resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
September, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 09
Associations Aren't for All Massage Therapists, but All Massage Therapists Benefit from Them
By Ron Stephens, LMT
Editor's note: This article is the first of a series on massage associations. Following a brief introduction emphasizing the benefits of association membership, Mr. Stephens focuses on the Texas Association of Massage Therapists (TAMT).Articles featuring other state massage associations will appear in subsequent issues of Massage Today.
"I don't do politics." "What is the association going to do for me?" "I can buy insurance cheaper from someone else." "I am too busy to be bothered." On and on go the reasons for not getting involved or supporting massage associations, be they local, state or national.
Yes, you are busy; yes, politics play a role; and yes, insurance can be purchased from different sources and at varying prices. There are many reasons to refrain from joining an association, or anything else, for that matter, but there are even more reasons substantiating the positive role associations play in the massage profession.
Our profession is very strong when it comes to learning how to be better at what we do and how we do it - but there is something more basic and more critical to our ability to treat than even the highest skill level, best equipment, or strongest referral system. This fundamental strength is our legislated right to work as touch therapists, and even the slightest change in the legislation can drastically alter how and if we continue to practice.
For example, in Florida, being a licensed massage therapist allows you to touch, make home visits on your own (vs. through an agency), or choose to work in a medical or spa setting (or both). With what is considered to be a fairly minimal amount of classroom training, Florida massage therapists have tremendous flexibility in how we conduct business. This freedom to operate a health care business must be protected, and the only entities available to accomplish this are our state and national associations.
Legislators regard massage associations as speaking representatives of the profession. Associations are the only legislative entities representing massage therapists, so those who don't get involved are subject to the decisions made by those who do.
The reality is, all massage therapists belong to one of the associations representing professional massage. There are two categories of members: those who pay dues, and those who do not. Which one are you? I hope you consider becoming involved with an association. Think of it as a cost of doing business, much like continuing education, supplies and equipment are costs. Becoming a member is the first step, but active involvement is also an important option.
I had the privilege of working with the Texas Association of Massage Therapists (TAMT) to establish an association-sponsored insurance program (FSMTA and TAMT). This program has proven successful for both associations.
The TAMT is in a reorganization mode, but it has made some major strides toward pulling themselves together. The hard work by the leaders of this association, past and present, is indicative of what it takes to bring an association together and keep it growing.
I recently spoke with the newly elected president of the TAMT, Vanessa Carpenter, RMT, and legislative chairperson Sharon Stumpf, RMT. They provided me with insight regarding the history, growth and present status of the TAMT.
The Texas Association of Massage Therapists (TAMT) was established in 1994 -- young by association standards. It was the vision of a group of therapists that saw a need to protect the profession of massage therapy in the state of Texas. These visionaries brought the new association into full swing with the election of officers and the establishment of bylaws. Their legislative board format of choice was president; 1st and 2nd vice presidents; secretary; treasurer; and regional representatives from throughout the state.
Business continued to be conducted in this fashion as member benefits were added. Initially, a newsletter and a website were created, with the intention of including a job and client referral system. These were the first established communication tools in a state that presented unique challenges due to its very large size. When the ability to accept credit cards was established, it was considered a milestone, in that it allowed the TAMT to do business on a much larger scale.
As mentioned above, another of the TAMT's significant business ventures was to work with the FSMTA, which sponsored its professional liability insurance program. This was a true enhancement, as it allowed for membership development and revenue generation on a larger scale than would otherwise have been possible. Both of these areas remain a challenge, as they are with every association, but the foundation for growth is in place.
In 1999, the TAMT took a major step with the establishment of an executive director position. The president resigned and accepted the position of executive director, with board approval. The TAMT was young and inexperienced as an association, and although there was an income stream, revenues were not sufficient to pay an ED salary. In essence, the ED position was that of a dedicated volunteer.
Under the direction of the ED, two major occurrences took place. The TAMT held its first annual convention and trade show in August of 2000. It was profitable, and more importantly, it brought the TAMT live and in person to members and potential members throughout the state. Representatives from agencies such as the Department of Health, Massage Therapy Division attended and interacted with attendees. The convention was a success from all perspectives.
With limited resources, membership and legislation became the primary focus of the TAMT. A major legislative issue was that of newly established continuing education requirements. The TAMT was able to provide its members with input into the rule development process on this issue. This likely would not have occurred without the organizational structure that existed at that time.
The demands of non-paid volunteering took their toll, and the executive director eventually stepped away. In a sense, this left the TAMT stronger and with a better organizational structure, but also with a staggering amount of work and effort necessary to maintain a totally volunteer organization.
In many associations, a handful of members believe in the need to have strong representation. They work hard, eventually burn out, and the process starts over. The sad part is that so much history, hard work, and resources are often forgotten or lost as the building process regenerates. Extended volunteerism at any level is demanding. It extracts its toll in energy, effort and emotion. Eventually, those who have given so much are scorned when pausing to catch their breath or do things differently.
The "angry active" is the death knell to any organization. They spend just enough time being involved to monitor everything going on, and they eagerly share their "expert" opinions, which are often that of ornery "shade-tree mechanics." This attitude often keeps an association from growing and moving forward.
Holding it all together while exploring all of the alternatives, from association management companies to total self-rule, has been the order of the day for those who have stepped forward to guide the TAMT to the next level of growth. There are already plans for a TAMT Convention in January 2002, coinciding with the new continuing education requirements for Texas massage therapists.
The TAMT is dedicated to the profession and will grow as more RMTs in Texas recognize that it is one of the only professional organizations in Texas representing their specific massage interests.
For more information on the TAMT, contact Vanessa Carpenter, TAMT president, at 830-529-3757.
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