resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
October, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 10
We Get Letters & E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
Editor's Note: Some letters have been edited for space and clarity.
The Breast Massage Controversy Continues
Dear Massage Today:
I have been a New York state licensed massage therapist for nearly 5 years.This is the first time I have felt compelled to respond to something I have read regarding our profession. I read Mr. Korn's July editorial (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/07/10.html), together with his responses to questions he received regarding that editorial in the August issue (We Get Letters and E-Mail, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/08/17.html). I am appalled by his comments that "female massage therapists regularly get massage from therapists specifically trained in breast massage to enhance their breast health."
First of all, I receive regular massages from colleagues, and NEVER have I received a breast massage from them. Second, please show me some statistics that indicate breast massage "enhances breast health." (This sounds very much like a male chauvinistic statement.) Third, since when is breast tissue considered "muscle" and therefore subject to massage? Naturally, there is underlying muscle tissue and I have, in fact, utilized massage in this area for female clients following mastectomy. But, the breast tissue itself is NOT muscle. And lastly, NYS law prohibits breast massage - period. I have never performed massage on breast tissue and would not even suggest it to anyone - even with a "specific informed consent." I don't want to lose my license.
I might agree, slightly, if Mr. Korn were suggesting that female massage therapists, who do regular self-breast examination, have heightened palpation skills and notice irregularities more readily than the lay person, but even this statement is suspect, as any woman who practices regular self-examination knows when there is an irregularity in her own breast tissue.
Your Mr. Korn is full of bad advice and bad knowledge. I think his advice is dangerous, and I hope he doesn't practice massage in NYS.
Jody Learned, LMT
Cliff Korn responds:
This writer's concerns are exactly the type of undereducated thought processes that stimulated me to suggest that people need to avail themselves of skilled touch in the first place. I will respond point-by-point:
This writer proves a point I have always believed: A quality massage education is not tied to hours. New York has a 1,000-hour licensing requirement, and I daresay that most massage therapists with far fewer hours of schooling are well versed in this writer's shortcomings.
Lastly, the writer should go back and reread her NYS regulations where she'll find the following statement: "When massage of breast tissue is therapeutically indicated, the female patient/client must be fully informed and give consent before the therapist undrapes the breast for treatment (www.op.nysed.gov/mtguide.htm)."
So, I don't think that I am "full of bad advice and bad knowledge," and I stand by my initial recommendations.
Cliff Korn, LMT
"Have you had problems with the NCBTMB?"
Dear Massage Today Readers:
We are seeking the pros and cons of those who certify through the NCBTMB. Our experience has shown us no difference in competency or quality between those who do and do not certify; moreover, we have found NCBTMB's testing process to be untimely and not cost-efficient. We are compiling a record of problematic experiences candidates have had, and would appreciate any experiences candidates would like to share. Our hope is to one day have an examination process that will indeed credential a therapist of higher competency, whether it be through improving NCE or creating another [test]. We look forward to your feedback.
Selena Belisle, President
The following letters were not published in the print version of Massage Today.
In Support of Breast Massage
I am not a massage therapist, but I am married to one. I just read the letters to editor in the August issue (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/08/17.html), and I felt that I had to respond.
The breast is made up of tissue, nerves, lymph glands and the other good things that make up the rest of the body. For years I have suffered from breast congestion -- that is, tender breasts caused by lymph blockage. The breast is part of the body. Men have them too and they get theirs massaged! Women's are just a bit larger. We are told to check our breasts every month for changes; however, the breast changes day to day.
We can massage our own breasts, but the leverage acheived by someone standing over is much better. When my breasts are tender, a good breast massage relieves any lymph blockage and takes the tenderness away. As long as the touching of breasts is limited to sexual connotation, a woman will never get a good body massage. A breast is an extension of the female body -- nothing more. The mind needs to be open and trained to think of it in that matter. When a massage therapist gives a massage, he or she should maintain a professional state of mind and should be able to touch any part of a woman's body.
If we trust our doctors to touch our breasts and be professional, then a professional massage therapist should also be allowed to touch breasts in a therapeutic setting. Massage is for the wellness of the body, and the breasts are part of the body!
A Difference of Opinion
Cim Roesener of Kansas should relax (We Get Letters and E-mail Online, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/12.html).
Roesener wrote about the "mistake" that "excessive limitations on massage therapy's scope-of-practice [was] being imposed by the state legislature," charging that SB 225 passed in Kansas with ineffectual monitoring and opposition from massage therapy associations.
I'm guessing Roesener has misread the bill and is unaware of the legal context for massage in Kansas that prevailed before the bill was even written, and continues today. The purpose of SB 225 as far as massage therapy is concerned was to liberalize the law, not make it more strict. The bill merely takes the words of the existing Kansas exemption, now in the healing arts licensing law (§65-2872), and applies it to physical therapy. Here is the exemption language in Kansas' healing arts legislation, which matches the quote Roesener lifted from SB 225:
"(f) Persons who massage for the purpose of relaxation, muscle conditioning, or figure improvement, provided no drugs are used and such persons do not hold themselves out to be physicians or healers."
There's nothing new in it, regardless of how limited one might think the imputed scope of practice is. Instead of wondering about professional associations not lobbying against this exemption, massage therapists should actually see this as a small step forward.
For quite a long time, Kansas has been the original "freedom-of-access" state, at least as far as exempting massage therapy goes. Still, SB 225 reminds us that freedom-of-access laws as passed in Minnesota and California are not doing enough of a favor for massage therapy if they only provide exemption from one or two laws that require physicians to be licensed.
Massage therapy needs to be exempted from physical therapy; chiropractic; naturopathic; acupuncture; and even cosmetology laws. None of that will handle the problem of exemption from local county and city parlor laws, however. So in the end, perhaps Roesener and I do think favorably about state licensure. Most massage therapists see it is the cleanest means of providing freedom of access to a broad scope of massage therapy, for both levels of government.
John Fred Spack
"A 'regulated profession' is the basis for the public's assurance of quality-of-practice"
I am a Registered Massage Therapist licensed in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, and am American. I read with concern the clause in the new Arizona legislation that refers to sexual impropriety (July issue, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/07/01.html), which [prohibits] massage therapists [from committing such acts], then continues on to detail inappropriate sexual behavior. I understand both sides of the concern.
On the one hand, it should not need mentioning because of the ethics [massage therapists] uphold; on the other hand, there is a need to let the public know they are protected and when the line has been crossed. However, there is a sneaky insinuation in the law that massage therapists are really NOT safe or at least not to be fully trusted. In Canada, we went through this, too.
When I entered the profession in 1983, I would get a telephone call every couple of weeks asking, "how the girls are." After all my training and the difficulties of starting up a new practice, it made me disgusted and frustrated. It is different now, twenty years later. We have a College of Massage Therapists (board of massage therapy) in British Columbia and Ontario legislated by the government, whose mandate is to protect the public. The very fact we are a "regulated profession" is the basis for the public's assurance of quality-of-practice and legal recourse for malpractice of any kind. The bylaws mention "sexual abuse" by name, along with a list of other potential legal and ethical violations. In other words, this is just one of many ways in which the public is protected.
Such wording and legislation exists in other regulated professions as well. In BC, there is no "dirty laundry list" of illegal sexual acts needed to define sexual abuse. There is zero tolerance for sexual abuse; however, there is a way of phrasing the law that is sufficient to protect the public without being an embarrassment to the profession. And, bottom line: it works.
A regulated college or board is a necessary growing stage in any health profession. Self-regulation that is monitored by the government (not to be self-serving) can be a benefit to both the profession and the public. Being American, I understand the distaste for "over-regulation." On the whole, I would say that there can be balance between freedom and discipline, as there always must be.
May you find your balance unique to your American situation.
David Dressler, BA, RMT
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