resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
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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