resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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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