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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!
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
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.
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.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
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."
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
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.
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.
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.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
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.
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.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
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.
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.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
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.
July, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 07
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
One problem with "sickness-care," as practiced today by the allopathic community, is the overall focus on the good of the professions, rather than the good of the patient. The public has embraced alternative providers for their health and wellness, as opposed to sickness-care.Alternative providers focus on the good of the patient in one-on-one relationships, but that seems to be changing.
Success brings with it greed and power struggles. The alternative professions are losing their patient focus and becoming more self-indulgent. The allopathic system loves this, as it slowly brings its competition under their control. One obvious sign of this degeneration is the lust for access to and acceptance by the allopathic insurance industry. For money and perceived status, alternative practitioners are willing to give up their independence as first-door providers, as well as their patients' rights and privacy, which, incidentally, will be much harder to get back than it was to give up.
"Turf wars," or battles for exclusive scope-of-practice regulations, are classic examples of self-focused, professional greed. Why should it matter if a patient finds relief from a trigger-point-induced headache from a PT, DC, LMT, MD, or an XYZ? Shouldn't the point be that the patient found relief? Should it matter who deactivated the trigger point? Wouldn't it be better for the public if more practitioners could deactivate trigger points or practice any technique of manual therapy? Of course it would; unfortunately, these days, it seems we dare not have the wrong people doing too much good.
Because the licensing scam invented by the allopathic physicians gives them unrestricted scopes of practice (they got there first), other providers have had to join the licensing game to legally define a scope of practice they can work in. Without being legally defined and allowed, any health provider other than an MD is technically "practicing medicine without a license" and in danger of prosecution at the whim of the medical board. Each profession attempts to carve out its niche - hopefully, as large a niche as possible - allowing it to do as much good for the public as possible. However, it must be realized that the professions are going to have overlapping or shared techniques that they all can and, arguably, must do. Touching the patient is one of these. When licensing efforts are used to restrict the use of common hands-on techniques like joint mobilization, range of motion and various alignment techniques that have been utilized by hands-on (manual) therapists for centuries, it is not for the good of the public: It is done out of greed.
Currently, DCs are trying to pass legislation aimed at PTs that will severely restrict the massage therapist's scope of practice. I detailed part of this unethical power grab by DCs in the October 2002 issue (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/10/13.html). I commend Cliff Korn for his excellent editorial on this subject in the May 2003 issue (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/05/10.html).
It is time for the health-care system to focus on the good of the patient, not the good of the professions. Patients deserve better than to be "practiced on" as their health is managed into the grave. The focus on the good of the industry at the expense of the patient is the reason so many people are seeking alternative providers. They are searching for health care and for caring. They want an alternative to the allopathic system. It is disgusting to see alternative providers carrying on like a bunch of allopaths, fighting over who can push on tissue in a certain way. The irony of chiropractors trying to "pull the ladder" up behind themselves would be laughable if they weren't so serious about it. Here is a profession that ripped off most of its foundational techniques from other professions and is now demanding they be the only ones allowed to use them! This is a classic example of how the health-insurance industry corrupts a health-care profession.
The arguments between PTs and DCs are not really over the welfare of the patient, although that is always the excuse used in public; rather, the arguments are over who gets to bill what to insurance. In the process, the massage therapist's scope of practice may well be curtailed to pushing oil around - lightly. Massage therapists need to become involved in this dispute, both as individuals and through our associations, to prevent this power grab by the chiropractors from becoming law anywhere. DCs plan to go state-by-state with it, so watch for it coming to your legislature soon. Shame on the DCs who support this. Bad DC - no donut!
I promised I would not mention Texas in this column again until I had positive progress to report. It didn't take long. A dedicated group of professional massage therapists assembled at a beautiful retreat center an hour north of Houston on May 16-17, 2003. The results of this meeting will, I believe, bring significant, positive changes to the massage profession in Texas. It may even set an example for other states to follow. The AMTA Texas Chapter has a new Board of Directors and new committee chairs planning meetings, surveys and events. This revitalized professional organization is going to be well worth getting involved in if you practice in Texas, if not as a member, then as a guest: The new leadership will welcome you. When the seeds planted at the May meeting bear fruit, the image of massage, the safety of the public and the safety of massage therapists will significantly improve. Watch this column for more positive news from Texas.
Hope you are having a great summer. Best wishes for a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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