resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
March, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 03
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Massage therapists and bodyworkers aren't that different from any other group of professionals. Our ranks include above-average, average, and below-average performers; some are obviously intelligent, while others are obviously less so; some are tactful, some are tactless; some are successful and some are struggling to get by - just like any other group of professionals!
But - and it's a very big "but" - massage therapists and bodyworkers also have many divisions.Obvious differences in focus include structural vs. energetic; Asian vs. Western; table vs. chair; clinical vs. spa; etc. One important division rarely gets spoken of, however, and in my view supercedes most others. In large measure, massage therapists derive the majority of their income from other sources. Part-time professionals in massage therapy have chosen to "keep their day jobs." The reasons vary, but frequently involve the difficulty in generating sufficient income solely from a massage practice, from a desire to spend much of the workweek in a less physically demanding way, or from a desire to make parenting a priority over career.
The uniqueness of our full-time/part-time dichotomy makes for some interesting perspectives of thought on issues important to all of us. There are few similies to other professions. It is difficult to find other large groups of workers falling into the same situation. There are few part-time engineers, physical therapists, electricians, lawyers, social workers, locksmiths, auto mechanics or "cable guys." We tend to think of part-time workers as predominantly including those choosing retail sales, food & beverage service, and temporary office help. What follows are my observations on some of the implications of this part-time prevalence in the field of massage therapy.
Individuals who enter the field for personal growth and have an expectation of working only on family and friends, with a few referrals thrown in, have a different expectation of basic massage education and training than those looking for a full-time career. The former are likely to seek a relaxed atmosphere, and a supportive, fun environment that stresses the "how" of massage. The latter will frequently look for an in-depth program based on solid educational methodology that showcases a balanced mix of the "what, why and how" of massage.
In my observations, part-time professionals are less likely to see benefit from licensure and/or other practice regulation. They are also more likely to work without credentials in areas that require them, as they are risking an avocation rather than a livelihood. Full-time practitioners more frequently seek status as licensed professionals to maintain equity as peers with other licensed professionals who have referral potential. Part-time practitioners are more likely to look only for the acceptance of those clients who grace their table. Full-time practitioners are much more likely to own or lease the space in which they work. Their part-time counterparts are more likely to rent by the hour or day, or work from their homes. Professional investment is also an area of differentiation. Full-time therapists are much more likely to invest in quality continuing education and in tools to help them perform, such as electric lift tables.
Finally, full-time practitioners are more in tune with the importance of networking. If you regularly attend conferences and conventions, you'll notice that the ratio of full to part-time practitioners is much higher. Those joining local community networking groups like the chamber of commerce are also more likely to be full-time.
So, am I saying that full-time practitioners are "more professional" and therefore better therapists? Absolutely not! The two may have differing perspectives on the rank order of what is important, but both are equally professional. As a matter of fact, part-time practitioners rarely get burnt out or "stuck in a rut." A need for mother's hours or a love of an existing profession can be reason enough to become a part-time massage therapist. I'm personally blessed to know several part-time therapists who do a great job keeping me comfortable!
My point is, neither of these factions is going to disappear any time soon. Both perspectives are important and need to be honored. Part-time massage therapists are not "citizen soldiers" parallel to full-time therapists and active duty military! While our Reserve and Guard forces take their lead from active-duty requirements, our part-time massage therapists do not march to the requirements of full-time therapists. Certifying bodies, professional associations and regulatory boards all need to take the needs of the entire profession into account. Those who lose the respect of major segments of the profession lose their status as viable professional influencers. So the next time you get irritated by a peer's response to a situation with which you disagree, please try to see if he or she has a different professional and personal perspective based upon the percentage of income derived from massage. There are no answers to this stuff, only more tolerance for more questions and points of view.
Thanks for listening!
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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