced training to be able to work with those who have injuries and pain. I cannot do this work for $45 an hour and fill out timeconsuming insurance forms. However, I have been known that if a person needs treatment and cannot afford it, I am most willing to work out an arrangement that is acceptable to the client.
My ideal client is someone who is seeking to be empowered, who is choosing health, truth and peace.
Too often people are looking to others to fix them, instead of accepting the responsibility themselves.
Why should insurance companies pay for massage?? Where are people's priorities? I've had many people on my table who have just been on expensive around the world trips, have designer clothing on, and they complain that the insurance companies should pay for their treatment because they cannot afford it. Give me a break. Where are your priorities?? I feel bad for the population that needs treatment the most - the elderly, the sick and the single parents out there who are stressed holding down jobs and raising children with little help.
My opinions are based upon experience of 7 years and upon reviewing the numerous contracts the insurance companies had sent to me.
Sorry this was so lengthy!
Research showing value of massage I think ALL of these are extremely important for LMT's nationwide. I would rank needs as :
1)Research, 2)Licensure, 3)Stigma, 4)Inclusion.
I worry about being "locked in" by policy, procedures & charges when working with Insurance. The Stigma issue needs each therapist to be proud, educate the public & take action, where state laws allow, on illegal establishments. Licensure/Regulation should eradicate "massage parlor" stigma, eventually. Research is extremely important to so the value & power of educated touch. Research & education will allow LMT's to reach thier full potential while enhancing our professional worth. We are the experts of soft tissue manipulation for the medical world!
Licensure/regulation here are my thoug
Licensure/regulation Licensure ensures the public that the practitioner is well educated enough to know their trade. It gives the public a standard in which to make a sound decision when choosing a therapist. By looking at the license number, here in Florida, I can get a good idea how long that therapist had been practising. I look for experience as well as technique.
Research showing value of massage I feel all of the list issues are of importance but without valid research showing that we actually do work that improves our clients health and healing we will never get the credibility we have earned and deserve.
None of the above. The education of the public as to the benefits of massage is a missing option. Licensure/regulation leads to unreasonable requirements and restrictive scopes of practice. Managed care will come around to including us if they have any sense. The "massage parlor stigma" is a good excuse for licensing. Re-research and use what is already there.
The uniqueness of our trade is overlooked in that we have more contact with our clients than most medical professions. The intimacy of our work is not acknowledged nearly enough. Those who receive massage regularly should be acknowledged, commended and solicited to tell their stories thus serving as "word of mouth" hopefully motivating those skeptical to at least give this phenomonal work a try.
Research showing value of massage I think research that shows the value to the general public that we as LMT's already "know" is of the utmost value. However we are not long out of the dark ages when the connotation of "Massage Parlor" was closely followed by a wink and an innuendo. No matter how much research we do 1 inneundo can ruin years of good work. As the saying goes "1 oh shit, ruins 100 attaboys!"
Research showing value of massage I believe that if we can substantiate the effectiveness of massage with well drawn up research, then those other issues will also be addressed... ie, it will erase the stigma of "massage parlors" and may be more easily included in managed care.
As for licensing and regulations, there is work to be done there as well. We have to clean up house there with acceptable minimum hours of training and strong Associations.
I think we are moving in the right direction.
Licensure/regulation With all states having different regulations and requirements, it makes it hard to get started in another state when you already are credentialed in a previous state. Washington State has statewide regulations, where Massachusetts, it's basically up to the town how the laws come down. If statewide regulations are set, Therapists can go about the practice of working with clients, not jumping through hoops.
Erasing stigma of massage parlors While a very busy, established massage therapy office sits closed because of a glitch in the occupational licensing division, a new business remains open doing the "wrong massage". Calls to report the activity are being made and no one has investigated. Who do we, as massage therapists go to, to get results??