resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
April, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 04
Of Foxes and Henhouses
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I rarely shy away from expressing my opinions about issues - good, bad or indifferent - related to the massage profession. I have written columns suggesting that state regulation in Mississippi and New Jersey is seriously flawed and detrimental to practicing therapists, and misses the mark of protecting the public.I recently was made aware of another state's massage board exercising its right to obtain a few minutes of fame. North Carolina's massage board recently posted proposed changes to its administrative rules, which rank up there with "world-class" bad legislation!
The individual who suggested I take a peek at the proposed rules did so because of some draconian clauses involving schools. Many who know me share my disdain of schools that use last year's students as this year's instructors, so I was prepared to be pleased to see that some of the schools' oversight was being tightened up. Unfortunately, "tightening up" in North Carolina means "bringing overbearing force."
One new rule would require schools to submit documentation and application on prospective new staff members before they begin working at the school - Stanford and MIT don't require that much oversight, nor does your local school district! If a faculty member gets hit by a bus the day before school starts, this rule would make it illegal to hire a completely qualified individual to meet the start of the school program! I understand the need to develop qualifications of instructors for any professional or trade school, but requiring the vetting of a board is several steps beyond reasonable need.
The massage board is further looking to regulate schools by doubling the fees and changing school renewals to $100 per student. From my brief analysis, this surely is adverse to all small schools in North Carolina, and is a major slap in the face to the profitability of one of the fastest-growing segments of massage education - the community college system. Community college tuition fees are mandated by law, whereas proprietary schools can pass through the new fees to students by charging higher tuition. It would be interesting to see if a proprietary school owner had a hand in the wording of these proposed rules, which seems to give that segment of massage education a competitive edge.
My guess, though, is that the average massage therapist is willing to let the schools fight their own battles and will focus instead on the impact on practitioners. I found these items of particular interest. There is a requirement to report others in violation of the state rules within 10 days, or be subject to the same penalties as the person causing violation. While I am a proponent of evaluation and policing by peers, I find this mandatory tattletale regulation offensive. I find it morally wrong when, as in North Carolina, the requirement is to report all charges of wrongdoing to the board, not just convictions. They seem to have missed the "innocent until proven guilty" clause in jurisprudence.
Arguably, the worst of the offenses that these proposed rules enable is the inclusion and misuse of much of the NCBTMB's Standards of Practice into North Carolina regulation. The new rules suggest that the proposed Standards of Practice section will provide a more comprehensive template for licensees to use as they carry out their professional duties. They say the requirements are intended to provide a greater measure of protection for the public as it receives massage and bodywork therapy in a wide range of practice environments. I think not; further, I think that the North Carolina massage board is attempting not to protect the public, but to shape the profession into a clinical perspective that the board itself holds.
It chooses to not develop its own Standards of Practice, but to cut and paste those from the NCBTMB. Its cut-and-paste method, however, is seriously flawed. In its wisdom, the NCBTMB chose to include, "if applicable" to many of its standards, realizing that circumstances and type of practice determine applicability. North Carolina chooses to say, "licensees shall" instead of "if applicable!" It has taken something good and turned it into something else to suit its own purposes. This is a common evil: using something for other than that which was originally intended.
I have long been a proponent of massage therapy as a regulated profession. One of the reasons I prefer it is because it lends itself to massage therapists providing peer review of complaints against other massage therapists. I have been a loud critic of nurses, chiropractors or others having oversight of massage therapy. That is particularly why I find the trend of poorly administrated regulation so frightful.
I see situations like this one (and those I recently reported on in New Jersey and Mississippi) as driving our professional self-determination into the hands of others. I hope that the ABMP, AMTA, IMA, and every other state and local association in North Carolina make their collective voices heard as to why the proposed changes should be reworked.
More importantly, I hope that all the practicing massage therapists in North Carolina exercise their rights to make comments to the massage board about these proposed changes. Any person has the right to comment on proposed changes to the rules.
If you wish to make such comments, the board requests that you:
It accepts written comments via United States Postal Service, private carrier or e-mail - but not fax. Your comments should include your full name, address and phone number. For more information, visit www.bmbt.org.
Thanks for listening!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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