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The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Preaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
Patient Retention Techniques
When talking about techniques to grow your business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the patient base, that is, on strategies to attract new patients. However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your patients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation.
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08
We Get Letters & E-Mail
"Has more government ever fixed anything?"
The last issue [June 2002] of Massage Today left me with the sinking feeling that again we are spiraling downhill toward extinction.As if Mr. Stephens' series on the poor quality of massage schools wasn't depressing enough (only because he's right), now we have two death blows on the front page. First is the article on the Department of Education wanting to oversee the accreditation of massage schools. Wonderful, our salvation is coming from the folks who brought us high-school graduates who can't read their diploma or find their home state on a map! These people have disemboweled the education system in this country so completely that people are home-schooling their children by the millions and " the public school system" has become fodder for late-night comedians. Is this really the people we want trying to fix an already ailing system? Have they ever "fixed" anything? Has more government ever fixed anything?
Then there's the article describing recommendations for integrating alternative and allopathic health care. Read, taking over alternative health care! What else can you call it when a "science" that is approximately two hundred years old has the ego and audacity to sit in judgment on treatments and modalities that predate the birth of Christ, to determine "safety and efficacy"? How about if the allopaths clean up their own backyard first; an estimated 230,000 - 284,000 people are killed each year by "iatrogenic" causes - a fancy word for screw ups! Modern medicine is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. One hundred thousand of these people are killed each year by prescription drugs that this same scientific community has deemed safe and effective!
In a very brief search, I found that 13.7 billion was spent on "alternative" health care, and that was for 1992. I'm sure it is much higher now. Almost all of this is out-of-pocket cash, not the little-now, little-never insurance and HMO payment plan.
So, do you suppose the third-largest killer of U.S. citizens and the government want to help keep us safe, or do you think they are just after the money? Have you priced a hospital aspirin lately? Has more government ever fixed anything?
Bret H. Burlock, RMT
"I am amazed and appalled by his claim..."
I generally don't take the time to write letters to publications, but I felt so strongly about your "Perceptions" article that I had to write! (Editor's note: See Cliff Korn's article in the June 2002 issue). In my 10 years in the field, I also have seen a tremendous difference in the way the public perceives massage therapy. The positive physical and mental benefits of massage therapy have been widely accepted by even the most conservative. If you're missing the boat on how other massage therapists conduct their practices, I've missed that same boat! And I don't think the blame can be placed completely on uneducated writers or those looking to uncover prurient aspects. (Although I find it hard to believe that the editors of Healing Retreats & Spas would let such an immature writer submit an article titled "Rules of Engagement"!)
I might have placed more blame on the media had it not been for the letter you printed by Chris Castanes of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His letter was so unbelieveable that I read it four times to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding him. I'm not even going to debate the state licensure, continuing education or insurance reimbursement issues he brought up... that's another letter. What I am amazed and appalled by is his claim that "A large portion of licensed therapists engage in inappropriate behavior." How does he know this to be true? Through conversations with his clients on the topic!
Nowhere does Mr. Castanes claim to be a "professional" -- but his claim of being a "licensed massage therapist" does give credence to his argument that the licensure process is flawed and meaningless. Are you quite sure that Chris Castanes is not the writer of the article in Healing Retreats?!
Michelle Pfeiffer, MSW, CMT
Ensuring Professional Credibility
I am a struggling, full-time (10+ years) professional. I am in support of the strongest requirements for the profession. I really don't care about part-timers. I am old enough (54) to remember California in the 70s, when it seemed everybody's brother or cousin had a real estate license. Entry into that profession was easy until California finally increased the requirements. As I try to grow my massage business, I hear basically the same thing - "my daughter is a LMT," my co-worker's cousin is a LMT," etc.
It is too easy to get into the massage profession, and there are too many people in it. The "money" is in having a massage school, and the schools turn out grads faster than the public can support them, not to mention that so many of them are mediocre at best. (See Ralph Stephens' recent series of articles.) Someone can always choose to practice part-time, but we need the highest standards of competence to enhance our therapeutic credibility.
Daniel Vasquez, BS, LMT
"Congratulations on a Job Well Done"
I would like to address a comment made by Ruth Werner about her experience at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. (Editor's note: See "Massage at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games" in the May 2002 issue.) It sounds as if Ruth and her team experienced a "baptism by fire" concerning World Cup and Olympic organizations. I have worked for eight U.S. and international olympic teams and have practiced massage therapy in Utah for 13 years. In 1994, after having worked with the U.S. CrossCountry Ski Team for six years, I was told by the U.S. Olympic Committee that my profession "was not a valid medical practice" and I was not formally named to the team staff. The U.S. Cycling Team had managed to get around the red tape by naming team therapists as "coaches."
Prior to the Norway Olympics, I spent two years traveling throughout Europe with the U.S. men's and women's cycling teams, and saw how other countries not only integrated massage into their programs, but relied heavily on these team members. U.S. teams often staff "soigners" or massage therapists, and have done so for many years. Most professional sports organizations employ massage therapists for their athletes and for coaching and administrative staff.
The fact that the Salt Lake Organizing Committee had reservations about incorporating massage therapy into the overall picture for the Olympics did not (likely) have anything to do with "the conservative (bordering on repressive) attitudes toward touch and alternative health care in Utah." I have been in private practice in this state for 13 years, and I suppose I have "succeeded" both financially and on a personal level. When I first moved here, there was one massage school; now there are three. One is accredited by the National Board of Academic Accreditation. My client base runs the gamut: Mormons; non-Mormons (that's me, in case you were wondering), physicians; teachers; clergy; parents; world-class and recreational athletes; the disabled and the elderly. Many of my peers are "gainfully employed" in the practice of massage and other "alternative medical practices."
I am sure Ms. Werner's experience with SLOC was indeed a trying one, and the fact that she and her team persevered is admirable. However, she may want to take more than a two-week look at this state's educational and employment opportunities, which are available to anyone wishing to practice alternative medicine in the state of Utah. The government power base here reflects that of the nation at this time: regretfully conservative. We as practitioners must continue to be vigilant and participate in lawmaking as it governs our profession. It is not unlike the struggle of those athletes that you and your team served, Ruth: it takes years and years of effort, many disappointments, and substantial community support to succeed. Enter the stadium and do your best, and do not forget that it will be the journey that brings you your greatest joy... not the medal.
Congratulations on a job well done. You made a difference not only to the athlete's performance, but more importantly, to their Olympic experience.
Julie Willis, LMT
Why Reinvent the Wheel?
I could not let one more month go by without thanking you for your extremely helpful, informative and supportive publication. It's so refreshing to read about issues that are so near to my ongoing experiences with massage.
My latest project is to assist in creating a spa department at the gym where I work. We currently offer massage with a staff of seven, but have the challenge of boosting sales to justify construction of an almost full-service spa. I've inherited this position, managing the staff and working on the spa, while my supervisor (a nonmassage person) is out on extended maternity leave. Timing is everything, so they say, and I think it's serendipitous that I'm in this position at this particular time. I have a solo massage practice, but I have no management or spa experience, although I have a solo massage practice.
Your spa section has been a lifesaver. John Fanuzzi's column on "Building a Successful Spa" couldn't have come at a better time. I look forward to all the upcoming issues to get me through this interesting time in my life. Thank you for your commitment to supplying us with the kind of pertinent information we can use in our day-to-day lives as massage therapists. We do such valuable work, and it seems a shame to waste time reinventing the wheel.
Jane Weerasinghe, LMT
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