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News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
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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