resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
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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