resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
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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