resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06
With Legislative Intent
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
I take on this month's topic with the "slight" hesitancy characteristic of following my two sons into an unheated swimming pool in winter. There are few issues that can polarize massage practitioners as quickly as that of licensing and regulation. Not coincidentally, there are also few issues that could benefit from dialog and critical reflection as much as this one.
Massage is a profession seeking credibility, a useful scope of practice, and freedom from the vagaries of local regulations. We habitually seek such goals within the realms of state occupational regulation (OR). Such regulation has been the most successful strategy for wresting control of massage from local agencies. However, local laws may apply even in states with licensing, unless the state's statute specifically forbids this.
In many states, the practice of medicine is defined so broadly that there is no unclaimed area of health care practice.8 Under such definitions, only professions that have their scope of practice carved out by a licensing law are free from the potential of prosecution. An alternative approach, recently taken in Minnesota and under consideration in California (SB577), is to redefine the business and professions code to specifically allow the unlicensed practice of noninvasive complementary methods.
The Legislative Intent of Occupational Regulation
For most states, the motivation for OR is to protect the public from harm that is recognizable and not remote. Without likely harm, there are fundamental rights for a person to be free to choose a profession.5,7 Motivations of legitimizing or recognizing the credibility of a profession are notably missing from state statutes defining the purpose of OR. So the key question becomes, what is the likelihood of harm occurring at a level of practice that licensing would prevent?
In 1997, the Georgia Occupational Regulation Review Council concluded that there was minimal potential for harm from massage.3 Recently, the British Columbia Health Professions Council concluded that there were no massage practices that warranted being declared as restricted acts.1 These conclusions, coupled with extremely low liability insurance rates, indicate that harm from massage is remote. Massage licensure would have rough sledding in states with sunrise (review) acts.5,7 and such states, like Florida, that currently regulate massage, would be much less likely to do so if the regulation were newly proposed.2 The assumption that unlicensed massage results in client harm is a dog that won't hunt.
Standards and Quality
Licensure is often promoted on issues of standards and quality, yet when closely examined, these are far from clear. When quality is measured by client satisfaction and availability of service, the relationship between licensure and quality is often weak.4,5,8
Measures of quality based on hours of education have been driven more by eligibility requirements for federal financial aid9 than by the need for specific training. In contrast, massage school owner Ramona Moody6 provides one of the few starting points that is based on examining the training needed to achieve minimum competence:
I participated in a task force initiated by the BPPVE [Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education], which legislates massage schools among others. The purpose of the task force was to decide what the absolute minimum requirements should be for massage training. The massage schools, owners who participated in the task force decided that rather than develop a curriculum for the 250 hours suggested by the Bureau representatives as a minimum, we would discuss what knowledge we feel the students really need, and how many classroom hours it realistically takes to impart that knowledge. It was a really interesting discussion, carried out over several meetings, and the conclusion we came to was that it takes about 200-300 hours in the classroom to impart to students the minimum education we felt they really need in the marketplace. This included more than one massage modality, along with health and safety, anatomy and physiology, business practices and ethics, as well as communication skills. We felt this would make the student competitive in the marketplace, as well as no danger to the public.
Similar to massage, piloting a plane requires both kinesthetic skills and technical knowledge. Piloting, however, is much less forgiving of incompetence. The FAA requires 250 hours of flight experience to issue a single-engine commercial pilot certification.10 Coupling this FAA requirement with Moody's observations, it seems clear that minimal training requirements for massage are being significantly overestimated. It is incongruent to advocate integrity for the profession of massage when we have not assured the integrity of our own claims for licensing. If we are truly committed to improving the delivery of massage services, we need to take account not just the hours, but the modern teaching concepts and the social fabric for increasing the availability of massage.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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