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Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
June, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 06
Directions in Massage Therapy
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Our profession is changing daily. In the past 10 years, it has entered the light of day and joined the mainstream. Massage therapists are now high on the list of caregivers in many circles of the country: wealthy and poor; white and blue collar; young and old; male and female.The change to which I am referring, however, is not a change in acceptance, but a change in precision and refinement.
Specifically, I have seen a transformation from gross motor techniques to more subtle, specific techniques. This was made even more evident to me while attending the recent "Beyond the Dura" Research Conference (see front-page article). CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and other light-touch therapies are proving their efficacy in research studies and are being utilized by an increasing number of therapists. I find it interesting that more than half of the students taking CST are massage therapists. This statistic amazed me, in part because CST is one of a handful of techniques that have a purpose beyond the realm of "relaxation": it treats conditions.
Those familiar with CST know the premise of the technique: It only takes five grams of force (the weight of a nickel) to effect significant change. The research conference included presentations of clinical data collected in the treatment of widespread issues, ranging from pediatric feeding dysfunction, breastfeeding problems and pelvic floor rehabilitation, to preparing Egyptian conjoined twins for separation surgery. The fact that this technique-which developed out of osteopathy-is taught to massage therapists on equal footing with physicians, PTs, OTs and other allied health professionals says a lot about our capabilities. The large numbers of MTs utilizing techniques such as CST may be one reason I see an industry trend toward more gentle touch.
I used to believe gentle touch could not be anything more than "soothing": useful for comfort and to ease emotional discomfort, but of little value to alleviate chronic physical dysfunction and discomfort. My mind was opened to another perspective when I experienced effective sessions that integrated energy techniques and light touch.
I recently had the privilege of participating in a fresh-tissue CranioSacral Dissection workshop, in which I got to palpate the falx cerebri (cranial membrane) and monitor changes as the instructor applied light manual pressure to the sacrum. I also was honored to participate in a study that measured the manual force required to palpate change. Almost all of the study participants could palpate change in tension of the falx cerebri with measured forces between three and 35 grams. This is good enough for me to believe that light touch can certainly be effective.
Massage therapists also regularly integrate reiki, aspects of polarity therapy and other energetic techniques into their practices, lightening the overall average force used in sessions. In my own practice, I find integration is important because I need to get the attention of some of my clients before progress can begin. The comfort and security of certain deep-pressure techniques and confident touch moves my clients to a relaxed, trusting place where the more subtle techniques can be effective. The client who has learned to accept the more aggressive techniques in our toolboxes is, in my opinion, capable of experiencing a variety of light-touch procedures. My Rolfing friends inform me that they, too, are lightening the forces they use and are losing their reputation as providers of "therapeutic discomfort."
Now, please don't think I'm saying only light-touch techniques are indicated for professional massage therapists! I'm not saying that at all. I am a firm believer in the efficacy of techniques, such as trigger point, cross-fiber friction, assisted stretching, etc., though they are not always comfortable to the client. I also am an advocate of the more subtle directions I have discussed in this article.
Ten years ago, I saw (and experienced) a lot of poking, prodding and elbow use. I now see skilled palpation and use of forearms to obtain a more comfortable myofascial modification. I think it's a trend. I hope so!
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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