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.
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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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.
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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?
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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.
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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