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Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
September, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 09
Who Are We?
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
In what community or communities do we belong? What do we call ourselves? The answers to these questions have serious implications for the future of massage therapy, and the roads we will travel to get there.
Anyone who actually reads my Massage Today editorials knows I have a passion for definitions.I've devoted several columns to the importance of language. I've long felt that the intent of our words has little importance if we're the only ones who know that intent. If only one party is aware, there is no communication. What we say, and how it's perceived, is what is important! If you agree with me so far, you also probably agree that what we call ourselves is very important. In many states, the law says you must call yourselves "licensed massage therapists." In a perfect world, that term would have a common meaning to everyone practicing under that title and to everyone looking to contract our services. In reality, it means different things to different people. A client who has experienced massage therapy only as part of injury rehabilitation will have different expectations of a massage therapist than a client who has only experienced relaxation spa services. In that scenario, each of the practitioners are likely happy to be called massage therapist, but the terrain gets more rocky when therapists who do work they don't consider massage are required by state law to use the massage therapist title, and to train as massage therapists before starting practice.
The massage umbrella encompasses many therapies in various states. Included or exempted in various state laws are reiki practitioners, polarity practitioners, reflexologists and others. Kelle Walsh at Massage Magazine undertook one of the most in-depth studies I have ever seen of this situation in her March/April and May/June 2000 issues. She not only told of the efforts of massage regulation proponents to legitimize massage therapy to make it easily distinguishable from prostitution advertising as massage, but of the role of a standardized credential in easing insurance reimbursement and physician referrals. Her articles clearly stated the disagreement among massage practitioners, and between massage practitioners and nonmassage practitioners, over the issue of regulation in 2000. Unfortunately, we, as both an industry and a profession, have not progressed much since that time. With few exceptions, polarity therapists, Trager practitioners, etc., are still trying to disentangle themselves from the regulatory net of massage. Massage therapists themselves are divided on the benefits (or horrors) of licensure. There are several online massage discussion groups that hammer this point home on a daily basis.
One example of a divisive regulatory issue is the inclusion/exclusion of reiki in massage practice. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I have yet to hear a reiki practitioner suggest that he or she or the public would be better served by falling under massage regulation. Unfortunately, in some jurisdictions reiki is defined by the "looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck" method. After all, there is usually soft music playing, a massage table is usually used, and the client and practitioner are behind closed doors in a dimly lit room. The practitioner frequently is touching the supine client's body. Based on the "duck" test, this must be massage! Of course, I'm making light of a serious concern here. As my April 2002 editorial mentioned, it is the regulating jurisdiction that defines a scope of practice. If that jurisdiction defines Reiki as massage, it's a done deal and the door is closed. (Editor's note: See "Scope (Not the Mouthwash" online at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/04/08.html). Unfortunately, common sense isn't always the most abundant resource among municipal or state legislators (or massage professionals, for that matter).
As loathe as many Reiki practitioners are to train and practice as massage therapists, most massage therapists are not inclined to train as physical therapists to retain title to the term "therapy." (Yes, PT groups and others have attempted to keep practitioners of massage from using the term.) This alone is enough for many to desire at least title protection regulation on a statewide level. My trusty Webster's says that "therapy" is a treatment of any physical or mental disorder by medical or physical means. I don't know about your practice, but that definition certainly fits what I do! However, if a regulatory body defines therapy as reserved for use by professions overseen by an allied health board that excludes massage, legal use of the term is by massage practitioners is questionable.
I have no desire to go back to using terms like "masseur" or "masseuse" to define my work. While I don't find the terms offensive in and of themselves, they are used pejoratively in many public and professional circles to describe untrained or under-trained massage practitioners.
My guess is that we can find compromises on how big the massage umbrella becomes, but the issue gets more difficult still when we look to see where we fit in the greater world of caregivers. Are we or are we not part of "medicine," and if so, to what part do we belong? "Mainstream medicine?" "Traditional medicine?" "Complementary medicine?" "Alternative medicine?" "Complementary and Alternative medicine?" "Integrative medicine?" And if not "medicine," then what? Personal service? And do the Trager practitioners, shiatsu practitioners, Rolfing bodywork practitioners and Feldenkrais practitioners among us hold the same opinions? Who are we? Who are you? Who do you want to be?
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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