resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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 Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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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