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Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
March, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 03
Medical Massage II
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Last month, I shared some of my thoughts and observations on massage therapy sharing space with managed care. This month, I'd like to delve into the "care" aspects of massage and medicine, rather than the payment areas.
I am writing this while attending a symposium on complementary and integrative medicine titled, "Clinical Update and Implications for Practice," sponsored by the Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education.The course director is David M. Eisenberg, MD, whose published findings in the early '90s on the public's usage of alternative therapies are credited with opening the eyes of the medical community to the dollars being spent on health solutions, outside the sphere of contemporary allopathic care. My attendance here in Boston gives insights I might not get in the course of my normal daily routine as a practicing massage therapist. The 400+ attendees are mostly physicians, but my fellow attendees include general internists; family practitioners; nurses; pharmacists; pediatricians; oncologists; OB/GYNs; chiropractors; acupuncturists; bodyworkers; naturopaths; psychiatrists; psychologists; licensed social workers; managed care executives; health benefits administrators; and other complementary care providers (even three veterinarians - go figure!).
Complementary and integrative medical therapies are used by an estimated 42% of the U.S. population. Visits to complementary care practitioners exceed visits to primary care physicians by over 200 million visits per year. Americans spend an estimated $30 billion a year on these services, the majority of which nonreimbursed.1 The symposium brochure states, "There is a growing body of literature that is helping to distinguish useful from useless and safe from unsafe therapies. In light of ongoing evidence that most complementary and integrative therapies are neither disclosed to nor discussed with medical doctors, 1,2 there is an urgent need for professional education and improved patient-provider communication in this provocative area."
The symposium is covering many areas of interest to physicians, and several of particular interest to readers of Massage Today. I am delighted to be entering into the discussions and interacting with course faculty in reviewing prevalence, costs, and patterns of use of commonly used complementary and integrative medical therapies; reviewing the theory, practice, safety and efficacy of:
While at the symposium, I will also be taking part in as much of the following as possible:
Specific to massage therapy, one of the breakout sessions was facilitated by Nancy Dail, owner/director of the Downeast School of Massage, Waldoboro, ME. Nancy did a great job of demonstrating the practical aspects of massage to an audience of physicians and surgeons. She provided both lecture and interactive demonstration stressing that massage therapy meets needs of health care today, evidenced by massage therapy's ability to offer tangible benefits to the average person who wants conservative, cost-effective ways to have optimum health. She pressed home the point that massage therapy generally encourages the individual to take responsibility for oneself, and that massage therapy is a companion to health care, working with the health care system to benefit the individual. The medically oriented audience was attentive as Nancy reviewed the current state of massage education and credentialing, indications/contraindications, and opportunities for referrals.
Another breakout session entitled "Massage Research - Evidence for Meaningful Integration" was led by Janet Kahn, PhD, a past president of the AMTA Foundation, and a senior research scientist for the Wellesley Center for Research on Women, housed at Wellesley College. Janet gave a nicely detailed presentation covering definitions, limitations of research, suggestions stemming from available research and suggestions for ongoing research efforts. She covered aspects of the difficulty (impossibility?) of double-blind randomized control studies that are commonplace in medicine today. She offered that existing research suggests that massage may introduce relaxation; enhance one's sense of well-being; decrease pain; provide noticeable short and long-term relief from low back pain; ease post-mastectomy lymphedema; enhance immune function; and promote development in premature infants.
Although not on the symposium faculty, AMTA President Steve Olson hosted a luncheon networking session providing information to the group of massage therapists who attended. Also present were AMTA President-elect Carolyn Talley, and John Balletto, President of the AMTA Foundation. It was a great opportunity to socialize a bit with the 30 to 40 massage therapists attending the symposium.
The message I took away from the symposium was that those massage therapists (or Asian bodyworkers, herbalists, acupuncturists, homeopaths, naturopaths, etc.) wishing to integrate their practices into the health care system need to pay particular care to evidence-based integration, and support continued research. Dr. Eisenberg stressed that in advising patients, safety will always trump efficacy; and real or potential dangers associated with unscientifically explained or non-reproduced results severely limit the ability to refer. Along this line, a lawyer presented a legal/legislative update covering topics such as a physician's liability in referring to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers. He stressed that physicians have to address questions such as what liability exists when a referral to a chiropractor, acupuncturist or massage therapist occurs and the patient's condition deteriorates. This tied directly to a conversation on credentialing and ties to insurance and referral networks. He also revealed that referring physicians conceivably could be liable for aiding and abetting unlicensed medical practice!
I would encourage Massage Today readers who work or hope to work in concert with other caregivers and/or health care practitioners to take advantage of symposiums such as this one. The perspective gained from attending with others from multidimensional disciplines is vast! The knowledge and perspectives of the physicians present was also aided by the presence of massage therapists. Even if they choose to reject referrals to massage therapists until they become comfortable with further study results, they learn more about what we do, how we do it, and why. As a wise person once said, you must understand that which you choose to reject.
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to the address listed below:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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