resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
November, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 11
The Real Purpose of Insurance
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Many things are not as they appear. To many, health insurance appears to be a great opportunity for massage therapists. It appears to be an opportunity to make more money and to reach more people with our services.The collective ego of our profession has been inflated lately because insurance networks and insurance companies have suddenly taken an interest in us. It appears that this is because patients are demanding it. I dispute that this is the reason for the sudden interest in alternative providers by the traditional medical profession and its banker, the insurance industry. Many things are not as they appear.
During the last 20 years, there has been an ever-growing movement by the public away from allopathic care. Allopathic care is the "traditional medicine" practiced by MDs, most DOs and PTs, etc. Allopathic care is based on the suppression of symptoms and on heroic intervention. It is a sickness-based, crisis-management-oriented system. Thank God for it if you are ever sick or injured. We have the best such system in the world. Hopefully, we can keep it, but in its place. However, it makes no significant money from healthy people, or from keeping people healthy. It only makes significant money from sick people. Have you ever gone to a hospital when you were feeling great and checked in for a few days of rest and great food? Of course not! Hospitals have nothing to do with wellness and health; they have to do with sickness and trauma. If everyone was well and injury free, hospitals would go out of business. They have no reason to promote health, so they don't. They require a constant flow of sick people. Therefore, they manage crises, send the people home, and wait for their return with a relapse or a different crisis. Patients get better. Patients get back to work. Patients seldom get healthy. This system is documented as the third-leading cause of death in this country.
The public is running away from it as fast as they can, looking for an alternative. The public found this alternative in massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists, homeopaths and other practitioners the allopathic system publicly denounces as "quacks." Much to the horror of the allopathic cartel, the Eisenburg studies documented that millions of people were stepping out of the allopathic system for all or part of their health care needs. Billions of dollars were being lost to alternative practitioners; worse, many people going to them were achieving levels of wellness impossible with allopathic treatment. The loss of money is bad enough for the allopathic industry, but the loss of control is totally unacceptable.
Shortly after the second Eisenburg study, funded in part by our own associations, the allopaths suddenly developed an interest in wellness. Hospitals are opening up "wellness centers" as fast as they can. Insurance companies suddenly are interested in accepting alternative providers. Wow, isn't this great? They have finally seen the light. The tide has turned. They are accepting us. Sickness care is becoming health care. They love us now. All we have to do is lower our rates and fill in a bunch of forms, and they will promote us in their networks. Yes! Free advertising, we're legitimate, this is so cool.
Hey, it gets better. If we work by prescription from physicians, we can get third-party reimbursement. We have to lower our rates, fill in more forms, wait awhile to get paid, and we can only do what the physician allows, but it's worth it. We're part of the system. They finally respect us. We feel so good.
The only reason all this is happening is to regain control. Insurance is the bait. Once we are firmly ensnared in the insurance system, we will find ourselves in the same position as the DCs. Our rates will continually be reduced, and the freedom we have to provide a full range of wellness services will be curtailed. We will work by prescription only. The allopathic community knows it cannot eliminate us. It must control us. Sadly, it probably will. Our leadership will pave the way and our colleagues will most likely march like lemmings to sign up. Yes, it will most likely happen. History tends to repeat itself. Yes, this has happened before. Many of that group are now struggling to get out of the very situation so many of our colleagues are trying to get into. The group that went before us are now known as PTs.
Insurance, especially as it relates to massage, is about control. Insurance controls the money flow in the sickness industry, It guarantees a steady flow into the allopathic cartel, as it was created to do. It even controls the allopathic cartel. It only pays so much. It only pays for certain things. When the system becomes too demanding, it reduces what it will pay. Now add the government insurance system (Medicare and Medicaid) on top of it, which also act as controls as to what can and cannot be done. The government that controls the health care of its citizens controls its citizens. Watch out when politicians start talking about nationalizing health care. It's never about health, it's only about control -- of you.
Some will be willing to give up control of their practices and go to work for the insurance industry. Some people will give up a lot of their freedom and potential for a small amount of security or prestige. If enough do, alternative health care providers will be successfully brought under control of the sickness industry. The independents will be weeded out through prosecution by the medical boards and persecution by the media.
Want to work for insurance companies and/or the government? You work for whomever pays you. Or do you prefer to work for your patients? The fate of our profession rests on the choice of the majority of our colleagues. More importantly, the fate of true health care and the wellness of our fellow human beings hang in the balance.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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