resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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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