resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 07
Expedition Costa Rica 2004
By Madeleine Evans, LMT
February's expedition to Costa Rica went too fast and ended too soon. Seven massage therapists made the trip: Sandi Minck, Elise Linden and expedition leader, Elvis Mairena (NJ); Kathy Carlson (Ore.); Katie Haley and myself (Fla.); and Brian Nutter (Md.).Accompanying us were Brian's lovely wife, Rebekah (our much-needed interpreter) and the couple's beautiful 10-month-old daughter, Helena (our public relations person - nobody could resist her charm).
Elvis, a native of Costa Rica who now resides in New Jersey and works as a sports massage therapist for Rutgers University, got the idea for the Costa Rica project after his mother volunteered in an orphanage for handicapped children. The first successful expedition was in July 2003; a subsequent article published in Massage Today (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/03.html) engendered much interest, prompting Elvis to gather a new team of volunteers for this year's trip.
We first went to Tamarindo, in northwest Costa Rica by the Pacific coast. Some of us stayed at a tourist hotel, while others opted for the more modest cabaneras, which cost about $10 a night. From there, we drove to the Clinic Hogar Maria Immaculada in Puntarenas, and administered massage therapy to the residents and staff for two days.
Most of the clinic residents were at least 70 years of age; some were receiving massage for the first time. They suffered from various illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, polio, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, yet they appeared happy. They had an irresistible mixture of shyness and friendliness toward us. During the massages, there were many contented smiles and lots of laughter by our attempts to communicate in Spanish. We touched these people with our hands; they touched us with their smiles and kind words, and we made friends.
During our late lunch on the second day, I noticed that Elvis was up to something secretive; I noticed a group of 15 children and a few adults sitting outside on benches. Curiosity got the best of me and, armed with my video camera, I inquired about what they were doing. "We don't know," the adults said, and indicated that they had been called by the clinic's administrator to meet there with the children.
As it turned out, Elvis organized a lecture for the children on "good touch," which was a lot of fun. Elvis taught the kids some easy techniques, including how to apply pressure to a friend's hand if that friend had a headache, how to massage each other's shoulders, and other good remedies. At the end, he tested their mental math skills and offered small coins as rewards. The children were full of joyful energy. Most of the kids were predestined to work the land, Elvis said, but he was hoping that they would remember the massage lecture.
Who knows? Perhaps one or more of those children would become massage therapists some day. I was amazed that those adults and their children had waited patiently without knowing what was in store for them. If Costa Ricans were so trustful with us, we could certainly trust them in return, I thought. We left Puntarenas a bit reluctantly.
A couple of days later, we worked at The Inn for Elders, near Quepos, where we gave a lot of seated massages and a few table massages. We received the same warm welcome from the residents, and were again impressed by the cleanliness and bright look of the place. The tiled floors were impeccable and the walls were freshly painted.
We noticed that the residents did not have many personal belongings in the bedrooms and that they were always outside socializing, which, perhaps says something about how "things" become unimportant at the end of one's life, while being around other people remains desirable.
Three of the residents were dying; Sandi worked on a resident dying of cancer: "Once I put my hands on him and started to do the massage, his whole face changed. He got a big grin from ear to ear. At some point we made eye contact and it was an exquisite moment; no words needed," she said.
The last place we visited was the Disabled Children Clinic. Children suffering from cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other disabilities, were brought to us by their parents. Mothers watched attentively while we worked with their children, and later, the parents received massage. The director of the clinic told us how much the mothers appreciated what we had done for them. "Those mothers are so poor and so tired," she said. "Getting a massage is a miracle for them." We were happy to make that miracle come true.
We also got a kick out of playing Santa Claus. In a big sailor bag, I had children's clothes and stuffed animals donated by coworkers back home. The joy the gifts brought to these families made it worth dragging that huge bag through the airport.
Plans are already in progress for next year's expedition. Here are some words of advice to future team members:
My advice is to invest in a small Spanish translator - and have fun speaking with the locals.
In every possible way, the trip was a success. What surprised us the most was how much fun we had with each other. We were a group of strangers brought together by a common interest. We were all ready to be "nice" and "polite" to each other; what we had not expected was to become old friends in a matter of days. According to Sandi, the influence of a special dessert made of watermelon and guaro had a lot to do with our wonderful and sudden friendship.
I believe that when caring people are grouped together to do good things in the world, the Gods are always in their favor. And also, massage therapists tend to be really neat people!
For more info about the next expedition, contact Elvis Mareina at or Brian Nutter at .
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