resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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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