resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
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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