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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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)?
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.
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?!"
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.
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.
April, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 04
Shades of Gray
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
This is a unique time in the history of massage therapy in the United States. It would be nice if we could speak with one voice in this time of opportunity, but it appears we can't even use the same language.It also appears that many of our own are clinging to the bulwarks of the Tower of Babel, shouting louder and louder in their own language, and getting more and more frustrated that they aren't being heard.
Nationwide, massage regulation is being considered at a frequency we haven't seen for many years. California; Georgia; Massachusetts; Arizona; Indiana; Kentucky; Michigan; and Pennsylvania are just some of the unregulated states currently looking at various forms of regulation/licensing. Massage regulation has always been a volatile and contentious subject among massage therapists. The sides break into two general camps: one that wants no part of anyone controlling the ability to practice individual forms of massage or bodywork, and the other that hopes to create a playing field that has minimum standards and limits the ability of some to enter the field.
Nowhere is the argument louder, or the battle lines drawn more clearly, than in California, which is currently an interesting mix of regulatory cacophony. Some California governmental entities regulate massage therapy as a health care field; others regulate massage therapy with ordinances suggesting massage therapists are prostitutes. Some parts of California require a minimum of 1,000 hours of education and passage of an accredited competency examination; others require nothing more than completion of a weekend workshop.
California arguably has the most massage therapists per capita of any of the 50 states. The raw numbers alone make California's actions watershed events. This time period is particularly unique in that California is in a position like none other: to be an example to other states in regard to appropriate levels of regulatory oversight. Those on the extreme edges of both arguments see the regulation issue in black and white terms only. If one listens to these individuals, it seems more likely that California will be a laughingstock than a leader. California is no different than any other governmental entity in that the determination of issues come in many shades of gray, and the sooner those carrying the banner of either "edge" compromise or get shunted to the parking lot, the better the massage situation will be for practitioners and the public.
I continue to see and hear the divergent arguments for and against state licensure. The issues that seem to be causing the most people to grab one another's throats include:
I think it's time to stop bickering. The "I'll never agree to that unless . . ." attitude keeps polarizing the process. From my desk, it's starting to look a lot like the classic right-wing versus left-wing struggle. The right-wing, reactionary forces are clamoring for a market-driven solution only, while the left-wing "big-government" group feels that layers of bureaucratic restrictions on practice will solve the public's social ills. Both positions are just plain silly. I find it humorous how many massage therapists with liberal political leanings are fighting the big-government approach to massage, and how many massage therapists with conservative leanings are taking a stance opposed to a free-market economy. (Massage therapy is not without irony!) It's time to step up to the plate and muzzle those fringe players unwilling to move from their pre-conceived ideas. Remember your mother telling you, "Never say never"? She was right! It's time to start compromising, so the greatest good is realized. It's time to keep the dialogue open, honest and professional. In my opinion, the most important issue facing the profession today is the ability to practice in different parts of the country. This concept was once called "reciprocity," but is now more frequently called "portability."
California has an opportunity to establish operating conditions the rest of the country can emulate to maximize portability. It can accomplish that by establishing massage regulation so correct and comprehensive that almost everyone appreciates its fairness and ability to meet diverse needs, while allowing the "substantially equivalent" clauses in other state laws to apply; or they can develop a regulatory posture based upon the lowest common denominator, and try to convince the 31 licensed states they should do the same with their existing regulations. My guess is that time would be more valuably spent attempting the former; the latter seems a tough row to hoe. California has the opportunity to embrace shades of gray, rather than the black and white. The whole profession is watching with anticipation!
Thanks for listening!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to the address listed below:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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