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The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
Free Yourself From the Pocketbook Practice
Let's take a journey together; there's an important lesson to be learned. Imagine a town or city just like yours.
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
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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