resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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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