resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
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."
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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