resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
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.
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 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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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