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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
June, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 06
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Massage therapy and bodywork has certainly come into its own in the last 10 or so years. It is no longer unusual to see articles mentioning the benefits of our services in national publications.Reviews of resorts in travel magazines usually mention spa services available. National network and cable television series are more likely than ever to have massage therapists as characters (some with adult entertainment industry stereotypes, although some without). I regularly hear my peers express delight or indignation at how a therapist was depicted or how a modality was described in the media. Usually I just smile and think how thankful I am that we, as a profession, are so universally known as to be included in coverage of everyday life.
However, I must admit that two recent depictions stopped me dead in my tracks. Either I'm missing the boat on how other massage therapists conduct their practices, or writers are incorporating a lack of education in their coverage. I am a subscriber of Travel + Leisure, a publication of American Express Publishing Corporation. Their April 2002 issue ran an article titled "The Good Life" that reviewed three venerable resorts in Carmel, CA. The author describes in some detail the property amenities, including golf, food, staff professionalism and guestroom ambiance. He also reports on his massage experience at each property. Describing the new spa at one property, he notes, "Popular as it is, I found the service there confused, the massage room noisy, and the massage below par." I'm glad I didn't read this in a national magazine after one of my massage sessions! The disturbing aspects come in the next two reviews, though.
Of property number two, our massage critic says, "My Ranch Classic massage was far better than the usual rub-a-dub hotel version, with as much adjusting as there was kneading." He went on to mention the therapist by name and quoted him as saying, "I like to get something accomplished."
In the final property review, I read, "I was jelly by the time the masseur arrived. The therapists come to your room here. Mine quickly kicked off his Birkenstocks and set up his table in front of the fireplace. He was partial to chiropractic and cranial work -- more adjusting -- and clearly very experienced."
So what do you think the odds are of these therapists being chiropractors masquerading as massage therapists? How would you feel if an article in a national magazine let all the world know that you were practicing out of the scope of practice of your stated profession? Will more of the public be climbing on your table be looking for osseous and soft tissue work because of this depiction? In my mind, this article is more dangerous than the occasional TV show depicting a massage therapist engaging in hand release, as was recently aired on HBO.
The March/April issue of Healing Retreats & Spas also attracted my attention, with an article entitled "Rules of Engagement." The author of this piece is bound and determined to uncover the prurient aspects of sessions behind closed doors. He uses as a premise for his exposé his observation that Americans have a curiously conservative perspective regarding nudity and touching. He notes that topless bars and nudist colonies are viewed as dens of sin and freakish third dimensions, and then concludes that, "it is not surprising that these hang-ups cross over into the spa experience." He really said that!
This intrepid reporter travels from Beverly Hills to New Orleans for his story and admits to "pushing some conversational boundaries at thirteen spas in ten different cities." He seems quite shocked and amazed when the professional spa staff he "interviews" while on the table erect a wall of silence around his attempted discussions of nudity, sexuality and boundaries. I'm not at all surprised, as it seems like a natural response to a weirdo! My guess is that they also proceeded to demonstrate their trigger-point proficiency with thumbs and elbows to stimulate a subject change!
Undaunted in his lack of success in getting a hot story from therapists, the reporter relates stories from clients. One tells of how she experienced orgasm during her first three massages, and now consciously makes herself avoid orgasms when she gets a massage. The reporter then tells of his own experience where during a "Swedish massage in the Lake Tahoe area" the therapist repeatedly touched his erection. He called it inadvertent, even though it was repeated while she was working both legs. His story makes me wonder what "spa" he was visiting.
He concludes his article by saying, "So the next time you wonder to yourself, 'What just happened?' push it to the back of your mind... at least until the treatment's over."
My problem with this last article is that it is in a nationally distributed magazine designed to promote spa use! My guess is that prospective clients who are new to massage and bodywork will be scared to death to schedule themselves on a table after reading his article. I doubt that is something desired by the magazine's advertisers! I also doubt that you would like to get a lot of new clients referred from either of these articles. Both take the authors' perception of our profession and promote it to the world as a reality. I believe both seriously missed the boat.
What do you think?
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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