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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
October, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 10
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I was recently read an online newsletter with the following statement: "Jared Adair, Director of the Office of HIPAA Standards at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has written 'Alternative Link' to clarify the status of participants in the ABC codes demonstration project.'His letter essentially says that all contractual trading partners of registrants for the federally authorized demonstration program are eligible to use ABC codes commercially in HIPAA transactions with those registrants,' says Synthia Molina, Alternative Link CEO."*
Jargon, in general, is confusing to those not schooled in "the code." There are so many acronyms and terms we use that were developed to increase understanding and provide specificity of meaning; unfortunately, many do just the opposite. I came up with the following incomplete list that applies to our profession. Many rolled off the tip of my tongue in a heartbeat.
If this were in a quiz, could you define these?
ABC ~ ABMP ~ AMTA ~ CAM ~ CEU ~ CMT ~ CPT ~ CST ~ HIPPA ~ IMA ~ LDT ~ LMP ~ LMT ~ MFR ~ NCBTMB ~ NCETMB ~ NCTMB ~ NMT
The following are the 'unofficial' definitions, some from the owners' Web sites!
ABC is the Advanced Billing Concepts code set developed by Alternative Link, Inc., for use in alternative and integrative medicine. It's a group of five-character alphabetic codes, with two-character practitioner modifiers (and a topic for a future column!).
ABMP (Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals) is a membership organization serving the massage, bodywork, somatic and esthetic professions.
AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) is a 60-year-old professional association representing the field of massage therapy.
CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine), as defined by the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine (also referred to as allopathy; Western; mainstream; orthodox; regular and bio medicine). Although some scientific evidence exists regarding some CAM therapies, key questions have yet to be answered as to whether CAM practices are safe and whether they work for the diseases or medical conditions for which they are used.
CEU is Continuing Education Unit. Frequently used synonymously with contact hour, this actually falls under the International Association for Continuing Education and Training's (IACET) continuing education terminology and definition for credit hours. According to the IACET, one CEU is awarded for each 10 contact hours of organized approved continuing education experience.
CMT (Certified Massage Therapist) is a title sometimes awarded and/or allowed by a state, county or municipal regulating entity.
CPT is a billing code system owned by the American Medical Association. It stands for Physician's Current Procedural Terminology.
CST stands for CranioSacral Therapy, a gentle, noninvasive method of evaluating and enhancing the function of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Developed by Massage Today columnist John E. Upledger, DO, OMM, this therapy enhances the body's natural healing processes and has proven effective in treating a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (see www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/12/10.html; www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/02/09.html; www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/01/05.html).
IMA is the International Massage Association, which provides insurance services for massage, complementary and healing arts, and health and beauty.
LDT (Lymph Drainage Therapy) is an original hands-on method of lymph drainage developed by French physician Bruno Chikly. It offers a highly efficient approach to working with the lymphatic and other fluid systems. While its concepts are based on traditional procedures, LDT is the first modality to teach practitioners how to manually attune the specific rhythm, pressure, quality and direction of the lymph flow by using a combination of precise anatomical science and distinct manual techniques.
LMP (Licensed Massage Practitioner) and LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) are titles sometimes awarded and/or allowed by a state, county or municipal regulating entity.
MFR (Myofascial Release) is a gentle and effective hands-on manual therapy technique that uses sustained pressure into restrictions in the fascial system to eliminate pain, and restore motion and function to the body.
NCBTMB is National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (the organization!); NCETMB is National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (the test!); NCTMB is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (the credential!).
NMT, (Neuromuscular Therapy or Technique) is a program of soft tissue manipulation and recovery from acute and chronic pain syndromes which uses specific massage therapy, flexibility stretching and home care in an effort to eliminate the causes of neuromuscular pain patterns. It is designed to bring about balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. NMT enhances the function of joints, muscles and biomechanics (movement), and it releases endorphins, the body's own natural pain killers.
I hope this list has been helpful. I find that we frequently use and misuse these terms, and that misuse can undermine communication greatly!
Thanks for listening!
*CHRF NEWS FILE #52, August 18, 2003; The CHRF News Files is a product of the Collaboration for the Healthcare Renewal Foundation.
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to the address listed below:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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