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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.
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!
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
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.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
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.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
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.
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.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
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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