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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.
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.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
January, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 01
Massage Therapist Densitites
By John Fred Spack, LMT
Editor's note: The following data is based on the author's nonscientific research methods; caution should be used in generalizing the results.
In 2003, Massage Today published my review of data that suggested that massage therapists are more available to the public in licensing states (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/10/03.html).As of July 2004, the trend continued with some diminishment.
In 2003 and 2004, 26 states and the District of Columbia mandated massage therapy regulation. Three states (Connecticut, Wisconsin and Virginia) offered voluntary certification. Regulation was pending in four states as of July 31, 2004: New Jersey (certification), Illinois, Arizona and Kentucky. Aside from everything else in this article, it will be interesting to follow the numbers as these states build their registration lists.
The July 2004 edition of Massage Today was distributed to 72,245 massage therapists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to its published circulation data. Using the July 2003 U.S. census data (the 2004 estimates were not available at this writing), the subscribers of Massage Today represent a density of about 25 massage therapists per 100,000 people in the United States. One way of looking at that is to figure that there are 4,000 potential clients per massage therapist, without discounting infants, prisoners and troops abroad.
About half the U.S. population lives in the 26 licensing states and Washington, D.C. The density of massage therapists is approximately 35 therapists per 100,000 in licensing states - above the national average. Nonlicensing states have an average density of only 15 massage therapists. To the extent that these numbers represent availability of massage services, availability is over twice as much in licensing states.
The numbers change a bit when the three certification states, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Virginia, are shifted into the credentialing column, joining the licensing jurisdictions. Credentialing states average 34 therapists per 100,000 people and non-credentialing states average 14 therapists. Measured this way, availability in credentialing states is still more than double other states, but in 2003 it was nearly triple.
This year, the state with the largest number of massage therapists per capita is Utah, with 82 per 100,000 (down from 101 a year ago). The 14 highest state densities occur in credentialing states, and these are the same states as last year. Montana, ranked 15th overall, is the nonlicensing state with the highest density, at 30 massage therapists per 100,000. The trend favoring licensing is mitigated by the three states with the lowest densities, which are all licensing states: North Carolina (7.5), Mississippi (6.4) and at the bottom, Maryland (5.5).
Individual state numbers must be viewed with caution. North Carolina, for example, has far more therapists than the 633 recipients of Massage Today in that state; the number of recipients in Ohio is 3,902, about half of the 7,820 reported by the state medical board in June 2004. Massage Magazine's online listing showed 7,334 Ohio licensees. There is no authoritative count in any nonlicensing state.
Expanding this report, I investigated numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor for the year 2000 of employed massage therapists only, excluding massage therapists who are self-employed, including independent contractors. (The data on average wages is interesting but not my focus.) Numbers are not available from seven states and Washington, D.C. Of the remaining 44 states, 20 were licensing states and 23 were nonlicensing states (Mississippi did not yet license in 2000.) A total of 25,890 massage therapists were reported as employed in the 44 states. According to an AMTA membership survey, 16 percent of therapists are employed. A calculation with that percentage gives a 44 state total of about 155,000 massage therapists where Massage Today lists 66,152, suggesting that the massage densities I have shown might be about 60 percent short of the actual numbers.
Using just the Department of Labor numbers, the average density for employed therapists is 10 per 100,000 people over all states and is also 10 in either the licensing states or nonlicensing states taken as groups. This data shows near equality between licensing and nonlicensing states as to the density of massage therapists working for employers.
Economists conjecture that licensing deters employment, but these figures do not support that. This Department of Labor data would be an excellent source of information for a massage school student researching a well-balanced approach to the theoretical economic effects of licensing.
We may conclude, as we did a year ago, that these data do not document that state licensing depresses the availability of professional touch to the public. One explanation may be that the very negative affects of local regulation are overcome by state licensing. In theory, state licensing imposed on a free market should dampen entry to the profession. When compared to local patchworks of regulation in the nonlicensing states, massage therapy licensing at the state level uniquely liberates the massage market and affords better opportunities for clients and practitioners.
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