resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
Connections Worth Making
"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons. Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected.
January, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 01
We Get Letters & E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
Editor's Note: Some letters have been edited for space and clarity.
The State of Massage Education
I must agree with Ralph Stevens that massage education is still failing (November 2003, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/11/10.html); however, I do not believe that adding more hours to training programs will automatically result in higher standards.
Many schools with 500-hour programs fail to make the best use of those hours, and tacking on additional hours would simply result in more wasted time for students.I fear the problem runs deeper than hours or even external standards imposed by accreditation agencies. At the heart of the issue, the failing of massage education reflects our society's dreadful "dumbing down" of education, in general. We have shifted the focus of education to coddling students, and making them feel good, regardless of their performance. True education demands excellence!
Instead, we kowtow to slackers, afraid to bruise their fragile egos by pushing them to be accountable to higher standards, work harder, and strive to achieve their best. As a nation, we have forgotten that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary! When we spoon-feed "knowledge" to students, we rob them of the joy of true learning. They learn nothing of the struggle to master an idea or skill, and the confidence that is built as a result of that struggle. To quote Michelangelo: "If people knew how hard I have had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful."
Gail Frei, LMT, NCTMB
(Editor's note: Read more about Gail's position on education in her article, "A Quality Education Benefits More Than Students," in this issue. www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/01/04.html)
There are many massage schools lacking in quality. I have been teaching for three years now, and have seen less than adequate teachers in the massage profession. My [school's] program is one of the most expensive in the state, but we seem not to give the students their money's worth!
Some more comments on Ralph Stephens article: I don't feel that the educational level of practitioners is as much of a threat to our profession as the proliferation of massage parlors. Businesses that represent their work as "massage" when they have only one credentialed therapist are committing acts tantamount to misrepresentation and fraud. The organizations that offer these businesses memberships should also be sanctioned.
Also, after 10 years as a registered nurse in holistic health, I must agree that despite its problems, it may be essential for the U.S. to switch to a national health plan. While Mr. Stephens may not want to help pay for the care of affluent Americans, I hope he understands that he is currently paying for the care of many "noncitizens." Many of my patients "worked the system," getting better health care than was available to me. Yes, it will be a tough fight to limit health care to the basics for all and pay-as-you-go extras, but won't it be worth it to have all Americans covered for basic medical necessities, including post-accident massage?
Suzanne Christy, RN, BSN, CMT
Misgivings About Massage Poll
Massage Today's October 2003 online "Massage Poll" asked: "Do you think the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCE) is a reliable tool to evaluate the knowledge and skill of a massage therapist?"
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) is interested in the perceived value of its exam and national certification. That's why NCBTMB conducted a survey in conjunction with FGI Research (a unit of Yankelovich Research) of nearly 800 practitioners this September. In direct contrast to Massage Today's results, the NCBTMB survey indicated that:
Survey participants were selected randomly from three categories - current nationally certified practitioners; those who had let their certification, lapse; and certificants approaching their renewal period - for the 20-minute phone survey.
The discrepancy between Massage Today's poll and NCBTMB's study lies in the nature of the research. Massage Today indicates that its poll is "nonscientific," but fails to mention that visitors to its Web site may vote on the poll as many times as they wish. Massage Today stated that the survey results represented "responses from 4,166 people" [December issue]. In fact, the survey may not represent the responses of 4,166 people inasmuch as it represents 4,166 votes - not exactly a fair representation of the voice of the profession.
National certification is more than an exam - it's an entire program of requirements developed to ensure competency and standards, including 500 hours of formal in-class education or a portfolio of comparable experience, as well as passage of the NCE and a pledge to uphold NCBTMB's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Certificants must recertify every four years to demonstrate continued competence. Considering these factors, it's difficult to accept the Massage Today poll as a true indicator of practitioners' perceptions of the NCE and national certification.
NCBTMB is committed to maintaining the quality of its certification program and listening to its certificants. We will continue to pursue our mission to foster high standards of ethical and professional practice through a recognized credible credentialing program that assures the competency of practitioners of therapeutic massage and bodywork.
Garnet Adair, NCTMB Chair, NCBTMB
The following letters were not published in this month's print version of Massage Today.
"Canyon Ranch at the Venetian only finds 'acceptable' candidates from the Nevada or Utah Schools of Massage Therapy"
I am writing in response to the featured article "An Interview with Blake Feeney, Director of the Canyon Ranch Spa Club" (Talking Spas, September, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/15.html); specifically, in regards to a quote in the article pertaining to where Canyon Ranch at the Venetian finds "qualified personnel."
It is well known in the Las Vegas massage community that Canyon Ranch at the Venetian will only accept applicants who have graduated from either the Nevada School of Massage Therapy or Utah School of Massage Therapy (both schools are from the same parent corporation).
Applicants who have "confidence, therapeutic skills and a professional massage," as well as spa experience and local licensing are summarily ignored. Bottom line is: Canyon Ranch at the Venetian will hire a graduate from the Nevada or Utah schools with zero spa experience, zero private practice experience, no licensing, no national certification, and zero continuing education. Other applicants -- no matter how experienced, qualified or credentialed -- are ignored.
Surely, in a resort town with a thriving spa industry and many quality massage schools, there are any number of candidates who possess the skills to land a position at any resort spa. And while some spas are specific in their expectations of applicants (such as having at least one year of spa experience), I find it odd -- bordering on discriminatory -- that Canyon Ranch at the Venetian only finds "acceptable" candidates from the Nevada or Utah Schools.
The glossy corporate spin of the article only pays lip service to the mirage of Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian as an equal opportunity employer when it comes to massage therapists.
"I had the same experience with NCBTMB"
Just viewing letter to the editor from Robert Orzel [December 2003, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/12/14.html]. I had the same experience with NCBTMB. I went to an AMTA-approved school in Washington, D.C. nine years ago, passed the national certification exam and was licensed by my state. Then I moved to Arizona where they do not recognize national certification. I also think there should be a grandfather clause. I know exactly how Robert feels. Maybe if more of us spoke up, the Board would look into this.
Readers Appreciate Our Writers
I am a Sports Therapist in Gaborone, Botswana, Southern Africa. I really enjoyed [Michael McGillicuddy's] article on post-event sports massage (September, "The Art and Science of Post-Event Massage," www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/09.html). It was straight to the point and made for easy reading.
I was pleased to see [Karen Jones'] iridology article in October's Massage Today (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/10/05.html) and was glad to see information on the International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA).
It is nice to see a mostly accurate description of iridology in the media, as this has often not been the case. One thing I find helpful as a massage therapist is identifying the presence and amount of contraction furrows. A client with a high quantity of these concentric rings is most likely to have extremely tight muscles and a lot of resultant myalgia. They [tend to] desire the deepest massage work to help unwind those tight muscles. Without significant lifestyle changes (i.e., slowing down, exercising, yoga/stretching, deep-breathing/relaxation practices), they are destined to be long-term massage clients! On the other hand, clients with loose iris stroma cannot tolerate deep work and do best with lighter work.
Dr. Bill Caradonna, Cofounder, IIPA
I'd like to compliment Maria Mathias on her article, "Infant Massage - Everyone Benefits" (November, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/11/05.html). The content is excellent, and it is written in a way that is very easy to comprehend. The main points are very well stated. A wonderful summary!
Thank you to Ralph Stephens for providing a clear, true voice for our profession; for your activism; for your wisdom and understanding of our current health system; for demanding accountability and integrity from our massage schools; for a vision of health care that is inclusive; for your independent thinking; and for defending your right to present your "view."
I look forward to more insightful columns and am glad you care so much about our profession. Mahalo nui loa, Ralph Stephens, and Massage Today for publishing a man of conscience.
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