resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
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.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
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.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
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.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
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 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
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.
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.
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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