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Home Sweet Medical Home
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received its fair share of praise and criticism since its adoption, few question the value of its emphasis on collaborative, patient-centered health care.
The Boston Benevolent Chiropractic Clinic: Standing Up for the Needy
Our chiropractic assistant, Bridget, greeted an arriving patient at the Emmanuel Church in downtown Boston. She said, "Hi, Michael, good to see you. It's been awhile. Have a seat and Dr. Ken will see you soon."
New Leadership Era at the WFC
The World Federation of Chiropractic recently announced not only a new president, as is customary every two years, but also an incoming secretary-general, marking the first time since the WFC's inception in 1988 that someone other than David Chapman-Smith, Esq., will serve in that capacity.
News in Brief
D'Youville Vet Program Gets High Praise; A Moment of Silence for Dr. Paul Reginald ("Reg") Hug.
Deciphering the New CMS-1500 Claim Form
Q: I am confused about how and when to use the new 1500 form, particularly block 14 and block 15. What is required and how do I properly fill out these fields? And do I actually have to use this new form or may I continue using the old version?
Don't Trust What Your Patients Say
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc. They are often not interested or engaged in what they consider "unrelated" personal health history.
"Doctor ... Always Do the Right Thing"
So says "Da Mayor" in the iconic Spike Lee movie. As a fresh grad questioning in-network versus out-of-network, it struck me that some doctors have explicitly skirted the issue, while others have argued adamantly for the latter and "sticking it to the man."
News In Brief
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine obtains grant funding from NIH; Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Announces New President; Kentucky Gets Licensed; PCOM Receives Approval from WASC to Offer FPD.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Imagine What More Could Be Achieved With Your Support; A Lesson in Hygiene: What Do You Do in Your Office? Open Letter to the Profession.
Don't Trust What a Patient Says
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint in mind – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc.
The Importance of Knowing Mainstream Lingo
There is a secret lingo within mainstream medicine of which the vast majority of acupuncturists and Chinese medical professionals are unaware.
Low Melatonin Linked to Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest the hormone melatonin, which plays a role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, may play a role in the development of prostate cancer, as lower melatonin levels have been associated with an increased risk of prostate (and breast) cancer.
Replenishing and Restoring Jing
I learned an important principle from my great Taoist Master Sun Hak. He taught me that all people "leak" Jing, and that we can mitigate or stop this leaking, and as a result strengthen our life force, develop enhanced adaptability and lengthen our life.
Medial Knee Pain: 11 Potential Causes (and Corrections)
We have all seen patients with medial knee pain that either has no traumatic origin or lasts well beyond when it should be resolved. How can we help these patients? Here is an overview of clinical scenarios and how we can provide conservative care.
CRREW Rallies for Ongoing Acupuncture Relief Effort in the Philippines
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made her way through the Philippine Islands, leaving in her wake at least 7,000 people dead, millions homeless and complete communities destroyed.
Vibrational Medicine: Frequency Micro-Current and Color Acupuncture
Vibrational medicine involves the application of various forms of energy frequencies to the body for pain relief, healing and rejuvenation. Vibrational medicine will become a major growing trend in our medical systems for the following reasons:
Employers Need Chiropractic First and Sooner
From the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine comes a study that gives excellent direction to employers (and insurers) regarding the management of low back problems (LBP).
Changes in Herbal Medicines from Ancient Times to the Present
The classical literature of Chinese medicine remains highly relevant in the modern era, as many of the basic theories and herbal combinations emphasized in clinical practice were first established in texts that are nearly 2000 years old.
Wellness: A New Buzzword at the Aging in America Conference
Aging in America is "the nation's largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals in healthcare, social service, government, business and philanthropy with expertise in providing services and products for older adults."
Halt Allergies With Moxibustion Therapy
An allergy is an immune system disorder in which the body is hypersensitive to normally harmless substances in the environment.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part I
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Coronary heart disease, in just the United States alone, costs close to 109 billion dollars a year.
Shared Mechanisms Between Computer-Assisted Mechanical Adjusting and Contemporary Acupuncture?
Can contemporary acupuncture provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for pain relief provided by computer-assisted mechanical adjusting instruments, and clarify whether certain mechanical frequency combinations are superior to others for modulation of acute peripheral pain?
Working With The Yuan-Source Level: Resonance and the Extraordinary Vessels
How do we stay fresh with our medicine? As healers, how do we balance our medical selves with creative artistry? Chinese Medicine is not a fixed dogmatic entity, but a living system, reliant on a mysterious force called "resonance."
The Search for the Origin of the Wiggle Technique
When Bob had adjusted me previously, most of the time I knew what he was doing. But this time, he had me lie on the treatment table in the usual side-posture position, and he "wiggled" my sacroiliac with the fingers of both hands, while stabilizing my pelvis with his forearm.
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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