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Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
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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