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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
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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