resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
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.
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