resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
November, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 11
We Get Letters & E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
Editor's Note: Some letters have been edited for space and clarity.
Responses to "Blowing off Steam"
I would like to respond to "Blowing off Steam" (We Get Letters and E-Mail, August, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/08/17.html).
I am pleased the writer acknowledges how much AMTA does to promote the profession through the media.As a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit association, AMTA is bound by certain legal requirements to promote the common interests of the massage therapy profession. AMTA must work to improve the industry in general, and not just the self-interest of individual members. We strive to represent the best interests of the whole massage therapy profession and the well-being of the public.
We explain to journalists that only 33 states, plus Washington, D.C., regulate massage therapists, and a consumer cannot always know, especially in unregulated states, if a person is qualified to practice. We offer a national locator service as a reliable source to find a qualified massage therapist - not the only qualified therapists. By educating [the media] about this service, they in turn educate the public on how to find a therapist they know will have the necessary initial training to practice.
AMTA is proud to promote its members! The fact that the media tells the public to look for an AMTA member is more a testament to our work for the profession (and our members) than an implied negative against those who are not members. We know there are many qualified and "good" massage therapists who aren't members of AMTA.
AMTA will continue to work with the media to educate the public about massage therapy and how to find a qualified massage therapist. But, we also will actively promote our members as the qualified people they are.
Brenda L. Griffith, AMTA President
This is regarding the letter from Robin, who resents articles [that] tell readers to contact the AMTA if they want a "qualified massage therapist" ("Blowing off Steam," We Get Letters and E-Mail, August, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/08/17.html).
Right on, Robin! In most every other profession, it would be considered a biased and false statement to suggest only members of the profession belonging to a union or special group are qualified. I was a nurse for 25 years before I became a massage therapist, and I immediately saw the "AMA" inside the "AMTA." It is for this reason and others that I will NOT join the AMTA, and I also highly resent the implication that I am not qualified.
Columnist Generates Controversy and Praise
I am writing to convey my anger at the anti-government message that seems to surface in most of Ralph Stephens' articles. Although many people these days are dismayed with the policies of the current administration (to put it mildly), does Stephens really think that as a nation, we could do without governmental bodies? His highly offensive populist position seems to imply this!
As a practicing massage therapist, I believe that patients' rights to privacy have to be protected, and I do not pretend to know the least about HIPAA ("Privacy Doublespeak," www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/10.html). However, as a citizen who has been without adequate health care insurance for some time, I believe it is high time we treated health care as a basic right in this country, not as a commodity available only to those who have the ability to pay. The so-called need for freedom of choice he mentions is now only available to those who can pay. This is no freedom at all. I say, "bravo" to nationalized health care. It works in most other industrialized countries and it can work here too.
Although there is a need for someone with expertise to keep us informed about legislation affecting the massage community, isn't there someone with a more balanced view? I hope his views are not representative of Massage Today's or massage therapists, in general. It is quite clear that Mr. Stephens is devoid of concern for the 40-plus million citizens who have no medical insurance coverage of any kind.
May I suggest, Mr. Stephens, a bit more common knowledge, care and concern, or am I asking too much?
Dr. Eleanor LaPointe
I have learned over time that conspiracy theories are almost always wrong. Doomsday scenarios seldom happen. Hyping fear of anything is counterproductive and usually wasted energy because fear is more imaginary than real. I think Mr. Stephens has gone off the deep end of rationality, and you do a disservice to your readership by publishing his unfounded fears and threats of doom.
This letter is to express my appreciation for the column by Ralph Stephens. Reading it is like getting a breath of fresh air. I am so glad to see that someone in our profession is commenting upon the limitations and often destructive tendencies of the allopathic monopoly (consisting of the AMA; the insurance industry; the pharmaceutical companies; and the government), which truly does promote "sickness" care rather than health care, and whose concern is so often the "bottom line" more than the welfare of the patients.
Since the medical system is where (unfortunately) the power is, it attracts the attention of therapists who are unaware of how far astray it has gone from healing principles. I am glad to hear voices in your publication encouraging massage practitioners to stay outside of a "health care" system - which itself is very sick - and listen to our hearts, and consider the welfare of our clients above political and economic gain.
Jan DeCourtney, CMT
What a pleasure to skim your current article in Massage Today. You are doing a masterful job researching and reporting to the many of us who are too busy dealing with life to take the time to do it on our own. I commend you and applaud your courage at dealing with important issues head-on and doing so in a "fair and balanced" way. Perhaps Fox News should bring you on board! Keep up the good work.
Ralph Stephens Responds:
Thank you for your responses to my column(s) and to the many readers, like Jan, for their support and encouragement.
To Dr. LaPointe and Mr. Demming, I ask that you reread the title of my column in Massage Today (MT): "My View From Here." I don't know how to make it any clearer that this column is an editorial and my personal view, and not necessarily representative of the views of MT or the profession as a whole.
One of the purposes of MT is to provide a forum to discuss issues relative to our profession. I present a view of the issues that concern me, and hopefully others. My goal is to stimulate discussion that will cause people to think and act. MT regularly features columnists promoting other sides of the same issues I address, including yours, Mr. Denning, which are just as biased as my own. This offers balance, and MT provides more balance in their coverage of our profession than any other publication of which I am aware. Would you only want one side of an issue presented? I find it interesting when people with pro- "big" government, pro-insurance views (of which you both seem to have) demand freedom to express them, but want no opposing views expressed. Debate is healthy and I hope it continues.
My dictionary defines populist as: "n - an advocate of the rights and interests of ordinary people, for example, in politics or arts; adj - emphasizing or promoting ordinary people, their lives or their interests."
I try to promote the rights and preserve the freedoms of ordinary alternative healthcare providers and people. I'm sorry my "populist" position is offensive to you, but I am offended by the idea that it is my responsibility to pay taxes that will buy prescription drugs for and fund the health care insurances of medical doctors; Bill Gates; David Rockefeller; Ted Kennedy; and Rush Limbaugh.
Please be assured I am quite concerned about the health of humanity; I just do not see how it will improve by providing only allopathic medical insurance coverage and prescription drugs, or allowing insurance companies to control alternative providers.
I am not anti-government, anarchist or a conspiracy theorist. I believe in government, and I have never proposed that we could get along without governmental bodies, though I think we could get along better with fewer than we have now. I am not trying to spread fear or threaten "doom"; but I am trying to spread awareness. Attempting to silence an opposing view by name-calling or attacking the individual has become a standard political tactic in this country that distracts people from the real issues.
It's sad we have lost the ability to debate on the plane of ideas. We need more rational thinking and less emotional reacting. Let's discuss all sides of the issues - not the people who are for or against them - and let the members of the profession decide for themselves.
Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The following letters were not published in this month's print version of Massage Today.
"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
Readers Express Appreciation for our Columnists
After reading your article in the July issue (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/07/10.html), self-care has a new meaning. I wanted to thank you for such a "wow" moment.
Tonya L. Williams, LMT
As a licensed acupuncturist with a special love for the hands-on healing arts, I really appreciate the information in Barbra Esher's columns. After writing several articles for Massage Today's sister publication, Acupuncture Today, I appreciate how much work goes into such efforts. Massage Today readers are fortunate to have someone of Barbara's caliber taking the time to contribute such thoughtful, informative columns.
Matthew D. Bauer, L.Ac.
I wanted you to know I found your Web site looking up an herb and then found Barbra Esher's articles quite exceptional. Thank you for sharing this information on the internet.
I truly applaud your inclusion of Barbra Esher's column in Massage Today. They are not only pertinent to me as a shiatsu practitioner, but I think they are informative and appealing to many bodywork therapists. Thanks for having this insight.
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