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Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
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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