resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01
Work More for Less
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Recently, a small group in the massage profession (less than 20% according to one questionnaire) has tried to promote the concept that we should rapidly do everything necessary to become accepted as providers by third-party payers.
Third-party payers are also known as either some form of insurance company or the government.Understand that neither of these organizations have any interest in providing benefits to consumers. Their interest is to take as much from consumers as possible and give as little as possible back. Think about this and remember it always.
There are many types of insurance. The most sinister is health or medical insurance, which will be more accurately referred to in this article as "sickness insurance." It is a part of the sickness industry that manages sickness and makes no significant income from healthy individuals. Sickness insurance is the banker (arguably the extortionist) for the allopathic medical system that treats symptoms, primarily with drugs and surgery: in other words, MDs, HMOs and hospitals. The sickness industry and its banker have no inherent desire for there to be healthy people, because it makes little money from them. They control people's sickness (managed care). They hate competition. They have sworn to eliminate all competing forms of health care. (That's us!) If they cannot eliminate the competition, they will attempt to suppress or control them. (That's us!) Do not fall for the reasonable sounding argument that sickness insurance wants to pay less claims and healthy people file less claims, therefore insurance wants healthy people.
The sickness insurance system was created by the medical industry to collect as much money as it can from as many people as possible, and funnel that money to the sickness industry. The insurance company gets to invest the premiums paid, to make as much money as possible for its owners or shareholders on the money while it holds it. When it doesn't have enough money to meet the appetite of the sickness industry and reward its owners, it raises premiums. Then the sickness industry raises its rates, which causes premiums to go up even more. Does this pattern sound familiar?
Other types of insurance in the health care arena, like workman's compensation and other personal injury or liability insurance, are somewhat different and are not part of the focus of this discussion.
It is quite amusing that many other health care professionals are trying to get out of the sickness insurance system and get back to working for the patient for fair and reasonable rates. Providers with other licenses (nurses, physical therapists, etc.) are changing professions and becoming massage therapists to get away from the control of insurance and Medicare/Medicaid restrictions. They are getting out of the sickness system so they can help more people. Why are massage therapists clamoring to get in? They want more money. They say it is to help more people, but it really is for the money. They will be very disappointed if they get their wish.
Chiropractors fought their way into the system through the legislatures and the courts. Has it brought them any better acceptance by the allopathic, medical-sickness industry? Very little, if any. DCs are ensnared in the sickness insurance system. It looked like they would make a lot of money from insurance, and initially, many did. However, now that the vast majority of DCs are dependent on third party payment and their patients addicted to it, the third parties are paying less and less. Recently, DCs are being charged fees to belong to provider networks. The numbers of visits per year or per occurrence are being limited. In California, American Specialty Health Plans (ASHP) has just "renegotiated" the fee for a chiropractic office visit. The fee has been lowered from $38 last year to $26 this year, a 30% decrease.1 This will probably trigger similar reductions by other plans and possibly Medicare and workers' compensation Want to work more and more for less and less? Want to make 30% less per year?
Do not be so idealistic as to believe that once a significant number of massage therapists are providers, networks won't treat them like they do the DCs. In fact, it has already started. Several networks are recruiting massage therapists. The contract requires the therapist to offer significant discounts to their published fees and not to charge over a specified amount. A clause in the small print says that the network can reduce the amount the therapist may charge whenever the network desires. The light at the end of the insurance tunnel appears to be a train.
The public has discovered massage. They are flocking to massage therapists and paying for services with their own money. Why interrupt this trend? Why get in the way of patients taking responsibility for their own health. The only thing that can stop the wave this profession is riding now is if its ego demands acceptance from the sickness system. That will never be accomplished. Why? Because massage is a health care system. We are an alternative. We are not complementary. Massage has the potential to become the premier wellness modality.
Health is not a right, it is an individual responsibility. We should support people in taking this responsibility, not help keep them in the sickness system. It is best to run away from sickness insurance and fight against government-controlled health care. Massage therapists should focus on better education and higher standards, not on appeasing or conforming to the sickness industry. We must strive to provide better health and wellness information and services to the public. We are a totally different paradigm. We are "health care"; they are "sickness care." The massage profession has emerged. It will continue to grow and blossom as long as it supports individuals taking responsibility for their own health. It will wilt and possibly die if it succumbs to the temptation of money from the sickness industry.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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