resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
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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