resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
May, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 05
The Importance of Language
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Last month, I wrote about the differing perceptions of massage and bodywork from practitioners. The words used to portray what we do have differing meanings to different people. I'd like to expand on that theme a bit, because when we get out of our own professional realm, the meaning and significance of words become even more important.This can certainly be true in our practices when our patients/clients perceive our words as meaning something different than we intended. I always find it beneficial to come to agreement with a client as to what terms mean. For example, take the word discomfort. When working a trigger point in infraspinatus, or using an elbow for compression on a piriformis attachment, that definition can become very important. Where language misunderstandings become really problematic though, is in the regulatory arena. Here wording is critical, from the standpoint of the regulators, from the practitioners being regulated, and from the public who is being protected by the regulations. Obviously in the best of all worlds, the wording chosen in statute and rules will provide all concerned parties with the protection and safety net intended by the process. This does not always happen though, as the following example illustrates.
New Hampshire has had a long and successful history of licensing massage therapists. The state's Department of Health & Human Services administers the massage licensing program. There is a three-member Advisory Board of Massage Therapy that advises the Commissioner of Health and Human Services on issues relating to massage therapy. To correct a perceived problem concerning the Department's ability to discipline errant therapists for inappropriate touch, the Department lawyer, in concert with state Legislative Services lawyers, added the following clause to the rules governing the practice of massage:
This added definition in the rules seems pretty innocuous on quick read, but when dissected and put into the context of actual practice, the words exceed the needs of the situation and adversely impact the practice of massage in that state. There are times in a massage practice when intention can carry the day if specificity of technique comes up short, but this is never the case in a regulation! In dissection, the above definition states that the intentional touching of a client's genitalia is a therapeutic aspect of massage, and it only becomes inappropriate when done without the informed consent of the client. I don't think this was the intent of the drafters. The statement is actually true when directed toward breasts or buttocks, but I have never met anyone whose practice involved anything other than adult entertainment who would argue that touching genitalia was a therapeutic aspect of massage.
So how does one resolve the meaning gaps in language issues such as just presented? In this instance, the members of the Advisory Board each responded in writing stating that the inappropriate sexual contact definition was badly chosen because:
So was this language issue resolved? The written response from the Department was that the rule would allow the Department to do what they needed to do in the prosecution of those harming the public, that it was not intended to demean the profession, and that the language would stand as approved.
No one was really wrong in the situation cited above, but I feel it is an example of unfortunate language affecting the practice of professionals when the profession isn't regulating itself. In this instance, a state beaurocracy solved a problem against the wishes and judgment of those selected by them to represent the profession. Had there been a massage regulatory board instead of an advisory board, I doubt that this would have occurred. I am of the opinion that the massage therapy field is best served by self-regulation. Licensees should have recourse to have complaints heard and adjudicated by their peers.
Last month's Massage Today included an article by David Frostad on the National Alliance of State Massage Therapy Boards (NASMTB). The state of Mississippi has just become the 30th state to regulate massage. I would welcome 50 states; all members of the NASMTB, with common regulatory language that has been developed by massage therapists and designed to enable increasing standards of care while benefiting both the public and the practitioner.
I feel it is important for everyone reading this article to consider the power and importance of the words we use. English, as most of the world's languages, is rich in vocabulary specifically to express nuance of thought. When creating written documents designed to stand the test of time, nuance and understand become increasingly critical. In our emerging profession there has been and will continue to be creation of organizational bylaws, practice standards, efficacy claims, regulatory statutes and rules, etc. I urge everyone to remember that what you meant to say has no bearing on how others view and use your document. What you have actually said will remain for a long time. I guess I am calling for a bit of activism on your part. I suggest that it is important that you read and understand the laws that govern your practice, and the bylaws and standards of the associations/organizations you choose to join or be credentialed by. With a critical eye, determine what the documents actually say and the perceptions of meaning that might occur. Then call or write the organizations/agencies responsible for the document and state your concerns. After all, it's your practice that is affected.
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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