resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
February, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 02
We Get Letters & E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
Mixed Feelings About Mississippi's Massage Law
Mississippi's ruling on CranioSacral Therapy (CST) has opened a huge can of worms ["CranioSacral Therapy Outlawed in Mississippi?" www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/11/01.html].Let's see, this would rule out the periodontist who must hang on to my jaw for several hours to do his work (my neck was practically frozen until I got CST), and the dentist is prohibited from applying his work.
The chiropractor must do the adjusting without affecting soft tissue (now let's be fair - tit for tat). Since we are being territorial, we must be fair. General practitioners can no longer tell us to open up and say "aah" while depressing the tongue, because they will be affecting the movement of the facial bones. Yes, that is how little pressure CST applies. Can we hug without moving bones? And, really, a five-minute kiss can move more cranial bones than one can imagine. Is all that to be outlawed?
In my opinion, I believe there may be a purposeful splitting of hairs spawned from professional jealousy, without any consideration for the patients benefiting from CST in particular. It is my opinion that this is all politically motivated. How many professions will this affect? We have to be fair.
Donna Snow-Spears, LMT, NCTMB
Shortly after massage school (I've been practicing for seven years), my osteopath told me that while in school he saw one student deafen another student before class by "practicing." The teacher fixed the damage immediately, but this story made an impact on me. I was looking for growth in the scope of my practice at the time. I truly agree with my DO that we, as massage therapists, don't really have the educational background to practice without harming. This young osteopathic student was well into his education at the time of hurting his classmate, by the way. I say, "Yay, Mississippi!" I do think, however, that MTs with further credentialing (such as RNs) should have places like The Upledger Institute where they can study.
Moreyn Life Kamenir
Who benefits from a law that prohibits CST? Could it be that this entire issue over the wording in the law, which was originally designed to prohibit massage therapists from practicing chiropractic, is now being used by the same industry to push massage therapists off the CST-providers list? If this issue is allowed to stand, any massage modality that indirectly and/or passively moves osseous tissue will be prohibited. Think about it. That will include Swedish massage and passive range of motion. This [law] threatens to end massage therapy as a valuable alternative to the traditional medical model. If this law is not dealt with soon, it could cascade into other states, like Texas, Florida, or California. I can guarantee that the rest of the country is watching us; we must take action. Massage therapists must rise up as one voice to put a stop to this.
I was told by a senior member of the Texas House of Representatives that chiropractors and other interested professions (i.e., PTs) submit this same sort of bill to the congressional floor every fourth year (at the same time that new medical bills are in committee). He told me that these efforts of prohibiting massage therapy from practice always fail, due in part to the fact that the right to move osseous tissue among MDs and DOs is also being threatened. We need to help Mississippi find the same justice.
Claude Barrett, RMT
In Support of COMTA
I wanted to voice my opinion and concerns with the lawsuit brought against COMTA [www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/11/02.html]. When I read this article, I became sick to my stomach. I have been a massage therapist for 11 years and have been the director of a massage program for six. I can't begin to describe my disappointment with the Galen Institute for its lack of desire to elevate the profession of massage.
The idea of an accrediting body is to give a profession a set of standards that is recognizable and uniform. When there is more than one agency doing this, it sends an unclear message to the public about the qualifications of the practitioners. I am also an athletic trainer and have seen the benefit of one nationally recognized accrediting body. The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) began certifying only athletic trainers that have graduated from accredited programs about six years ago. Lists of competencies were created so that no matter where a student has graduated from, they will be able to perform certain skills. This hurt some internship programs but has elevated the profession to a new level. This is exactly what COMTA wants to do.
I have been to the COMTA accreditation workshop and have seen the competencies and other school requirements. I truly feel that by moving in this direction, our profession will be elevated to a new level and gain new respect. Having worked in many different environments, one hesitation in accepting massage as a legitimate modality is the inconsistency of knowledge bases from therapist to therapist; massage will be more readily accepted by creating some uniform standards and educating the public about those standards.
The comment was made that completing an accredited program cannot guarantee a quality student. That is true. No method of education can guarantee a quality product because there are many other factors besides knowledge that go into making a therapist. Having a set of uniform required skills will at least guarantee a consistent level of training. The big outrage is that some schools do not agree with COMTA and that, as Chris Folkers states in the article, "Presently, many schools out there will never meet and live up to the criteria for accreditation, either due to course hours or financial restraints. This puts these schools at a disadvantage when prospective students read from other agency Web sites that accredited schools are better than nonaccredited schools."
If some schools don't make the cut, so be it. Why should we continue to tolerate schools that put substandard therapists into the profession? Shouldn't the focus be on the good of the profession and not the individual? Massage regulations will vary from area to area, but that does not mean we should lower the educational standards to meet the regulations, it should be the other way around. The "don't pass, don't pay" approach to accreditation is not the common-sense approach; it is the stupidity approach. We continue to settle with just the bare minimum and feel that if we have to conform to higher standards we are being forced into doing something wrong. How can making the profession better be wrong? It is not a policy of exclusion, but one of qualification. There are no uniform standards for massage education and it is a shame that for the sake of financial gain, there may not be.
Steve Jurch, MA, ATC, LMT
Taking a Different Kind of Stand
I read Cliff Korn's editorial, "Take a Stand" (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/12/08.html), with interest. Potential government "oppression" is why I've opposed state regulation and the attempt to "legitimize" massage by kissing up to "authority" from day one. It's a major reason why I quit the AMTA and haven't joined any other group. The AMTA was, and probably is, also obsessed with kissing up to conventional medicine. "Ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight?"
So ego, professional hubris and greed drive us more and more into the limelight, until the threat to [our own] vested interests becomes more and more obvious. Naturally, chiropractors are threatened - much what they do is obviated by the proper visceral and soft-tissue work. By the way, this exemplifies a prevalent symptomatology in the alternative venue in general - an egoistic professional jealousy, wherein "my" modality is the answer.
I've written to various proponents of statewide standards/licensing, begging people not to pander to bureaucracies, which are notorious for serving agendas driven by lobbies. I've suggested we'd be better off in the bureaucratic shadows than in the limelight, and that massage was doing quite well just loping along in the background. But now, thanks to zealots, we're very likely seeing the tip of the iceberg of the regimentation that may descend as we try to define every little thing and move from art to "science." Even in face of this evidence, however, you insist that fighting state hall is best. Thus, thanks to screaming about what we can do, instead of just quietly doing it, we are faced with energy-draining activism to "buck the current trend" that's liable to take a decade or more, if it gets us anywhere but all "bucked" up with red tape, regulation, higher licensing, education and insurance fees, and so on. Talk about jumping into the belly of the beast!
Here's my stand: If you're in a state where state regulation isn't in place but is being pushed by the zealots, do your best to discourage their misguided enthusiasm. The one who will suffer most from this egoistic drive to stand out is the client, who will have to pay more and more per treatment to cover the costs of this yuppie mentality.
Peter G Tocci, BA, MT
Kudos to Korn
I loved Cliff Korn's recent articles on New Jersey's new proposal, Mississippi's law, etc. It doesn't seem like anyone is fighting for massage therapists in this country other than Mr. Korn and Massage Today. Where is the AMTA on all these issues?
Massage Therapy Survey Results
Regarding "Three Surveys Confirm Massage Relieves Pain" [Dec. 2003, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/12/03.html]: How can a massage therapy survey conducted by the AMTA (or any other massage organization) have any credibility? A proper and respectable survey should be conducted from an independent source.
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