resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg 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.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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