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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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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!
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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