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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
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?
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 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.
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?
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.).
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!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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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