resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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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