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Imagine What More Could Be Achieved With Your Support; A Lesson in Hygiene: What Do You Do in Your Office? Open Letter to the Profession.
"Doctor ... Always Do the Right Thing"
So says "Da Mayor" in the iconic Spike Lee movie. As a fresh grad questioning in-network versus out-of-network, it struck me that some doctors have explicitly skirted the issue, while others have argued adamantly for the latter and "sticking it to the man."
Don't Trust What a Patient Says
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint in mind – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc.
Shared Mechanisms Between Computer-Assisted Mechanical Adjusting and Contemporary Acupuncture?
Can contemporary acupuncture provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for pain relief provided by computer-assisted mechanical adjusting instruments, and clarify whether certain mechanical frequency combinations are superior to others for modulation of acute peripheral pain?
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part I
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Coronary heart disease, in just the United States alone, costs close to 109 billion dollars a year.
Low Melatonin Linked to Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest the hormone melatonin, which plays a role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, may play a role in the development of prostate cancer, as lower melatonin levels have been associated with an increased risk of prostate (and breast) cancer.
Don't Trust What Your Patients Say
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc. They are often not interested or engaged in what they consider "unrelated" personal health history.
News In Brief
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine obtains grant funding from NIH; Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Announces New President; Kentucky Gets Licensed; PCOM Receives Approval from WASC to Offer FPD.
New Leadership Era at the WFC
The World Federation of Chiropractic recently announced not only a new president, as is customary every two years, but also an incoming secretary-general, marking the first time since the WFC's inception in 1988 that someone other than David Chapman-Smith, Esq., will serve in that capacity.
Working With The Yuan-Source Level: Resonance and the Extraordinary Vessels
How do we stay fresh with our medicine? As healers, how do we balance our medical selves with creative artistry? Chinese Medicine is not a fixed dogmatic entity, but a living system, reliant on a mysterious force called "resonance."
The Boston Benevolent Chiropractic Clinic: Standing Up for the Needy
Our chiropractic assistant, Bridget, greeted an arriving patient at the Emmanuel Church in downtown Boston. She said, "Hi, Michael, good to see you. It's been awhile. Have a seat and Dr. Ken will see you soon."
Replenishing and Restoring Jing
I learned an important principle from my great Taoist Master Sun Hak. He taught me that all people "leak" Jing, and that we can mitigate or stop this leaking, and as a result strengthen our life force, develop enhanced adaptability and lengthen our life.
Employers Need Chiropractic First and Sooner
From the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine comes a study that gives excellent direction to employers (and insurers) regarding the management of low back problems (LBP).
The Importance of Knowing Mainstream Lingo
There is a secret lingo within mainstream medicine of which the vast majority of acupuncturists and Chinese medical professionals are unaware.
News in Brief
D'Youville Vet Program Gets High Praise; A Moment of Silence for Dr. Paul Reginald ("Reg") Hug.
Wellness: A New Buzzword at the Aging in America Conference
Aging in America is "the nation's largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals in healthcare, social service, government, business and philanthropy with expertise in providing services and products for older adults."
Home Sweet Medical Home
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received its fair share of praise and criticism since its adoption, few question the value of its emphasis on collaborative, patient-centered health care.
Deciphering the New CMS-1500 Claim Form
Q: I am confused about how and when to use the new 1500 form, particularly block 14 and block 15. What is required and how do I properly fill out these fields? And do I actually have to use this new form or may I continue using the old version?
Medial Knee Pain: 11 Potential Causes (and Corrections)
We have all seen patients with medial knee pain that either has no traumatic origin or lasts well beyond when it should be resolved. How can we help these patients? Here is an overview of clinical scenarios and how we can provide conservative care.
Halt Allergies With Moxibustion Therapy
An allergy is an immune system disorder in which the body is hypersensitive to normally harmless substances in the environment.
Changes in Herbal Medicines from Ancient Times to the Present
The classical literature of Chinese medicine remains highly relevant in the modern era, as many of the basic theories and herbal combinations emphasized in clinical practice were first established in texts that are nearly 2000 years old.
Vibrational Medicine: Frequency Micro-Current and Color Acupuncture
Vibrational medicine involves the application of various forms of energy frequencies to the body for pain relief, healing and rejuvenation. Vibrational medicine will become a major growing trend in our medical systems for the following reasons:
The Search for the Origin of the Wiggle Technique
When Bob had adjusted me previously, most of the time I knew what he was doing. But this time, he had me lie on the treatment table in the usual side-posture position, and he "wiggled" my sacroiliac with the fingers of both hands, while stabilizing my pelvis with his forearm.
April, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 04
We Get Letters & E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
Editor's note: The following two letters are in response to Ralph Stephens' December 2002 column, "No Better Time Than Now." The second letter is accompanied by a reply from Mr.Stephens.
Responding to the Call for Activism
It is not often that I comment on articles written in publications. However, as a massage therapist in Texas who is not a prostitute, I was compelled to write after Ralph Stephens' column. Ordinarily, I would have dismissed his statements as erroneous and ignorant, and felt assured that only a few people in Texas would read them. However, since your paper boasts of more than 1 million Internet hits, his published comments raise deep, genuine concern here in Texas.
I accept Mr. Stephens' challenge for each individual massage therapist to become active and "do his or her part" to correct this misconception about Texas. In particular, I ask that Mr. Stephens show documentation to support his statement that "As the emergence period ends, the co-opting period is beginning. It is going quite well in Texas. Prostitution has just about reclaimed the term 'massage' there. Many of what are called 'massage schools' in Texas crank out prostitutes faster than therapists," or retract the statement with an appropriate apology. I also ask that the above quotation (or the entire article) be deleted from your Web site.
By the way, I agree with Mr. Stephens' assessment that massage therapists must defend and protect our scope of practice through individual legislative activism. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns; I look forward to Mr. Stephens' reply (either his research or his apology).
Orbie Ratliff, RMT
"It is now time to do the right thing"
This e-mail is regarding Mr. Stephens' comments about Texas massage schools producing prostitutes. I am no longer comfortable leaving Massage Today in the reception area where I work. Mr. Stephens' comments were not supported by facts and could easily cost us accounts to provide massage services. The way I see it, Mr. Stephens has two choices. He can name names and make a report to the Texas Department of Health; if it fails to do its job by taking action against such therapists, you can complain. The system in place is complaint-driven, at least to some degree. Mr. Stephens has an ethical obligation to file a report. If not, he is "aiding and abetting." On the other hand, if Mr. Stephens is unable to provide specifics to back up his comments, they are nothing more than hearsay. In my opinion, his only other choice in this case is to make an unqualified apology; specifically acknowledge the information is hearsay; and resign his position. His irresponsible comments jeopardized a profession we have spent years building. Our most difficult struggle with our clients is in helping them get past the notion that massage is about sex. Presently, myself and others are researching legal options regarding some sort of libel lawsuit. I suspect our options will be limited, but we believe that as long as Mr. Stephens' comments stand, our practice is threatened. It is now time to do the right thing.
Lori Dupree, RMT
Getting the Toxins Out of Massage
Many thanks to Keith Eric Grant for his article, "Flushing Out Myths" (MT, Dec. 2002). For 10 years, I have heard from clients that they are "full of toxins"; most of them have this impression because they heard it from massage therapists, or from others who heard it from massage therapists. I think it is a disservice to encourage people to think they need massage because they are "toxic," and that massage therapy helps correct this problem. People who already may be anxious or uncertain about their health status do not benefit from the erroneous, alarming image that they are being poisoned by metabolic sludge. I also think some massage therapists may avoid taking responsibility for using inappropriate depth of pressure on sensitive clients by explaining that postmassage discomfort is merely from "getting the toxins out."
I'd like to see more honest and responsible discussion of the role of massage in cellular metabolism. I think we should share accurate information with our clients on the known, positive effects of massage, and we should not be afraid to say, "We don't know yet" in response to some questions. We will all benefit if we eliminate misleading, toxic claims from our interactions with the people we serve.
Margaret Caro, LMT
Editor's note: James (Doc) Clay's January 2003 column, "The Clinical Track: Introduction, With a Response to AMMA," inspired considerable letters to the editor, one of which is printed below. Massage Today regrets that it cannot publish all of the letters we received. The complete text of Mr. Clay's article appears online at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/01/12.html.
"Medical massage truly is holistic medicine"
I am a graduate and a student of the Blue Heron Academy of Healing Arts and Sciences [Grand Rapids, Mich.]. In addition, I maintain a private practice in the Blue Heron Clinic and have been a member of the American Medical/Manual Massage Association (AMMA) for three years. I am a medical massage therapist, but more accurately, a manual therapist. In the article, Mr. Clay states, "We do not treat conditions according to medical diagnostic criteria, but according to clinical massage therapy assessment criteria"... and then says how he would treat it. As a Blue Heron graduate and a medical massage therapist, I treat according to medical diagnostic criteria, not the way either an medical doctor or you would treat. That being said, I'm sure there are plenty of similarities too. Tendonitis (can also be spelled correctly as tendinitis) also is called "medial epicondylitis" or "golfer's elbow." It results from injury to the common flexor tendon. A simple test for this condition is active wrist flexion against resistance. I palpate the affected area; fold the tissue; perform deep tissue to periosteum massage (not painful, because the tissue is folded and because I use a soft-hand technique); note adhesions and fibrosis; do joint physics;bony lever at the joint junctions; etc. If you could watch me, or any of my peers, do this, I suggest you would be witnessing something you have never seen anyone do, anywhere. We use a dry-hand technique and achieve unique results. Some of these techniques are original, courtesy of Dr. Gregory Lawton, DC, DN; some are 100-year-old naprapathic techniques. It's medical massage/manual therapy - what soft tissue work was meant to be before the advent of "swedish massage." It's our heritage as massage therapists.
Mr. Clay also says problems with the wrist and hand are traceable to the forearm, elbow, shoulder or chest. The first thing I do when a patient tells me he or she has wrist and hand pain is inquire about any recent or old neck injuries. If not localized fibrosis (wrist, hand, forearm, or just above the elbow), this type of pain is usually indicative of brachial plexus nerve impingement. The brachial plexus is a plexus of five nerves that grow out of the spinal cord at C5-T1and innervate the neck, shoulder, arm and hand. Pain is on the ulnar or radial side of the limb helps differentiate which of the five nerves is involved. My point here is that medical massage therapists who graduate from Blue Heron know neurology: We know where the nerves track, and what soft tissues the nerves innervate. If there is a problem with that soft tissue, we go to the nerve root at the joint and work there. We work at the nerve root. If I find adhesions in the neck related to a patient's pain, that's the area I'm going to focus on. Do you see my point? This is all medically based. You pointed out the incorrect spelling of "biceps," but more important than that, do you know that is does little good to do considerable soft tissue work on any biceps muscle belly? If a patient has pain in a biceps muscle, you would best spend your time and your patient's money by working at the joint at which the biceps attach/insert.
One hundred years ago, MDs touched their patients, and did so based on scientific findings. They were physicians, and they did soft tissue work - imagine that. In fact, some of them wrote a book called, Medical Massage. Dr. Lawton didn't just dream this stuff up; we have the book to prove it. This is what medicine used to be.
Mr. Clay also states, "I can't help feeling that the use of the word "medical" in designating our profession betrays a desire to enhance our prestige ..." As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing prestigious about being an MD these days. Certainly they want to practice medicine well, but their training has steered them far afield. If you have consulted with or been referred patients by an MD, you know it's not a real pleasant experience, but nevertheless a necessary one. I'm ashamed and embarassed by the MDs and DCs who refer patients to me. What passes for a physician is in shambles, and so are patients' bodies. The MD sends me the people he's poisoned, cut and burned, and the DC sends me the patients he's used his newfangled hammer on. They wonder if there is anything I can do for them; yes there is, thanks to my training. encourages us to get out into "the field" and deal with these real clinical issues based on our holistic training. You can call it "clinical" or "medical," but I prefer the latter term because that's what it is: medicine.
The allopaths took the word medical from us. Holistic treatment was considered medical before most of us were born. All soft tissue workers who want to practice noninvasive, holistic medicine by touching people based on the modern discoveries of science and anatomy are denied this privilege by the modern allopaths and some chiropractors.
Mr Clay says, "We would do well to maintain our independence from more traditional disciplines." Allopathic medicine is more accurately called modern medicine. What we do, as soft tissue workers and as massage therapists, is traditional medicine. We are holistic. Medical massage is science-based, holistic ... and it works. It's the way medicine used to be, and the way it will be in the future, including new techniques based on new research. What goes around, comes around.
Mr Clay says, "Massage is not inherently holistic." If it's not, then what is it? In my opinion, medical massage truly is holistic medicine. The AMMA is not frozen, petrified, closed-minded or institutionalized. We simply approach soft tissue work/massage based on the most up-to-date knowledge of anatomy, physiology, etc., the way the serious medical practitioners of old practiced.
This discussion is worth having. I enjoyed Mr. Clay's article. Thank you for providing a venue to voice our opinions.
Lisa Townsend, PMT (Professional Manual Therapist)
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