resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
Connections Worth Making
"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons. Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
May, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 05
We Get Letters & E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
I appreciated Ralph Stephens' overview of our profession ("No Better Time Than Now," December 2002 MT), and his reminder that our early intention was "to be an alternative to the sickness care delivery system." I share his concerns that certain professional organizations and schools are directing us toward co-option by allopathic institutions.The notion of developing college degrees in massage reminds me of several personal experiences.
I believe it's appropriate to ask the professional massage organizations and massage-school administrators these same questions today. I have met and taught many massage therapists and students who believe they're good enough when they know all the mechanical connections to "fix" the problems. What about results? Determined to fix it, they burn out while ignoring important signals from their bodies and their clients' bodies.
The Connecticut chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA-CT) has introduced a bill to require 48 hours of CEUs every four years to maintain our licenses. At least 24 hours must be taught by a NCBTMB-approved provider. Ouch! They're stepping on my toes! I consider that excessive legislation. Where is the evidence demonstrating that MTs aren't getting enough continuing education to practice safely and effectively?
A therapist friend told me, "The massage therapists I know are always taking classes; they take or assist in more classes than anyone I know." My experiences have been quite similar. In addition to basic training, I've trained in three other major bodywork styles. Why? I was curious and I enjoy learning ... what a concept. Why ruin a good thing with laws that take away some of our choices?
Every year, I teach a 50-hour class and a variety of workshops. I spend at least twice that amount of time updating information and refining presentation. I've spent several hours rewriting and re-thinking this article. I enjoy reading the wealth of massage articles published in trade journals. CEUs won't be granted for all of that continuing education. In 20 years of massage and 18 years of nursing, one of my most important lessons is: The work teaches me.
For me, an important feature that distinguishes massage from the illness model is helping clients develop awareness and skills to use their bodies as a resource, rather than focusing on it as a source of dysfunction, pain and betrayal. I believe massage students would be better served by including some body-centered, supervised experiences with no agenda: just observe themselves as they work, observe the responses of clients, and help clients observe the effects of the work. I also believe students should receive more entrepreneurial and practical business training. Many students seem to depend on their schools to provide job opportunities. I have supervised several massage interns whose school expected me to provide and schedule their clients. These students had to fit their internship hours into full-time massage-school schedules. What a joy it was when I had the chance to supervise an intern from a school at which internship was not in competition with other school obligations. That intern learned to attract, schedule and confirm her own clients.
In Connecticut, many of us have noticed a decrease in business; clients have less money for massage. It takes more time, energy and creativity for us to support ourselves, and it's aggravating when these professional hassles divert us from our work. I would like professional and academic organizations to acknowledge that body-centered work is a blend of knowledge-based, kinesthetic and intuitive skills - not brain surgery or physical therapy. As their constituent, I want them to:
Carol Springer, RN, BSN, Trauma Touch TherapistTM
Thanks for Recognizing Massage Vendors and Suppliers
As President of the AMTA Foundation, I want to thank you for recognizing the vendors and suppliers to the massage therapy and bodywork professions. ["Recognition, Part II," March MT: www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/03/08.html.]
Like you, I have heard or felt that "soft disdain" by some massage therapists for the more commercial aspects of our profession. However, without the companies and manufacturers that provide equipment and supplies, we simply would not be able to practice the art and science of purposeful touch. We do need to thank them for helping us.
In addition to their support of the profession at conventions and trade shows, many vendors and suppliers also exercise significant philanthropy and donate back to the profession in other ways. Most significantly to me, they volunteer to serve as trustees and committee members for the AMTA Foundation, and they financially support our efforts. Without their contributions, we would not be able to realize our mission: to advance the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education and community service. We genuinely appreciate their support. [A complete listing of AMTA Foundation donors can be found on the foundation's Web site: www.amtafoundation.org.]
So, to all the manufacturers and vendors, The AMTA Foundation thanks you for your support.
John Balletto President, AMTA Foundation
"Massage Is Good"
I've been watching and reading about the flap about how we all need to be more educated. I disagree. I attended massage school primarily as a therapy for myself. I was out of touch with the human race. I learned to "touch" in a healthy way. I was told I was good at it. I liked touching and I liked being touched.
I've been practicing massage therapy now for 10 years. I do "relaxation" massage; I'm not a clinical therapist, nor do I want to be one. People enjoy my massages; they come back. I keep reading about how I should be getting into insurance billing. Why? Give a good massage, period. Getting specialized is great, but it's not for me. I just want to help people relax. If you can do that, all the rest falls into place.
Daniel Fay, RMT
A Few Comments on Vaccination
(Editor's note: The following two letters address comments in Ralph Stephens' March and April columns.)
Mr. Stephens' commentary on smallpox contains a few errors. The smallpox vaccine consists of vaccinia virus, also called cowpox; it does not contain the smallpox virus. Vaccination consists of infecting a person with vacinnia, which conveys immunity to smallpox; hence, vaccination will not reintroduce smallpox to the human race and "wake up a dead disease."
Smallpox is quite contagious and has been effectively used as a bioterrorism weapon in the past. During the French and Indian war, the English and colonists would infect blankets with the virus, then distribute them to Indian tribes allied with the French.
I agree there is considerable risk to our population from vaccinia infection. The complication rate in 1950 was approximately two deaths and 18 serious complications per million. This was before HIV, hepatitis C, and the widespread use of immunosuppressive drugs and chemotherapy. Today's complication rate could be considerably higher.
Bruce Klein, ND
I am writing to you to express my great dismay and concern over two of Ralph Stephens' columns. Last month's article was a rant about smallpox vaccination and the harm it could do. This month, he mentioned the subject again, saying that smallpox can only be spread by vaccination. Apparently, Mr. Stephens does not realize that the reason this scourge has disappeared is because of vaccination. The disease is spread by people who have smallpox; they are covered with sores and spread the disease that way! I agree that the policy of vaccinating the entire population, or even a small group of health-care workers, against smallpox is controversial right now; the question of what to do about a possible terrorist spread of smallpox has no easy answer. Regardless, Mr. Stephens' discussion of this problem is paranoid and irresponsible. He also refers readers who are concerned about their health and want to know more about vaccines to a Web site: www. vaclib.org. I looked at that site - one of the first citations claims that germs don't cause measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc., but toxins in the body do! The other site he recommends is by an osteopath who recommends incredibly extreme dietary regimes as a way to achieve health!
I feel strongly that this type of writing is irresponsible. First of all, a massage therapist is not an expert on communicable diseases, immunization or vaccination. It reflects poorly on the entire profession when someone takes advantage of his or her position as a therapist (or in this case, columnist) to sound off and give advice on subjects about which they have no training or qualifications. It is even worse than making unfounded claims about various therapies, or making claims that sound "scientific," but lack supporting research, experimentation or documentation. It reminds me of when I was in massage school: When I would question instructors about the claimed scientific basis behind their claims, they would happily admit there was none, but assert the claims were valid because "This is what I believe!"
Margaret R. Wacks, MD, NCTMB
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