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Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
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.
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 House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
October, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 10
Thoughts on Being Part of Medicine
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
One of the most divisive issues in our profession today is the "medicalization" of massage. The population of massage therapists appears to me to be about evenly split between those who want to be recognized as worthy of standing on the health care stage, and those who want absolutely nothing to do with an already broken system.
Although most probably see me as a medical-massage promoter, I tend to stay firmly "on the fence" about this issue, seeing merit in arguments of both sides.
In the 12 years I have dedicated myself to massage, I have certainly seen the profession become more "medical!" Consider the following survey results: Of the 27 percent of Americans who have received a massage in the last five years, 35 percent got their last massage for medical reasons (AMTA survey, 2001).Thirty-one percent of Americans were referred to a massage therapist by a chiropractor, and a physician referred 26 percent (AMTA survey, 2001). My own practice has an obvious slant toward the clinical, with most coming in for management and abatement of chronic pain patterns.
For all that I am still loathe to deal with third party reimbursement issues, or get pre-approval from some insurance adjuster before working with an individual in need; I tend to yawn at arguments like those recently printed in "We Get Letters and E-Mail" (Sept. 2004, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/09/16.html) about what current procedural terminology (CPT) codes can be used for. Even though I have a clinical practice, I am looking forward to having my first client tomorrow enjoy a wrap, instead of my usual mix of neuromuscular and myofascial interventions. I'm finding more and more that, when on a table myself (assuming a lack of my own chronic pain patterns), I enjoy fewer elbows than I used to, and look forward to being "sent to Pluto."
So if I don't fall firmly in one "camp" or the other, what is important enough about this issue to discuss? My great concern is that fewer and fewer of us are allowing ourselves to function capably in both good relaxation massage and effective clinical massage. I find it important that we do both! I don't think the expectations of our public are to see one therapist for orthopedic issues, another for stress-related issues, another for sports-injury prevention, and a fourth just because it feels good. I think the public wants, for a myriad of reasons, to just go get a massage! Their expectation is that the massage therapist they choose is capable of doing all of the above.
With massage therapy coming into it's own as a viable profession, I think tomorrow's massage therapists need to prepare themselves much better than we did. They'll have to be smarter, better trained, and as compassionate as we, to deal with the higher expectations we see daily in our practices. I think the public will expect any given therapist to be able to deal with a stiff neck, a sore back, the onset of adhesive capsulitis, the loss of a loved one, or the need for quiet time to rejuvenate. I'm all for raising the bar - to enhance the ability to use skilled touch in solution to a problem - and to enhance assured pleasurable touch, as opposed to tentative touch.
The pendulum is certainly now swinging toward medicalization. I guess that's good because that was the largest shortfall of skill sets we shared as a profession. I just hope the pendulum swings back soon, so we don't lose all those "touchy-feely" capabilities that got us on the map in the first place. Remember, it's all about the clients!
Thanks for listening!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters related to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue or online. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or via regular mail to
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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