resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
January, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 01
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
A new year has begun!
I wish you success, happiness and good health. It will be an interesting year, to say the least. The old Chinese curse, "may you live in interesting times," appears to be in full force.
The economy, the rumblings of war, the interesting weather all contribute to a population that is more stressed than ever.Stress causes immune-system suppression, so more people will be more sick than ever. These people also will need the stress-relieving effects of massage more than ever. Unfortunately, most people look at stress reduction as a luxury. Luxuries are the first thing to be cut from a tight budget. However, stress also causes people to have more accidents and injuries, and to manifest painful soft-tissue conditions. Relieving pain is a necessity, so room will be made, even in tight budgets.
Pain is a huge stressor. Relief from soft tissue pain provides deeper and longer lasting stress reduction than a general relaxation massage. Invest in learning specific techniques and skills that allow you to help people gain relief from pain, and you will stay busy, even in an economic downturn. Remember, even in the best of times, there are always people who are not doing very well, and even in the worst of times, there are always people who are doing great. Find the people in your area who are doing great. Market your services to them. Do this, and you will not have to participate in the economic downturn.
In my last column, I mentioned a situation in the great state of Texas, regarding unethical individuals using massage as a front for prostitution. This problem was brought to my attention by many concerned therapists in Texas. It appears to be a growing trend. Unfortunately, I painted the picture with a rather large brush, and ended up insulting many ethical therapists and school owners. The result was numerous colorful superlatives aimed in my general direction.
To clarify, I did not mean to imply that most Texas schools are unethical or substandard, or that most Texas RMTs are prostitutes. To those ethical therapists and school owners I offended, I sincerely apologize, right here in public. I personally know many great therapists in Texas. I have also worked and corresponded with several excellent schools in Texas. I like Texas. I have family in Texas. But hey, Texas, you do have a problem, and you know it. The individuals who contacted me, offended by my comments, all admitted that the problem exists; they just didn't like me pointing it out. To those individuals, I say this: Stop trying to shoot the messenger, and direct your energy toward correcting the problem. Raise your standards, and get the Texas Department of Health to enforce the law. Do whatever it takes.
I will not air any more dirty laundry from Texas in this column; however, do hope to report frequently on the positive progress they make. I am in touch with the Texas chapter of the AMTA, the Texas Association of Massage Therapists (TAMT) and the Austin Bodywork Cooperative. I will be in the Houston, Texas area on May 17, to facilitate an organizational meeting to begin the process of change for the better. Feel free to start before I get there.
While I have not received reports of the prostitution-as-massage problem in other regulated states, there is no doubt it exists. Sadly, this is because our profession allows it to exist. It is the moral duty of ethical massage therapists to file complaints and press charges against unethical massage practitioners, practices and schools. Demand that the police, the regulatory agency (or both) aggressively pursue the violators. Too many have worked too hard for too long cleaning up this profession. Great strides have been made, and the public is beginning to understand the value of ethical massage and to trust massage therapists. This is not the time to become complacent and allow the massage profession to backslide into another dark age.
I have lots to share with you this year. There are so many issues about to boil over, in the massage profession and in health care in general. Freedom of choice in health care is on the chopping block in state and national legislative bodies. For the sake of your patients and your practice (not to mention your own health), I hope you become active in defending medical freedom of choice and privacy.
Here is a good place to start. It seems everyone in D.C. is utterly baffled as to how an ugly little provision shielding pharmaceutical behemoth Eli Lilly from billions in lawsuits filed by the parents of children injured by vaccines, made its way, in the 12th hour, into, of all things, the 475-page Homeland Security bill.
Senators Stabenow, McCain and Kucinich are working to get this provision repealed. They may have found an unlikely ally in their battle. It turns out that Rep. Dan Burton, the chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, has a grandson who first began showing symptoms of autism within days of receiving vaccinations containing Thimerosal. Twenty years ago, 1 in 10,000 children were thought to be autistic; now, it's more than 1 in 250. Support these senators if you believe the pharmaceutical cartel should be responsible for the problems it causes. If concerned citizens do not shout louder than the lobbyists, Lilly and others will be able to profit as they knowingly destroy the health of millions. If you are too busy, then just hold out your arm, and your kids arm - it won't hurt for long, and soon you won't be able to care.
Support the Shift
Despite the attempts of the government and the insurance industry to co-opt and control, there is a huge paradigm shift underway in people's desire for health care. They want health care, not sickness care. They are running away from the allopathic sickness care system for all but crisis medicine needs. This shift needs support from all the alternative professions. If it is enlivened with our faith and effort, it can bring about a healthier world on many levels. Sick people do sick things. As individuals practicing alternative health care, we must work together (as must our professional organizations) to nurture this paradigm shift toward wellness.
More on this and many other hot button topics in upcoming issues. If it matters, its in Massage Today, so stay tuned, be watchful, think and be well.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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