resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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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