resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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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