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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08
Hey, Doctor Wanna-Be's
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Want to be just like doctors? Here's your chance! At least once a week, I get something in the mail urging me to sign up in a managed care network. One network went so far as to threaten me by giving me a deadline that I had to have its forms completed and filed so it could meet some regulation.
These are usually followed by phone calls: "Mr.Stephens, did you get our application form in the mail?" The incredible opportunity offered to me is: 1) to do more paperwork, and 2) to charge patients less money who belong to the network's "group." My response to these offers is to send back their postage-paid envelopes empty. I do not believe in discrimination -- for example, charging one rate for purple people and another rate for green people. People in an insurance group are "purples"; they get the good rate. People not in the insurance group are the "greens"; they pay extra.
I can justify rate adjustments based on real need. However, these approved-provider, managed-care and insurance discounts are not based on needs. In reality, the affluent belong to the plans and the poor do not. Why give the rich a better deal? Participation in the discrimination created by these plans is immoral and unethical.
This unethical behavior ultimately comes home to roost in lower moral and job satisfaction, as documented by a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Doctors have been involved in these unethical schemes far longer than massage therapists have. Here's what we have to look forward to as we become more and more entangled in the allopathic insurance web. We will be just like doctors in this way. Won't that be great?
Physicians Report Declining Morale, Cite Dissatisfaction with Managed Care
Ninety percent of physicians who participated in the Kaiser study said that the overall morale of their colleagues has decreased in the last five years. A smaller percentage, although still a majority (58 percent), said that their own enthusiasm for practicing medicine has lessened during that time. Among the factors cited for the decline in morale are the number of work hours physicians spend on administrative activities; the lack of professional autonomy; their potential income over the next five years; and the amount of time they have for nonprofessional interests, family and friends.
The survey also indicated that managed care is a major source of doctors' woes. Three-quarters of the physicians surveyed said that managed care has had a negative impact on the way they practice medicine. Specifically, 95 percent said that managed care has increased their paperwork, and 88 percent said it has decreased the amount of time they can spend with patients. Although the physicians surveyed did credit managed care with increasing the use of practice guidelines and disease management protocols (these are currently being developed for massage... sigh), 73 percent said that managed care has decreased health care quality overall.
For more results from this survey, go to: www.kff.org/content/2002/20020426c/.
So, doctors are getting bummed out having to do all the paperwork, being told what they can do and how much of it they can do, and having to work more and more for less and less. See what happens when you let insurance companies and the government get between you and your patients? You lose. Ultimately, so do the patients. Third-party reimbursement (insurance) is like a drug to both the patient and the practitioner. The best response to the temptation is to "Just Say No!"
For those of you who care about health freedom, which should be all of you, it is time for an update on the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA). I mentioned this act earlier in the year. This sinister legislation was developed by power-hungry public health bureaucrats and is being pushed onto every state. These opportunists have been planning this for a long time and are using the current crisis/panic state of people to fulfill their dream of complete state control over your health. After all, they believe they know what is best for you. MSEHPA will severely infringe on citizens' medical privacy and freedom to choose their health care. If you believe in mandatory vaccination, this bill is for you. If you like martial law, ruled by public health officials, you will love this bill. If you believe in freedom of choice in health care, this bill will be terrifying to you. Are you in a licensed state? If this bill passes in your state, you and all health-care facilities, doctors, and health-care providers will have to agree to abide by the MSEHPA during declared public-health emergencies to maintain licenses to practice or run a health-care business. This means you!
This bill will, by careful design, greatly diminish Americans' health freedoms -- including the freedom of doctors and other health care providers. Under the MSEHPA, doctors could be required to administer treatments to which they object. This legislation clearly would infringe on doctors' and other health care providers' freedom of conscience. Moreover, the draft legislation does not state clearly that it will uphold existing state laws that provide for exemptions to vaccination. However, it does state that individuals who refuse medical examination and treatment (including vaccination) could be quarantined or isolated. For the sake of your patients and your practice, you had better get out and work against this bill. In states that have already enacted this legislation (Maryland, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah), it is too late for you. In states that have introduced MSEHPA (Arizona; California; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Maine; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New York; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Tennessee; Vermont; and Virginia) - you folks better get to work! You still have a chance to save yourselves.
This legislation won't make any headlines. You will never know it passed, until one day they pull it out and stick it to you. MSEHPA is inactive or has been defeated in Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Congratulations -- you saved yourselves! Stay alert, they will bring it back again if more states pass it.
Your responses to my columns on massage education have been immense and positive. Hopefully, many of you are organizing to enact improvements in your state. Next month, I will present a vision of massage education. Stand by for "Beyond the Rub."
Hope you have had wonderful summer. Have a great Labor Day.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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