resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
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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