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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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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