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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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