resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
April, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 04
The "Medical Massage" Controversy
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
After this article appears in print, some may ask for it to be my last; however, I feel the need to express my thoughts on medical massage, for what they're worth. I am certainly not an expert on this particular subject, so it's important to note that the following are just opinions.
I've read several excellent articles published of late on the subject of medical massage, and heard various discussions of what constitutes medical massage; reasons for and against further training and certification; and what kind of training is necessary (and who should do the training) if further instruction is required.
Reasons given in favor of medical massage include setting higher industry standards and providing additional credentials.For some, medical massage simply means more money-making opportunities gained from teaching; for others, it is possibly nothing more than an ego trip; and for others still, it is truly about care, safety and success in treating patients. This last motivation is the only reason I feel any specific medical massage training or education should be considered. Does it really need to be defined as "medical massage"? I don't think so.
Massage therapy necessarily becomes "medical massage" when it is performed according to a prescription from a physician who has diagnosed a medical condition. Insurance companies have reimbursed medical massage therapy for many years, whether performed by licensed or certified massage therapists, or any other health care providers authorized to provide and/or bill for massage.
Many insurers in Florida have reimbursed massage therapists directly since 1984. This therapy does not have to be referred to as medical massage; however, perhaps such a requirement exists in other states. In general, insurance companies do not reimburse for massage (or anything else) not considered medically necessary. A patient's condition is what determines medical necessity, and only a licensed physician can diagnose that.
We have accomplished a great deal in the past few years by informing the medical profession of the benefits of massage therapy. Many physicians now assume that if we are licensed, certified or trained, we can perform massage safely and effectively. They don't have time to check our specific credentials. There is no easy way to inform the medical profession who of us are licensed, certified or qualified, or with what specific titles or in what techniques or procedures.
In my opinion, basic massage school training is ever enough, no matter how significant it seems at the time. I also don't think any specific course of training can fulfill all needs. The well-rounded information one gains from taking hands-on courses over the years, from a variety of instructors and in various areas, is what most benefits the outcomes of patients' medical conditions.
We can only retain so much information at one time, and ideas, knowledge and opinions change. We can learn more at certain times than others, and from certain people more than others. However, one thing is clear: If therapists do not continue to learn and acquire additional training, they will not be able to retain their client base. We need the additional training throughout our practicing years - not just to obtain specific credentials, but to maintain interest, feel good about ourselves, and provide the most effective care to our clients.
Most students enter the field of massage therapy with little clue of exactly what they want to specialize in, and most never know when a physician will refer a patient to them, or when they will be asked to work in a physician's office or other medical setting. Consequently, medically oriented massage needs to be taught to all therapists in all schools. Therapists who intend to specialize or work in a medically oriented field will need to continue to pursue specialized areas of training as they become more familiar with their own needs, and the needs of their patients: the elderly, cancer victims, infants, and workers' compensation, auto, or other personal injury cases, etc. Therapists who do not wish to work on medically related clientele will be able to pursue further training or avenues that best fit their interests, but they will at least have a basic medical knowledge, so they can attend to their clients' needs based on their own learned skill sets.
Am I making sense? I attribute a great deal of my success to the varied courses I have taken over the years. The wide range of information I digested helped me treat patients with varying injuries and illnesses. Schools teach contraindications; patient care; safety; muscle origins, insertions and function, etc. However, I do not think enough classroom hours are dedicated to helping students understand what they are taught, particularly with respect to specific medical conditions (and how to treat those conditions, if the situation arises). The short amount of time, if any, spent on each subject in school is not enough for most students to truly get it - to truly comprehend it and become skilled at applying it.
These are just my opinions, but I also speak from personal experience, which comes from having spent a little over 15 years working almost exclusive with medically related cases prescribed by physicians from nearly all specialties. I am neither bragging nor complaining, but I want to make it clear that I have a good deal of experience handling medically related cases. In my practice, approximately 90 percent of our cases were medical referrals. We averaged 28 to 32 patient visits a day, six days a week, for years - that's over 600 medical cases/visits a month. I teach insurance billing procedures and medically related practice-building not just to make money; but because I know it and have lived it. I am happy to help others experience the same successes we did. Hopefully, we can help them avoid the many pitfalls we ran into in those early days.
Next time: Working with injured or unwell patients.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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