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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
December, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 12
Perception and Bias
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I'm never sure if anyone actually reads the columns I write for Massage Today, but I did hear from two individuals who read my October editorial. In my Massage in Times of Crisis article, I stated:
I received a letter from the President of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) that pointed out several valid concerns. However, it also suggested that my article proved a pro-AMTA reporting bias on my part, because I neglected to mention that ABMP's International Massage Week (initiated in 1995) pioneered this kind of awareness effort. His letter didn't cause me much introspection, though, as it followed right on the heels of a very different perception shared with me one week earlier, while I was attending AMTA's convention in Quebec City, Canada. At the convention, I was approached by one of the AMTA directors. He let me know, in no uncertain terms, that he was upset with my editorial because I wrote, "One of our nation's three major massage therapy professional associations," instead of crediting AMTA with the program. He accused me of an anti-AMTA bias in my article.
Am I biased? Most likely I am. Everyone has biases. I do try to minimize my biases in Massage Today, because I truly believe that all aspects of our profession need to be heard. On the above issue, I can appreciate both points of view. Both individuals are justifiably proud of their associations and programs. Both have a personal bias and a sincere desire to have their own organization seen in the best possible light, and to get the best PR. But both missed my point entirely! My editorial wasn't about AMTA. It wasn't about ABMP. It wasn't about any association or organization - it was about working together! I think they both proved my point. [Note: To his credit, Bob Benson, ABMP president, has initiated an offer to AMTA to explore issues in which the two organizations might collaborate for the benefit of the profession. I hope his overture receives serious attention.]
I was pleased to be an attendee at this year's AMTA convention (accusations of pro and anti-AMTA bias notwithstanding). It was smaller than the past several, estimated at a little more than 1% of AMTA's total membership. This is perhaps due to the out-of-country location that was more difficult to get to than the past several conventions, and/or perhaps to the general disinclination of people to travel subsequent to the September 11 tragedies. Those who did make the trip were treated to a time packed with high-quality professional experiences. A friendly dinner I enjoyed with Rolfers and Feldenkrais practitioners from Canada and the U.S., conversing in both English and French, was just one example of the unique nature of this particular event.
For those who haven't been to Quebec City, the location itself made for a unique and delightful destination. The ambiance was much more that of Europe than North America. The walled city and the lower Old Port section were visual delights steeped in charm and stunning architecture. It appears that there is no such thing as a bad restaurant in Quebec City, either. (Caribou in blueberry sauce - oh my!)
During the course of the convention, it was an honor to hear keynotes from some of the true giants of the massage and bodywork world. Attendees were able to hear Leon Chaitow, DO, ND (prolific author of many texts on neuromuscular technique, positional release, muscle energy testing, etc.) discussing "Understanding Bodywork's Unifying Principles." Job's Body author and Trager™ practitioner Deane Juhan also presented a keynote that examined "Touch as a Force for Social Change." ("Perception is proprioception," was a memorable quote from his keynote!)
Canada's Melanie Hayden, president of the Association of Massage Therapists and Wholistic Practitioners (AMTWP), made a special award presentation to AMTA for the development and deployment of its Massage Emergency Response Team (MERT). AMTWP members also donated funds in support of MERT, and Melanie presented a check for those donations as well. The award was received by outgoing AMTA President Steve Olson and MERT program Committee Chair Erika Lind. Educational opportunities for attendees were diverse and useful. The workshops attendees were able to choose from varied from the thought provoking and theoretical to the practical, "use next Monday morning," type. Examples of educational topics included: Optimizing Your Baby's Environment Through Infant Touch; The Power of Touch in Alzheimer's Care; Psycho-Physical Attunement and Fully Embodied Consciousness; Tai Chi Massage; Body Rolling: A Self-Help Therapy; The Heart of Ethics; Learning to Mentor; Lomi Lomi; and Understanding Tissue Memory and Its Implications. Two presentations that I found particularly outstanding were a two-part lecture and practicum workshop on Breast Massage, presented by the authors of the book by the same name, Debra Curties and Pam Fitch; and Osteopathic Soft Tissue Manipulation for Massage Therapists, presented by Leon Chaitow.
As you can see, the choices to be made in what and what not to attend proved quite difficult. Educational opportunities were not limited to the classroom. The exhibit hall housed an international array of companies educating attendees on the value of their products and services. The dedication to the massage therapy profession by these companies is to be praised ,as they dealt with international customs and shipping issues to serve the convention attendees.
So, those are my perceptions of a great convention held in a great city. They reflect all my biases and personal opinions. I'm certain that others may have come to different conclusions, given similar input. I still think it important that massage therapists and bodyworkers look more to areas of common ground than to areas of contention. Let's not assume that we're all working against one another. Yes, this means you!
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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