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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.
April, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 04
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 edited for space and clarity, and published in a future issue or online.Please send all correspondence by e-mail to or regular mail to:
"I agree with the AMTA's position on accreditation"
I would like to add to the discussion on accreditation for massage programs ("Massage Therapy Education Accreditation: Industry Professionals Voice Their Opinions," Dec. 2004. www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/12/02.html). I agree with the AMTA's position on accreditation. As long as all of the agencies use the same educational standards in their process, the overall goal of consistency of education in the profession will be achieved.
The problem with having different standards for education is that the potential students don't know who provides the best education, and the public is confused about the qualifications of the practitioners. The comments about accreditation not affecting curriculum or course content are true if the accrediting agency does not dictate the curriculum standards through the use of competencies. I have been involved in the accreditation process for the NATA and have seen how the implementation of competencies has boosted the level of education in the profession.
As far as higher educational costs, I would think that the administrative cost of hiring an experienced teacher would be well worth the student's investment. The only way we will elevate the profession is to have similar standards of education no matter what agency does the accrediting and have it mandatory that schools obtain accreditation.
Steve Jurch MA, ATC, LMT
"...50 percent plus tips won't look bad"
In response to Krystal Stone, LMT, (Jan. 2005, "We Get Letters & E-Mail," www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/01/18.html) and others like her that don't like working for 50 percent plus tips. I suggest she open her own business then hire massage therapists to work at 70 percent or more -- plus they keep their tips! As new owner, Krystal will now be entitled to the percentage she only dreamed of before, along with the realities of having employees (who love her sense of fairness).
Krystal will now have to pay unemployment insurance state and federal, workmen's compensation, match social security and medicare payments, incur payroll expenses, which includes all the proper filing of government paperwork and yearly W-2 forms, and, of course, retaining these records. Did I mention malpractice insurance, public liability insurance, supplies, equipment for the therapists rooms, reception furniture, office supplies, etc.?
To keep her staff happy, Krystal will need a receptionist to schedule appointments and take care of the front desk duties -- and pay this person fairly, too. Fixed overhead expenses must be met, such as business lease of space, utilities and telephone. Variable expenses must be met, such as Mastercard machine and fees, client herbal teas, other refreshments, laundry and facility cleaning costs. (You can't expect the professionals to clean toilets and floors -- that is not what they went to school for.)
Advertising is a must in order to keep the staff working. Brochures should be printed, gift certificates and business cards. Is there room to negotiate health insurance or incentive packages for her staff? There are miscellaneous expenses, too: office supplies, appointment books, computer software, etc. I'm sure there are things I am forgetting, but I'll stop here and see if Krystal is now working at a 10 percent profit of her own service income, or worse, if she has provided a great business opportunity for other massage therapists, while she herself has spent all her money and long hours just to end up broke.
If Krystal has an attitude now, just wait until when she becomes the employer. I wonder what her idea of fairness will be then -- 50 percent plus tips won't look bad.
Dianne Marshall, LCA, MT
On Continuing Education
I agree with many of the points Alice Paprocki set forth in her letter complaining about the CEU requirements (Jan. 2005, "We Get Letters & E-Mail, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/01/18.html). The sticker shock from the price of workshops alone gives one pause.
However, as a massage practitioner, I must take issue with her on the matter of the need for all of us to have exposure to modalities that are not our own. As a former social worker in the public sector, I have seen what happens when professionals are not required to lift the lid from the jar on occasion. The air becomes stale, and innovation, improvement and flexibility are the casualties. We owe it to our clients and the profession to keep our minds open to new ideas; were we not required to do so, our busy lives might distract many of us from taking a look around.
Al Watkins, BSW, CMT
I am a massage therapist in Houston and have been doing massage therapy for over 30 years; the last few years I have done neuromuscular therapy exclusively. I have perfected a system that is effective for any muscular condition, particularly severe conditions that most doctors and other therapists cannot treat. I have worked extensively with chiropractors medical doctors who refer me patients when they don't know what to do with them anymore. In most cases, I can improve the conditions dramatically. I have taught seminars, trained massage therapists, worked in hospitals, and given lectures. I have contributed articles to medical and therapy journals. I have extensive knowledge of muscular anatomy.
When I first arrived in the U.S., I got my local massage therapy certificate and attended a comprehensive series of seminars, including kinesiology, sports massage, CranioSacral Therapy, neuromuscular therapy and many others. Some time ago the Texas board started a continuing education program that requires every massage therapist to attend each year in order to keep his/her license. I have taken a few six-hour classes that I found useless and elementary for the type of work I do.
I have reached the stage where I do not know what courses to take any more. Why must I spend my money for things that I already know and/or used to teach? I do not perform general massage. My patients need specific medical therapy. Can you suggest what I must do to avoid the boredom and the expense of taking continuing education classes that I do not need? Is there any provision that considers cases like mine?
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