resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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.
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.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
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.
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.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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?
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
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.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
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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