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Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
Free Yourself From the Pocketbook Practice
Let's take a journey together; there's an important lesson to be learned. Imagine a town or city just like yours.
December, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 12
No Better Time Than Now
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The holidays are upon us. It is a wonderful time of the year; a time when people buy gift certificates for massage with complete abandon. When I first started my practice, very few Christmas gift certificates were brought in and used.In the last few years, they all are redeemed. I think this shows the improved awareness of massage by the general public, and the improved image of massage in the past few years.
At the end of each year, almost every person of every persuasion has a day to acknowledge his or her beliefs. From the most sacred to the most material to the most demonic, all seem to agree this is a special time of the year. It is a time of conclusion and a time of beginning. Close the books December 31, and make New Year's resolutions January 1.
In our profession, we are near an ending. The emergence period is or will soon be over. It has been quite a ride from obscurity to fad. Unfortunately, little planning was done to establish a firm foundation under the profession to support the exponential growth we have experienced. Standards, definitions and terminology have become watered down to include anyone and anything.
Our profession awakened from its "Dark Ages" in the late 1960s with high hopes of being an alternative to the sickness care delivery system of the allopaths. For a fleeting moment, it looked as if that idea might manifest into reality. However, egos, the struggle for power and the almighty dollar is rapidly relegating the profession to the spa/relaxation/new age sector and the symptom-treating sector -- easier to control, I suppose.
Instead of developing and defending natural therapeutics as a viable alternative to the allopaths, we are trying desperately to get them to control us. We bow to them and lower our rates to be a part of their plans. Schools lure kids into our profession with promises of big bucks from insurance scams. We spend more time studying pathology than we do studying health. We are trying to prove massage "works" through allopathic research methods, so they will prescribe massage.
If this pattern continues, the allopaths will control massage. We are handing it to them, on their terms. The goal of the sickness care system is more sickness. They must have a neverending supply of patients. The treatment protocols are designed to ensure future business. Wellness is a dirty word to the allopathic industry. If we continue to run toward the medical model and its extortion scam (insurance), our opportunity to provide wellness and health care will be diminished or lost altogether. It will be such a waste if we become soft tissue symptom specialists, treating minor musculoskeletal complaints, as allowed by thegatekeepers, for $12.50 an hour plus benefits in the PT Departments.
As the emergence period ends, the co-opting period is beginning. It is going quite well in Texas. Prostitution has just about reclaimed the term massage there. Many of what are called massage schools in Texas crank out prostitutes faster than therapists. Those of you in Texas who care about massage as a health care profession better get to work next year, before it is too late.
The cosmetology accreditation association has applied for, and will mostly likely be granted, permission to accredit massage and bodywork programs. Look for some of our scope of practice to disappear into this hole and come out as property of the cosmetology profession. "Cosmo schools" may engineer a lock on the spa training market with integrated training of massage and cosmetology. Watch for this tragic development in your area soon.
The DCs will be marching on our scope of practice during the next legislative period. The public health sector is trying to gain complete control over health care by passing the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA). Don't let them get away with this where you live.
The good news is, there is still time to save ourselves. The public has had a taste of alternative health care. They are seeking it with a passion. They are tired of being "practiced upon" by the sickness system. This is the group that will support us in defending our scope of practice and our right to practice. These are the people who want cost-effective health care most of the time and crisis medicine only occasionally, preferably never.
We must become active in promoting personal medical savings and health care reimbursement accounts. This encourages people to make their own decisions about health care, instead of insurance companies. Massage is incredibly cost-effective, considering what we do. We must become active legislatively, defending our scope of practice and freedom of health care. Only you, as an individual can do this. Just 10 people ringing a state legislator's phone gets his or her attention. It is up to you -- not some association, not some group. Only you can prevent this legislation. This is not for our personal benefit; it is for our patients and their children.
The November elections are over, and America has the government and politicians it deserves. If you didn't vote, don't complain. You had your chance and blew it. All we can do now is work with the hand we've been dealt, and do the best we can with it. Action is required; effort is required. If you want to do something bad for the world, thousands of people will help you. If you want to do something good, you will be part of a very small group - but that small group will be much more powerful than the mob. Societal change has always been brought about by small, powerful groups.
Celebrate this season according to your beliefs. Remember, there is something bigger about it than yourself, something bigger than all the glitter. May you experience the joy of inner peace, and may that joy guide you and inspire you to better serve suffering humanity. Commit to making your life and the lives of those you touch better by this time next year.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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