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NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
Free Yourself From the Pocketbook Practice
Let's take a journey together; there's an important lesson to be learned. Imagine a town or city just like yours.
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
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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