resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
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.
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 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!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
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.
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.
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.
November, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 11
The Road is Still Long
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The practice of massage has come a long way in our lifetime. I'm sure that those who have been practicing for 20 or more years see it much more than I do, but even a practitioner in the field for only five years can experience how far we have come in capability and public awareness.
The very first massage I received was in the health club of the Sheraton Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal in 1979.I was in the Naval Reserve, and my journey home was delayed for a day after a period of active-duty training. To kill time I used the health club; when signing in, I was asked if I wanted a massage. I remember being taken aback and not having a clue what massage was about. I am pleased I answered in the affirmative because the experience was very positive and was, no doubt, part of my "destiny."
In the 80s I had several careers that necessitated travel. Long days, airplane seats, and hustling through airports with a garment bag on one shoulder and golf clubs on the other did nothing to alleviate nagging low back pain. But massage therapists did! In the 80s, determining whether massage was legitimate or a front for sexual services was difficult at best. More than once I was unpleasantly surprised before becoming a more informed consumer.
Since entering the field of massage therapy in the early 90s, the need to become an educated consumer has decreased significantly. At least in my part of the country, there is little if any massage advertising that fronts for prostitution. (The one establishment that did was shut down in the spring.) While tiny ads in urban newspapers may advertise, "Tokyo Rose Massage, body shampoos, open 24 hours, 12 masseuses, credit cards accepted," no one but the most naíve confuses these services for actual massage services. This improvement has been through the efforts of many to educate the public on the true benefits of what we do.
Since entering this profession I have witnessed public dissemination of research news on massage efficacy from the Touch Research Institute, the Massage Therapy Foundation and others, and peer reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. I have seen the establishment of such positive public relations programs as ABMP's International Massage Week and AMTA's Massage Therapy Awareness Week. The NCBTMB developed a certification program, and advertises heavily to the public on the benefits of skilled, ethical massage therapists. We don't necessarily have to be members of ABMP or AMTA, or be nationally certified to benefit from their actions. The public is made more aware every day. It's working!
I wish we could now let our guard down, but unfortunately we can't. As far as we have come, there are still those whose lack of knowledge works to keep us from proceeding positively. My local newspaper reported recently* on a town whose board of selectmen was deliberating on whether to permit a nonprofit group to use a community center to conduct a poker tournament as a fundraiser.
One town selectman, who is also the chief of police, was quoted by the paper as saying, "Now they want to have gambling at the Community Center. We're turning into Sin City. Before you know it there will be massage tables on the side of the street." With all due respect to the chief, I can't think of anything much healthier for a community than to have massage tables on the side of its streets! It was obvious to me that he was making a reference to prostitution, not massage, but the ignorance of that remark by an individual in a position of authority is most disturbing.
As upsetting as the chief's remark was, the staff writer for the paper made the outcome even worse! In an apparent attempt to generate interest in the article, the chief's picture with the clip of his quote was side-barred, so that visually the article with headline and side bar read, "Selectman: Town becoming 'Sin City.' Before you know it there will be massage tables on the side of the street."
I have spent over a decade trying to exorcise that doubt about massage in the public's perception; coverage of a side comment as unapprised as this just plants it again in the minds of the unknowing. The road is indeed long.
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:
*Source: The Eagle Tribune, Sept. 28, 2004. www.eagletribune.com.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.