resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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