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It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
November, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 11
We Get Letters and E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today or online, and may be edited for space and clarity.Please send all correspondence by e-mail to or via regular mail to:
Responding to Ralph Stephens
I appreciated Ralph Stephens' article, "We've Made It!" (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/07/13.html) describing the reality that health care in our country is controlled by a system whose primary goal seems to be economic and political advantage rather than effective healing. I'm glad Ralph continues to write on this topic. As I see it, the origin of this situation is shared among the allopathic community, the pharmaceutical and insurance companies, medical schools, and government policies. We are facing a systemic problem that is not localized to one group of practitioners. It is my hope that the massage community will work toward bringing positive changes to this system. I think respect by the massage community toward allopaths, insurance companies, etc., is only due to those people and institutions who actually work for the best interest of the patients. Unfortunately, as Ralph points out, this is not always the case.
I am presently collaborating with Walt Stoll, MD, on a book titled Recapturing Health, which we hope will encourage health care freedom and bring about positive change in the system. Walt is a holistic medical doctor who long ago awakened to using a wide range of healing modalities, including massage, chiropractic, energy healing and other methods. We hope our book will inspire individuals and practitioners to see the truth and begin an informal grassroots movement to improve how health care is provided in our country. It will be a wonderful day when the health care system itself is healed so that people may be healed. You can read more at http://lifespring.netfirms.com or www.askwaltstollmd.com.
Ralph Stephens' article "We've Made It!" points out how far massage has come now that the medical profession is criticizing us in order to control our scope of practice. He discusses how rehabilitation specialist Dr. Robert Gotlin attacks our profession by pointing out the possible dangers of massage. This is behavior Stephens feels is motivated by allopathic physicians wanting to control and profit from our growing profession as they tried to do with chiropractic. Stephens also states that doctors should tend to their own houses before coming in to clean up ours, emphasizing how many people die and suffer each year from mistakes made in the medical profession.
Although there is probably some truth in Stephens' point-of-view, there is another way to look at this issue. Perhaps Dr. Gotlin truly cares for his patients' welfare and is just giving them his honest professional opinion about massage. Many massage practitioners provide competent, skilled, therapeutic treatments. Still, I have experienced (and know enough people who have also experienced) minor injuries and pain after receiving contraindicated massage techniques. A number of my clients and colleagues have shared similar experiences. As a result, I am reluctant to receive anything but a relaxation massage with a trusted practitioner who will not try to fix or change me in some manner.
After practicing as a professional massage therapist for 23 years, I recognize the value of a good massage for relaxation, relief from muscular tension and chronic pain, and even injury rehabilitation. Unfortunately, our field has grown much faster than our standards. Massage training has become heavy on neuromuscular and orthopedic techniques, but light on teaching practitioners why, how, when and where to use these techniques.
Plus, techniques are a dime a dozen. Knowing when to apply them appropriately with skill requires in-depth, specialized training. If we, as massage therapists, are going to use manual therapies in a physical therapy context, we need to be well trained in their application. Granted, our mistakes will probably never result in the number of fatalities caused by physician error. Still, consumers receiving neuromuscular and orthopedic massage techniques have a right to be educated about the contraindications of these types of modalities, and treated by competent, appropriately trained practitioners.
Mary Ann Foster, CMT
Questioning CranioSacral Therapy
Dr. Upledger speculates that cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) moves in a pulse, and that cranial bones move in relationship to this pulse (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/08/12.html). Medical imaging is a technique to validate these speculations. Medical imaging is sensitive enough to detect extremely minute changes in bone position and in the detection of a moving fluid. Let's start with cranial bone motion first.
A standard imaging technique for people with brain tumors or other cranial space occupying lesions is to utilize repeat head computer tomography (CT) scans. In this technique, a series of CT scans are compared with each other to determine if a lesion is microscopically growing or shrinking. For this technique to work, the sequential scans must have a common reference for which to measure change. The common points of reference used are cranial bones. If these bones moved, as is speculated, comparing serial CT scans would not be possible, since the reference would be moving along with any lesion change. Since the cranial bones are fused, comparing repeat scans provides accurate, detailed information about the change in a tumor's size.
Magnetoresonance (MR) imaging cannot record motion. Blood flow, including venous blood flow does not image using the MR technique; however, CSF does image with MR, indicating that CSF moves very, very slowly. If CSF were to move in a pulse, it would not image using MR. Of note, MR can be used to image bone; cranial bones image quite well, indicating that they do not move relative to one another. Dr. Upledger's article speculates that CSF moves in a pulse and the cranial bones move in relationship to this pulse. These speculations are refuted by the results of medical imaging.
Bruce Klein, ND
"There is no way to succeed against a large, profit-driven insurance company"
I have been practicing massage therapy for 17 years and billing insurance for about six. I am also in it for the long haul. In California, if you're billing insurance, it's not only long, but also uphill and into the wind. The latest legislation has slashed care for injured workers and denied claims from many professionals. I applaud Donald Schiff's letter and clear thinking about what is really involved in working with insurance companies (We Get Letters and E-mail, Sept. 2004. www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/09/16.html).
The articles by Vivian Madison-Mahoney are hogwash, indeed. Her views may have been appropriate 10 years ago, but there is no way to succeed against a large, profit-driven insurance company. Ms. Madison-Mahoney would have us take what we can get and not assert ourselves as the professional, heath care providers that we are. We will not gain any ground by rolling over to insurance companies. Keeping fees low will only drive therapists out of business and allow the insurance companies to win.
Don Schiff is right on about the level of service that medical massage provides versus relaxation massage. The last workers' compensation client that I saw required six long-distance phone calls, resubmission of billing and a three-month wait for payment. How could I stay in business giving this level of service for artificially low fees? Massage therapists are not the only ones who are fighting this battle. The doctors, chiropractors, PTs and acupuncturists are in it, too. In California, many insurance companies are making huge profits by denying care to injured workers. The battle is just starting. If we don't stand up for ourselves, who will? I think Schiff's view speaks for the majority of massage professionals in the modern world.
Jody C. Hutchinson, BA, NCTMB
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