resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
August, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 08
Working With Injured or Ailing Patients
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Do we heal patients? No, of course not. Nobody can heal anyone. Healing comes from within, and it takes time. We can, however, help facilitate the healing process in a number of ways: by working to alleviate pain and discomfort; by helping to correct negative conditions that inhibit the body's natural healing processes; by educating patients on the inner workings of their own bodies; and by teaching patients how they can participate in their own healing.
Our ability to help patients is based largely on the fact that we, as massage therapists, really care: We take time with our patients; we listen; and we try to make them feel special.In most cases, hands-on therapy works best to alleviate pain and suffering; however, showing concern for our patients' lives outside of their medical conditions can also help to improve their attitudes - and changes in attitude can help improve the physical body.
In our facility, our patients understood that we were not in it for the money, but to help improve their conditions. Part of our job was to help them understand that returning to work as soon as possible was necessary to promote healing. A main problem I have seen during my years of working with injured or ill patients is that massage therapy has been the "court of last resort," so to speak. Sometimes, patients are treated with every type of medication, physical therapy, or other treatment before we see them. By the time they come to us, their prospects of "getting better" have become almost impossible, because their memory cells are programmed to feel pain.
What Constitutes "Getting Better?"
Can people really improve? Sometimes, we are only able to help patients feel well enough to "get through it," until time heals the injury. I remember an insurance adjuster who was upset that a patient was receiving massage therapy covered by insurance. "I hate that the insurance pays for this guy to FEEL BETTER," she said. I told her that massage therapy is doing the same thing as prescription drugs, surgery and other medical treatments: it helps him feel better. It certainly wasn't to make him feel worse.
If physicians prescribe durable medical supplies, drugs or physical therapy, insurance adjusters do not get upset. Why is it a big deal to prescribe massage therapy? Because they know that MASSAGE THERAPY MAKES PATIENTS "FEEL BETTER"! Maybe we should call it "PAIN THERAPY"; then the problems with insurance companies might go away.
What you do for an injured patient is beneficial and important - you can change their lives. You can also change your own life if you do it with love and caring, and if money is not your only motivation. Success and money will come in time if you truly care for those who need your assistance.
Knowing When to Treat
It is up to the massage therapist to know if he or she is qualified and capable of performing therapy for a specific medical condition. If you do not know what to do, then admit it and refer the patient to someone who does.
Still, 100-percent healing is not possible for every condition. There are things you may do one time that will seem to relieve a condition, only to have it return by the patient's next visit. What works for one patient may not work for the next patient with the same condition. If you do your best and the patient does not improve within a reasonable amount of time, his or her physician may no longer refer the patient to you; moreover, you should not want to continue to treat them if they are not showing some signs of improvement.
If you are billing insurance for the therapy, the insurer may not pay you for very long if you cannot show productive functional outcome. Insurers look for changes that can return the patient to employment, help them remain on the job, or return them to what they were unable to do prior to treatment. This is not always possible, but the intention to do so is necessary; so is thorough documentation to this effect.
Click here for previous articles by Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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