resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
June, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 06
The World of the Injured Worker
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Author's note: This revised article was originally prepared by myself and Sherry Smith, LMT; it was presented to a three-member panel of the Florida Workers' Compensation Division, which included Insurance Commissioner, Bill Nelson.The panel was in the process of revising its 1997 "Florida Workers' Compensation Health Care Provider Fee For Service Reimbursement Manual" during a time when the workers' compensation system was trying to eliminate massage therapists from the original draft for changes in the system; needless to say, workers' compensation carriers in Florida are still reimbursing us. It pays to fight for your rights!
This article is directed toward those interested in working with injured workers. If you have not considered working with these types of patients, this article may help you understand why accepting some insurance for reimbursement is necessary.
I originally wrote this article with the Florida worker in mind, so some references may not fit the circumstances in every state; still, it is generally the same everywhere. Keep in mind that not all cases or conditions are the same, and this article focuses on cases involving the more serious or catastrophically injured worker. Health-care providers who specialize in work injury cases generally agree that the following summarizes the experiences of a typical injured worker.
The Typical Injured Worker Scenario
The Employee's Continuing Nightmare
At this point, the employee can experience any of the following:
Surveillance of Injured Workers
The insurance carrier's surveillance officer begins to film the employee engaging in activities such as attending a child's baseball game; walking with a cane through a fairground; or swimming.
Consider the following examples:
Injured employees may experience fear knowing that their every move may be filmed. They can't tell whether they are being stalked; are about to be robbed or beaten; if their children are in danger; or if it is just the carrier's surveillance crew filming their activities. This causes undue stress and fear for innocent employees who, through no fault of their own, were injured.
These stories go on and on. Surveillance films (paid for by the carrier) often present a distorted or incomplete report of the employee's activities, or are not even of the patient.
Searching for Normalcy
The employee will try to find some semblance of normalcy by trying to engage in daily activities as best as possible, even though these minor activities can cause undue pain. Unfortunately, the surveillance crew is not present to film this pain or disability. The employee's injury may allow him or her to engage in certain activities for short intervals when there is time available to recuperate. These activities may not allow for repetitive motion but may be necessary to begin the improvement process; however, the employee may not be able to perform on the job without ample rest time between activities. Once again, the insurance carrier's spot surveillance is taken out of context, and the employee is punished for trying to rise above his or her injury by beginning to participate in short and varied activities.
The Employee's Changed World
By now, the employee's world has changed - maybe forever - because of this injury. The employee's disability income does not meet financial obligations; disability checks that were initially on time become delinquent or are cut out completely at the whim of the insurance carrier or adjuster.
The employee's once-good credit rating is lost as bills are turned over for collection. Collectors call the home daily. The employee's spouse works, but can no longer carry the financial or emotional load alone. Family emotions and financial pressures continue to escalate. The employee receives the disability check late, or it is reduced or stopped completely. The utilities are shut off. The adjuster refuses the prescribed treatment plan, including medications, and the employee cannot purchase the prescribed medicines. The employee's spouse is leaving him or her, or contemplating doing so. The employee has no choice except to seek legal counsel. The children suffer from experiencing the discouragement, depression and other sorrows created by the situation.
Employee Seeks Self-Medication
To obtain some relief, the employee begins self-medicating with prescribed medications (if he or she can get them through workers' compensation coverage); over-the-counter medications, alcohol; or all of the above, to cope with the physical and emotional pain. Some employees become addicts.
To keep sane, the employee seeks the help of a mental-health counselor or is referred to one by the attending physician. The employee feels emotionally strung out, despondent, and sometimes suicidal. The system has created the need for these additional services.
And They Wonder Why?
Many months (frequently, more than a year) have elapsed since the employee's injury, and the employee feels as if the world is crashing down. Despite many forms of treatment, the employee's condition has not improved and has often intensified. The employee has begged for something to help him or her deal with the pain and get back to a life that includes work and normalcy. Despite what the employer or insurance carrier may think, the majority of employees do not like watching soap operas, feeling incompetent, and being out of the work atmosphere: It has been forced upon them by the system.
It is my belief that the majority of injured employees would rather work than be supported or made to feel the effects of despair, inadequacy, and self-doubt created by the system and this situation. And they wonder why they can't get an injured worker off of temporary or permanent disability to return to work.
No two cases are alike: Not all carriers defer treatment, and not all employees are completely honest; but there are a few exceptions, and it is those exceptions that get the most publicity. It is my opinion, from my years of observation, that employers and insurance carriers pay a much greater price to avoid paying for the catastrophic legitimate cases, than they lose on those who try to elude the system now and then.
I will be attending the annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conference again for the 19th year. (Incidentally, there are more surveillance exhibits there than other types of services.)
The Employee Finally Receives a Prescription for Massage Therapy
Watch for the continuation of this article in the August issue.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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