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What's New in the NCCIH Strategic Plan
The NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) released its draft strategic plan 2016-2021 for public comment in early spring of 2016.
Work Stress and Musculoskeletal Health: Do Your Patients Get the Connection?
Most people underestimate the impact their job has on their health, especially if that job isn't particularly physically demanding. Big mistake.
Chiropractic in the Eyes of the Public: 2nd Gallup-Palmer Poll
The second Gallup / Palmer College poll has been completed, yielding significant additional data regarding Americans' experiences with and perceptions of chiropractic care.
What are the Meridians?
The meridian and collateral system (jing luo, hereinafter referred to as "Meridians") is comprised of the main meridian channels (jing mai) and the collateral vessels (luo mai). Jing takes from meaning of the Chinese word pathway (also jing) and are the main branches of the system.
Lessons from Functional Neurology
Chiropractic neurology, also known as clinical neuroscience or functional neurology, is moving the chiropractic profession forward by leaps and bounds.
International Congress on Integrative Medicine
"Bridging Research, Clinical Care, Education and Policy" was the theme for the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2016 (ICIMH).
Guidelines for the Use of Modifier -52
Modifier -52 identifies that a service or procedure has been partially reduced or eliminated at the physician's discretion. This is to indicate the basic service described by the procedure code has been performed, but not all aspects of the service have been performed.
MPA Media Wins More Publishing Awards
The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) has honored Dynamic Chiropractic with a national award and two regional awards for editorial excellence, and sister publication DC Practice Insights with two regional awards for graphic design excellence.
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in Taiwan Hospitals
This spring, a team of Western medical doctors and TCM practitioners from Cleveland Clinic traveled to Taiwan to visit Kaiser Pharmaceutical Co. (KP), and China Medical University (CMU), Taiwan's leading integrative medicine hospital.
The Professional and Practice Benefits of Political Activism
Welcome to election season, a vital part of our American culture. Every two years, without fail, we are bombarded with TV, print materials and phone messages seeking our vote.
Don't Ignore the Lower Half of the Pelvis (Part 1)
When your patient complains of lower back or pelvic pain, but your usual treatments are not getting the job done, what do you examine and treat? You may be missing important structures in the lower half of the pelvis.
Less Time Than Required
Q: When is it appropriate to use a modifier -52? Can I use it for a timed service when I do less than the time required by the code?
Let's Talk About Biceps Injuries at the Elbow
While most muscles cross over only one joint, the biceps crosses two joints: the elbow and the shoulder. Injuries to the lower biceps cause considerable elbow pain. Here's how to assess and treat an injury to this area conservatively.
A Study of Relationships
Sa-Ahm's five element acupuncture method is known to be one of the most effective acupuncture techniques in Korea because it gives an instant response at the time of treatment and has a high success rate in resolving chronic problems.
Are Probiotics Doing More Harm Than Good?
Considerable controversy exists concerning the efficacy of probiotic supplements. Very few human studies show any real positive impact on the microbiome or health. The "promise" of probiotics is based on the few animal studies that suggest a positive effect.
Time to Fight for Your Medicare Right
I have heard a lot of noise and a lot of debate about what is going on with Medicare. As an ACA delegate, I often get asked: 'What is the ACA even doing?'
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists more than 80 common autoimmune diseases including asthma, Crohn's disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
Adventures with the Pericardium
My previous column on the San Jiao deserves equal time for SJ's loving partner, the pericardium. I nicknamed SJ the travel meridian – but pericardium can also play a crucial role in air travel.
Know Your Research: Tips for Evaluating Literature Reviews
Clinical and experimental studies are not the only types of published research we might encounter as we look for evidence to inform our practices. One of the most useful types is the literature review, which summarizes a group of studies.
Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes (Part 1)
More than 45 million children ages 6-18 participate in some form of organized athletics, and 75 percent of American families with school-aged children have at least one child participating in organized sports.
Analyzing Acupuncture Case Studies
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Take this case study as an example. After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse during cold weather.
Illuminating the Hidden, Freeing the Source
Amongst the Primary Channels, from a classical point of view, the small intestine is perhaps the most important channel to understand. It is one of the least used acupuncture channels in modern acupuncture, yet it within it can be found a wealth of theories from the Ling Shu.
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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