resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
Is It Time to Implement Levels of Education?
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB
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, NCBTMB.
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