resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
December, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 12
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I attended an event recently at which a large number of health care workers came together, and in the course of several days maintained current competency by availing themselves of continuing education on pathologies and assessment skills.They also took the time to network, socialize and obtain professional development on issues affecting business in the health care realm today.
These health care workers were not physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners or radiologists, but massage therapists. Perhaps because they were massage therapists, they also expanded their activities together to include picking out a stone from a basket that "seemed to be calling to them," then contemplating the mystery and meaning of keeping the stone with them. They also spent lots of time touching each other, forming circles, listening to drums, crying with each other and supporting each other. There were many shared hugs.
So, is this a dichotomy? Is it appropriate behavior for massage therapists? What does it say about massage therapy and its place alongside other caregivers? Are massage therapists "woo-woo" practitioners also trying to be "little doctors?"
When I first entered this field, I probably would have been extremely disenchanted by such a dichotomy of action. I likely would have thought the event's activities trivial, inappropriate and harkening back to summer camp adolescence.
But I don't think that way anymore. I think those who share my earlier views need to lighten up. I now think that massage therapists and bodyworkers can provide comfort to so many because of their abilities to expand the expected behavior models and build upon some incredibly unique strengths. By their very nature, touch therapies provide not just skilled care, but nurturing care. I don't think it's a coincidence that a preponderance of our profession has the ability to mother and nurture others. The approximately 80% of the field that is female enables the rest of the profession to develop and use their nurturing and caring abilities more than they likely would otherwise.
There are many qualities that make us unique in comparison to other caregivers, and I think this is what makes us so acceptable to so much of the population. I'm not suggesting that the stereotypical massage therapist in the tie-dyed muumuu and Birkenstocks should be expected in the critical-care ward of the local hospital, but that we have myriad strengths that allow us to function effectively in the society of caregivers. The fact that so many of us can integrate energy-based therapies alongside neuromuscular and myofascial work allows us to affect positive change that no other discipline of therapy can. Informed, thoughtful treatment need not be excluded from a heart-centered approach.
So, I have learned to enjoy and appreciate the juxtaposition of "Assessment and Treatment of Scapular Pathology," and contemplate the meaning and beauty of a stone that "spoke to me" from a basket. I'm primarily a clinical massage therapist, but I think I am much more effective with "rounded edges." It is my hope that many of us are able to listen to the story of a stone while advancing our clinical skills. No, it's probably not OK to overemphasize the group hugs when interacting with allopathic clinicians, but it's just fine (and most appropriate) when we're together and celebrating our awakening and growth as somatic problem solvers. Besides, I loved summer camp!
As we make our New Year's resolutions for 2003, let's resolve to blend skilled and compassionate touch for our clients. Let's also resolve to treat each other with the same nurturing intent. We'll make the world a better place!
Thanks for listening, and happy holidays!
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:
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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