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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.
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.
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."
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Several issues ago, I mentioned how much I enjoy attending massage and bodywork conventions. I started off this year by attending the National Convention of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA), held in New Orleans.I picked a great way to start the year!
The AOBTA convention, with a theme of "Coming Full Circle," was actually a grouping of several meetings held in conjunction with one another. All of them were worth the trip to an unusually cold and windy New Orleans.
One convention highlight was the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) workshop on Item Writing. Debra Duncan, NCCAOM executive director, conducted the workshop. All NCCAOM Diplomates in Asian Bodywork were eligible to participate. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is a nonprofit organization established in 1982. Its mission is to promote nationally recognized standards of competency and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the purpose of protecting the public. The NCCAOM is a member of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). It is also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which represents the highest voluntary certification standards in the United States. NCCAOM Certification in Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) was offered in 1996 through Credentials Documentation Review. The first Comprehensive Written Examination in ABT was given in October 2000. NCCAOM is committed to a three-part mission of establishing entry-level standards for the safe and competent practice of acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, and Asian bodywork therapy; evaluating applicant qualifications through national board examinations in these areas; and certifying practitioners who meet NCCAOM standards of competency. Item writing is an important part of the credential program process, as it ensures that the test component of the credentialing process is current and reflects the input of field practitioners. The AOBTA informed all of their members that the workshop would be convened at the convention so that all diplomates could ensure that their input was received. Those who chose not to participate in this important credentialing function have diminished their impact in shaping the profession!
Another component of the convention was the meeting of the AOBTA Council of Schools and Programs (COSP). Educational entities that have been approved for COSP membership have an important place in the AOBTA system, as graduates of COSP Schools or Programs are automatically granted AOBTA membership upon receipt of their application form. I was very pleased to receive a warm welcome to attend the COSP meetings as a member of the professional massage and bodywork press. Rylen Feeney, AOBTA's Education Chair, facilitated the morning business session. In addition to reviewing and modifying the COSP membership fee schedule, it was announced that Pamela Ferguson, dean of Asian bodywork at the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin, Texas, was named interim director of COSP. The COSP director is a new seat on the AOBTA board of directors. In additional actions, the COSP established a steering committee to develop bylaws and a mission statement, and to explore the feasibility of becoming an independent, stand-alone organization. The group further held discussions on the similarities and differences between "schools" and "programs", and reviewed the role of Certified Instructors and explored the potential role of a proposed Registered Instructor designation. Stuart Watts facilitated an afternoon session, and COSP members reviewed successful ways to grow their schools and programs. There were great networking opportunities for the representatives of COSP schools and programs.
Barbra Esher, AOBTA President (and Massage Today columnist) gave a breakfast address to the convention attendees. In her last term as president, her talk was bittersweet as it represented the last time she would address the AOBTA national convention as its president. She recognized many who had been instrumental in developing and growing the organization from its inception. The AOBTA was formed in 1989 with the coming together of a number of associations, which represented individual disciplines of Asian Bodywork Therapy. Barbra explained the "Coming Full Circle" theme by reminding the audience that AOBTA's first national convention was also convened in New Orleans. (Barbra also had the entire room roaring like lions, but that's another story altogether!)
The convention keynote speaker was Lonny Jarrett, M.Ac. Lonny is a graduate of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute and a Fellow of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He holds a master's degree in neurobiology and a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Lonny teaches and publishes extensively on inner traditions of Chinese medicine and pulse diagnosis. His address focused on pain as it is predicated upon separation from true self. He explored health from the standpoint of knowing who we are, why we are here, and what we are supposed to be doing about it!
As in almost all massage and/or bodywork conventions, education played a major role in the activities. A wealth of information was disbursed in the many workshops attendees selected from. World-class presenters of the Asian bodywork therapies taught all of the workshops. Post-convention workshops included an NCCAOM ABT Exam Preparation Course designed to help senior students and graduates prepare to successfully complete the NCCAOM ABT exam, and a Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) On-Site Evaluator Training Workshop. In this, Carol Ostendorf, COMTA executive director, provided initial training for certified instructors interested in serving as members of COMTA on-site review teams.
Coming full circle in my own right, the AOBTA convention did nothing to discourage my love of conventions; it only encouraged me to participate in more. Being with a large group of friendly, helping people who are justifiably proud of their profession, their organization and their accomplishments is very stimulating and nourishing for the spirit. Of the many new friends and acquaintances I made, there are several who I hope will be future contributors to Massage Today. I was particularly pleased to get so much positive feedback from the convention attendees on the first-year growth of Massage Today. Many sought me out to let me know how much they liked getting Massage Today and thanking me for covering their convention. I was made to feel included and very welcome. It was certainly my pleasure.
If you haven't caught the spirit to support your regional and national conferences and conventions, you're missing the boat!
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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