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Massage Today
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02

Protecting Freedom of Health Care

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB

The national politics of health care and health freedom is fascinating these days. I promise I will get back to insurance and education issues soon, but they will become irrelevant if we are not allowed to practice, or if no one is allowed to receive our services.

There is a significant chance this could be the case if efforts, currently under way, are successful. Therefore, I feel the need to share some of the current issues regarding health freedom in this space. If you promise to read this entire column, I will give you a handy clinical tip to help low back cases. Your eyes will be monitored for compliance. We have our ways.

The purpose of this editorial is to increase your awareness of health freedom issues and how they are so important to alternative providers and the public we serve. Without the freedom to choose your health care provider, and without the freedom to practice your chosen health care techniques, alternative providers will be put out of business. Short of that, we will be integrated, co-opted, and put under the strict control of the allopathic cartel, most likely via insurance. Hopefully, you will be motivated to become involved in protecting and promoting freedom of choice in health care while it is still available. Most people take their rights and freedoms for granted until it is too late to save them. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. It only requires awareness and a small effort by many to protect freedom. It becomes a huge task, often a struggle, to regain it once it is lost. Your opportunities to practice as you chose depend upon your willingness to protect your rights to do so.

As massage therapist and bodyworkers, we are alternative health care providers. In some states we are legally recognized by some form of regulation; in some states we are not. In either case, but more so in the latter (except Oklahoma and Minnesota), we are all subject to being prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license, according to the whims of the state medical board. Having our scope of practice defined by legislation and a regulatory system, usually state licensing, offers some protection. The services we and other alternative providers offer to the public are in direct competition to the allopathic medical/pharmaceutical cartel. They have vowed to eliminate or control all competing forms of health care. Having studied what the cartel has done in the past to chiropractic or anyone who dares to administer an effective cure for cancer, I am always curious as to what they are up to next, and who the next target is. The primary target at this time seems to be the freedom to choose what form of health care the public can utilize. This has the potential to negatively impact our practices, regardless of the type or technique. Freedom of choice in health care is not guaranteed and is quickly eroding. Many of you in this profession are painfully aware that the current system of regulation and licensing of providers restricts the freedom of choice to practice the form of health care service one might desire to provide. Insurance and Medicaid/Medicare are working hard to limit what services the public may receive, who they may receive it from, and how much they may receive.

A colleague in Oklahoma, Robert Groves, PhD, has come up with a solution whose time has come. This honest and sincere practitioner has drafted an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America to guarantee health freedom for both providers and receivers. It is simple, straightforward and powerful. This is a huge undertaking, but the longest journey begins with the first step. He must collect a huge number of signatures on a petition. He needs the support of the alternative health community. We and our patients (the public) are the ones who stand to benefit the most from the guarantee of this freedom. I assure you the allopathic cartel (by the way, the hidden partner in all cartels is a government) does not want individuals in charge of their own health. If you care about your freedom to practice and individuals' rights to chose alternative health care services, you might want to support this petition. You can sign it at: Do what you feel is right.

Unfinished Business

Last month I mentioned the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. The federal department of Health and Human Services has now thrown its coercive muscle behind this proposal. However, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons has begun a campaign to stop this dangerous legislation. They have a petition and lots of information available at: For those of you not on the World Wide Web, they also have an information hotline: 800-419-4777.

Remember, the consequences of inaction are often more severe than those of action. Not standing up for the rights of others means there will be no one left to stand up for yours.

OK, you kept your promise, I'll keep mine. When working with a person having low back complaints, always check the quadratus lumborum muscle on both sides. Quite often you will find spasms or trigger points in one or both of these muscles. However, sometimes the tissues will refuse to respond and will not relax. Try moving inferior and treating the gluteus medius and minimus. Then return to the QL and treat it again. It will almost always relax after you have relaxed the two deep gluteals. You're welcome. Just send me a 1% commission from each successful treatment using this information. Just kidding.

Have a great month, and don't forget to allow some time to take care of yourself, so you can continue to help others.

Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB.


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