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News in Brief
Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Enrolls Second Group Member; Focus on Chiropractic Education at WFC-ACC Conference in Miami; Are You Ready for Another "Have-a-Heart" Campaign?
The McGill Approach to the Lower Back (Part 1)
Stuart McGill, PhD, brings a unique combination of tools to the table. He is a scientist who also functions as a clinician. He describes himself as a medical consultant who is referred challenging patients. He is both evidence based and practical.
Eight Ways to Help Manage Your Content
You have just completed your last session for the day, checked your voice mail and emailed a new patient about their appointment, but something it gnawing at you, something you just can't quite put your finger it on.
Giving Chiropractic Some Much-Needed PR
Public relations has not always been the chiropractic profession's strong suit, a shortcoming that has subjected the profession to countless attacks on its legitimacy and seemingly perpetual confusion among the public and the health care world as to the skills and services doctors of chiropractic provide.
Hon Lee: Scholar, Warrior, Spy, Teacher and Healer
It was fun. Growing up in New York's Chinatown was like living in a Chinese village that had been transplanted to a five square block area in southern Manhattan. The thing I liked most about the city, and still do, is it's rich cultural diversity.
Behavior as Symptoms of Energetic Imbalance
Karen and Josh said they wanted me to help them fix their marriage. That is why they were sitting on the couch in front of me, complaining about each other. She was too domineering, he said, overly controlling and bossy.
"Turn, Turn, Turn"
Many people are credited with saying, "If you remember the '60s, you really weren't there." Given the fact I didn't become a teenager until 1970, I actually do remember the '60s (or at least part of it). And as a child of the '60s, I was, of course, influenced by the music.
The Power of Positioning
During the evening, I like to relax while either reading a book or watching television. One of my shows, NCIS, has the main character always drinking coffee. Everyone knows it is a Venti from Starbucks because of its distinctive color and style.
What TCM Never Had to Deal With
You probably started getting a sense of it when you were in school. The professors would talk about diabetes as "wasting-and-thirsting disease" and you had a thought that you didn't know anyone who was wasting away in any way, shape or form.
Ancient Chinese Medicine Meets Modern Anatomy Dissection
Have you ever thought it would be beneficial to explore under the skin and examine qi deficiencies in every system of the body? Would you like to see traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis patterns as they relate to western biomedical symptoms and conditions?
Yo San University Celebrates, Supports Community Clinic
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine recently celebrated 25 years of teaching excellence and serving its community by awarding actor Pierce Brosnan the Robert Graham Visionary Award and raising money for its popular community clinic.
Treating Our Veterans with PTSD
As July 4th, Memorial Day and Veterans Day continue to pass year in and year out, we honor our veterans from past wars with parades, BBQs and a day off from work, but our veterans live daily with the spiritual scars of war.
MUIH Launches Doctoral Degree Programs
Maryland University of Integrative Health recently announce it will now offer doctoral degrees.
Body and Skin Rejuvenation Through Inner Balance, Equals Outer Beauty
First of all, I will draw a line in the sand. You know how there is often a big divide between the methods of Western medicine and holistic or energy medicine?
The Bottom Line ... From a Surgeon Who Knows
Regardless of individual relationships between providers, there continues to be a type of Hatfield-McCoy feud between the philosophies of medicine and chiropractic, particularly when it comes to musculoskeletal ailments.
Drug War Rages in Wisconsin
Based on its actions over the past 15 years (review the sidebar in the app version of this article), controversy and the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association seem to go hand in hand.
The Art of Observation
How many of us spend time just watching our clients walk, climb in and out of cars, rise from a chair or navigate a flight of stairs? Spontaneity is the key. Along with a subtle ability to observe without the client knowing or being made to feel like a lab rat.
Alcohol Consumption Strongly Linked to Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Alcohol intake is one of the primary risk factors for many human cancers, and is strongly associated with cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, and notably, the colon and rectum.
The Power of Vitamin K
You may have heard rumblings in recent years that vitamin K helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and is administered intravenously by some integrative medical doctors who combine it with high-dose vitamin C in cancer treatment.
Cultivating Our National Strength
The time has come to seriously look at the state of this profession and its influence in the U.S. Where are we? What has happened? Where do we go from here?
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!
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06
Should We or Shouldn't We?
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Regulation and licensing of somatic therapists is again making news. After several years of little or no activity in this area, several states are now considering if licensing, in the form of practice acts or title protection acts, is superior to the "unlicensing" regulations now approved in Minnesota and being considered elsewhere.
I know of precious few issues within the massage therapy and bodywork realm that stimulate such response as the issue of whether or not to regulate the profession.It seems to make otherwise rational people froth at the mouth, and normally caring, sensitive, client-centered individuals stand on their soapboxes and hurl vindictive epithets toward any individual speaking for the "other side"!
I would like to explore a few issues concerning regulation in this column, in the hopes that it stimulates an ongoing discussion among you, the readers. Nothing would please me more than to have Massage Today become a clearinghouse for the ideas and concerns surrounding licensing. This is a big issue affecting us all, so please share your opinions on the subject!
In this column, I'll limit my thoughts to the issue of state licensure. It is my opinion that municipal regulation of somatic therapies isn't worth discussing, as it is (in almost all cases) actually attempting to regulate prostitution instead of whatever the title of the section of the law reads. Municipal regulation, in the absence of state licensing, is in my opinion, detrimental to the profession. It is confusing to practitioners, employers, educators and the public. I am familiar with no other health care profession that deals with municipal as opposed to statewide regulation.
Perhaps that is an element of the problem -- many of us don't see ourselves as part of the greater health care field. A state employee who oversaw many allied health groups once said to a group of massage therapists arguing this point, "Excuse me, you already are part of health care. Get over it!" Coming to grips with what it means to be a part of the overall health care environment may be important in this discussion. In my experience, the municipal regulations don't particularly address health care. The people I know who practice in nonregulated states have stories to tell: doing outcall in five communities and needing business licenses from five different jurisdictions; needing blood testing and fingerprinting in some towns and criminal record checks in others; and some towns requiring CEUs and others not; some requiring work on same-sex clients only, others requiring windows on all treatment-room doors. How ludicrous. How demeaning. Occupational therapists, physical therapists, dental hygienists, psychologists, nurses, opticians, etc, would never put up with such nonsense, but many massage therapists accept this situation as customary and normal.
As I gear up for a rant here, let me also say that I am positively sick to death of those who argue against regulation by demanding "proof" of harm against the public. (Many states require evidence of harm before granting regulation.) They will sit and fill bandwidth on web pages, listservers and publication "letters" sections stating that there is no measurable proof of public harm, and that therefore it is unconscionable to regulate the practice. They choose to define harm in their own terms for their own purposes, and develop tunnel vision that "harm" means only "grievous physical harm." As most who have served on massage regulatory boards know, there is a constant stream of instances of public harm from massage therapists. These are frequently confidential in nature, so they aren't normally used in the conduct of a public discussion. Such instances of harm run the gamut from inappropriate touch to unethical business practices, but certainly they all constitute harm to the public. Unfortunately, a somatic practitioner practicing in an unethical or unsanitary fashion can also cause the physical harm the regulation naysayers find so little evidence of.
This certainly begs the question as to whether licensing will do away with those who abuse good practice and ethical behavior. Of course it won't do away with them, but the jury is still out on whether licensing minimizes or lessens the frequency of public harm. What I see as a good argument for licensing is that it frequently provides a peer review process for those against whom complaints are made. Most states already have laws enacted to deal with inappropriate touch and unethical business practice, but require filing of criminal charges to do so. For most matters dealing with unhonored gift certificates, scope-of-practice concerns, etc., I see real benefit to peer investigation and adjudication rather than police and/or court intervention. I'd prefer the police investigate meatier issues.
As I see it, the issue is not whether the profession should be regulated, but by whom, and to what standard! I encourage massage therapists to impact their own destiny by expressing their thoughts and opinions on such issues as who should be included/excluded form massage regulation; what scope of practice entails; what the eligibility criteria should be; and how a therapist demonstrates initial and current competency. Coalitions are usually the best vehicle for determining the answers to these questions and obtaining a semblance of consensus. The Federation of Therapeutic Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Practice Organizations has a very workable model for a coalition at www.adeptsys.com/federation/Legislative_Packet/legislative_packet.html.
I suggest the key point to this discussion should not be whether there is evidence of harm, or whether or not licensing "legitimizes" the profession, but whether consumer access and confidence are enhanced or diminished, and whether it gives practitioners more or fewer professional career choices.
Thanks for listening!
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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