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Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
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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