resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
Is It Time to Implement Levels of Education?
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
In my previous article, the question of whether massage is a trade or a profession generated many interesting responses (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/03/11.html).One came from a person on the trade side: She claimed to be a "multiple-degreed professional" who teaches massage at the continuing education level, but misspelled many words, including "therapeutic." She informed me, "It is a massage, not brain surgery!" and indicated that she is part of a group that will "file a class-action lawsuit over any attempt to raise core requirements for massage therapists" in her state. She feels massage is nothing more than a trade, and "how dare anyone try to professionalize it," especially through education. This supports my theory that the status quo will always defend its cash flow.
From the professional side, a therapist from Canada held up his country's 3,000-hour model, which has a bachelor's program on the way. He wondered when the United States would catch up. Those are the extremes. They are far apart. David Palmer and others have promoted the idea of a multi-level profession for a long time. I have always resisted the idea of a tiered profession. The professional boundaries and scope-of-practice issues between each of the levels would be one of those proverbial "sticky wickets." The challenge is in defining where relaxation ends and therapy begins, and the entry-level education requirements for each level will undoubtedly create interesting discussion. I am beginning to think it may be the best idea after all. Is it time to establish and recognize a trade level and professional level of massage?
The trade level would be chair and table relaxation massage routines only; the professional level would include wellness enhancement and therapy. I'm just asking - not advocating. It's a discussion that needs to take place again. It was discussed and rejected in the early 1990s, but things have changed a lot since then. From my view, it is beginning to appear inevitable that some sort of split must occur. However, it will require a dramatic change in our current educational structure, which leads me to the next point: how to increase the quantity of skilled massage educators.
What's a School Without Instructors?
A fellow philosopher went beyond the trade/profession argument to point out that it will be very difficult to raise the educational component of our profession, unless we raise the competency of massage educators in entry-level programs. He is working on developing innovative programs that will accomplish that. He said:
The Council of Schools has been sponsoring massage instructor conferences for the last few years. This program needs to be expanded. Our educators need more training, especially in teaching psychomotor skills to adult learners. In regulated states, massage boards need to lead the way in establishing instructor credentials.
Do we need to create an instructor level or class within our profession? Of course, this would require determining what the requirements should be to become a professional massage educator. It needs to include more than just being a practicing therapist. (Last year's graduates are not acceptable as instructors.) It especially needs to be more than a therapist who cannot make a living doing massage or has destroyed their own body doing massage. Such incompetence does not need to be passed along. Whatever change happens in massage education, it will occur as a slow, evolutionary process...In the meantime, how about something useful, instead of philosophical?
The Deltoid Trap
Most of you only know me as a controversial columnist. While I enjoy sharing my views on the politics and philosophies of our profession in order to motivate people to think (and hopefully act), my first love is massage therapy and helping people find relief from their pain. To make my column more immediately useful, I plan to include a short, practical, clinical tip occasionally. The following relates to the upper trapezius muscle generally thought to elevate the shoulder, which is really more of a stabilizer that holds the clavicle against the sternum (www.chiroweb.com/archives/22/05/09.html).
This muscle often harbors trigger points that cause headache-like pain from the base of the skull, up around the ear to the temple. I often find it difficult to get this muscle to relax, and the trigger points refuse to deactivate. Look at "The Musculature System" wall chart from the Chicago Anatomical Chart Company, drawn by Dr. Peter Bachin. Notice the trapezius fibers share a common fascial attachment with the deltoid at the acromion process.
"Ah- ha!" I exclaimed when I noticed that. I treated and stretched the deltoid and went back to the upper trapezius, treated it again - and it melted into my hand - the trigger points reducing in 10 seconds of sustained pressure. Headache gone! This has worked hundreds of times for me. Think about it. Look at it. Try it. Your patients might like it!
Until next time, remember: A bad law is worse than no law at all, and no matter what you choose to call it, to the public it's all just massage.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.