resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
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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