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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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
The Truth About Import Tables
By Michael Callara
Editor's note: In the spirit of healthy debate, and in order to provide our readers a comprehensive look at all sides of an issue, the following article is offered as counterpoint to Linda Riach's article, "The Hidden Costs of Purchasing Massage Tables," in the January 2004 issue of Massage Today.View Linda's article at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/02/12.html.
The massage table industry, like many others, has seen an import trend over the last several years. And with import tables now outselling domestically manufactured tables, this trend is likely to continue. To help student and professional massage therapists make a more informed decision when purchasing a portable massage table, this article will examine some facts about purchasing import tables.
After years of losing market share to import tables some leading equipment manufacturers and distributors have taken unfair aim at the import table market by making false and misleading blanket statements about product quality, safety, factory working conditions, and other issues. Many of these statements are little more than self-serving attempts to dissuade consumers from purchasing import tables altogether.
Satisfying the need for a value-priced massage table intended for home use, import massage tables began appearing in a variety of catalogs, nearly five years ago. Enjoying explosive growth, today import tables can be found in many upscale catalogs, including SkyMall, Hammacher-Schlemmer, Sharper Image and Frontgate; and can also be found on several e-commerce Web sites, as well as "big box" retailers, such as Costco and Sam's Club. Along the way, these import tables (designed for home use) began appearing in massage schools throughout the country, purchased by students who were unable or unwilling, to spend up to $700 or more for a portable massage table package to begin their careers. This trend demonstrated a need for value-priced professional massage equipment, and in the last couple of years, some select import tables have made considerable improvements to overall product quality, further enhancing their value.
In an effort to recapture lost market share and needing to offer a better value to the massage student and professional therapist, many domestic manufacturers are incorporating more foreign-made parts and accessories into their products. These items include table hardware, components, carrying cases, bolsters, and a variety of other accessories. "Professional quality import massage tables is now our fastest growing equipment category," says Brennan LeBlanc of www.massageking.com (a massage therapy equipment distributor), "and now account for better than 50 percent of all table sales."
It is a well-known fact that labor rates in some Asian countries are far below the labor rates of North America. Does this mean that the labor is exploited? Not necessarily. Wages are lower, yet they are in line with the cost of living and standards of living in these different economies. Numerous labor laws protect the workforce in these countries, and the employees appreciate the jobs and opportunities they now have. In addition to reduced labor expenses, the cost of materials is also lower.
With lower labor rates and the lack of government over-regulation, raw materials are lower in cost, though not necessarily lower in quality. In these emerging economies all levels of quality of raw materials are available at substantial savings. Not offering the full complement of custom options offered by leading American manufacturers, import tables are most often produced to industry standards that account for more than 80 percent of all portable table sales.
This allows import tables to be manufactured in a more streamlined, highly efficient manner, reducing manufacturing costs, and facilitating an even greater value. In nearly every industry, import products entering the market have had a long-term positive impact, from improved competition with more product choices, to improving our own economy as a result of the higher value offered by import products.
Something that would make any domestic portable table manufacturer envious is the fact that professional quality import massage tables are manufactured in ISO-9001-certified facilities [set forth by the International Organization of Standardization]. This certification is an internationally recognized manufacturing quality standard, and serves as an assurance of quality throughout the entire manufacturing process.
As with any product, regardless of where it is manufactured, there are varying levels of quality available. This is equally true for both the domestic and import massage table markets. Import massage tables today are of higher quality, as a whole." Quality import tables not only give a better value to the buyer; they also improve the competition in the same market," says Greg Holt, a massage equipment industry consultant. You can now find import tables that are UL-listed [through Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.], and more impressively, some professional quality import tables are now backed by an industry leading lifetime warranty. These professional grade import tables are designed and tested to withstand the rigors of repeated heavy use.
Quality import tables are available if you know what to look for. Begin by looking for quality materials. Look for select grade hardwoods used on the frame and understruc-ture for superior strength and stability. Quality hardware, such as carbon steel, will also add to the strength and durability of your equipment. High-quality, furniture-grade, multi-layer foams enhance client comfort and overall durability. Another key feature to look for is a quality, 100 percent polyurethane vinyl with a thick fabric backing for outstanding performance and durability.
Perhaps the most important indication of product quality is the warranty offered. A table that is poorly constructed, or utilizes inferior materials, will not hold up to the rigors of professional use, and will have a warranty of one year (or less), and is often not recommended for professional use. Conversely, most import tables that offer lifetime warranties are skillfully crafted of high-quality materials, and are designed and tested to provide exceptional strength and durability with continued heavy use.
Research indicates that today's consumers are more value-driven than ever before. Today's quality import massage tables offer a value that better meets this need and may soon set a new standard of value for professional therapy equipment. "I'm impressed with the quality of these new-generation import tables that are designed for professional use; they bring a higher level of value to the market," says LeBlanc.
Over the past 25 years, American table companies have enjoyed robust sales growth and profits, while facing little domestic and no foreign competition. Now that the landscape has forever changed, and American table companies are forced to "hold their own" in today's global economy, things could get worse before they get better for domestic manufacturers. Industry experts believe that many domestic table manufacturers will need to focus more on value to remain competitive in this new business landscape.
An often overlooked benefit from the growth in home-use massage tables (a market that was created by the introduction of import tables) is that more people then ever are discovering the many benefits of massage, which should help fuel future growth of touch therapy. This directly benefits the massage industry on many levels, and strengthens the outlook of the industry as a whole.
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