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Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
May, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 05
Lots of Stuff
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Lots to talk about, not enough time to write it or space to print it all. What's an editor to do? It may prove difficult, but in this editorial I'd like to cover my thoughts on a possible way to expand your practice, the benefits of working in a spa setting, and follow-up thoughts on happenings at the NCBTMB that I wrote about in the February issue ("Trust and Expectations," www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/02/09.html).None of these are earthshaking (or related!), but I feel a need to express them. I hope you'll not only read, but provide me comment and feedback, as well.
I'm not sure why, but in just the past month or so I've been exposed to more massage therapists reflecting on why their practices weren't robust enough to support them than I have in the past several years - some of them from my own clinic. Being a typical "guy," when someone presents a problem, I tend to offer a solution rather than just lend a friendly ear.
But as most of us know, there are few easy solutions to practice building, and what works just fine for me might not work as well for you and vice versa. So, over the past few weeks I've been searching for some additional methods to pass on to the newer practitioners in the office who are looking to ramp up their businesses.
Trying not to overlook the obvious, I "Googled" lots of massage terms with "practice building" and then perused the results. One jumped out at me, and I just have to share it because it is so all-encompassing and involves a piece of equipment most of us already own or have access to - a massage chair.
I found a Web site (www.bodyworkbiz.com/conference.php) outlining an International Chair Massage Conference that appears to demonstrate how to profitably and effectively use chair massage in support of a growing massage practice. I have absolutely nothing to do with the conference nor do I have any real knowledge of it other than what I read on the Web site, and I will not, in principle, endorse or support any private commercial venture in Massage Today. I do like the conference schedule as outlined, however, and this appears to be the very type of educational information that might have kept the therapists who left my clinic with enough revenue to have remained. If I end up attending, I'll report my findings here! I used to utilize my massage chair a lot in my practice, and it was always set up in my treatment room near my table. It was a very non-threatening way for teens who thought undressing was "weird" to get massage, and many seniors seemed to feel more at ease when their feet were firmly planted on the floor. Maybe I'll be taking it out of its case once again!
Next item - SPAS! I am always surprised to find the dichotomy of emotion in the massage world that surrounds spas. Our clients love them, and survey after survey indicates that the majority of first timers receive their initial massage at a spa. Many massage therapists though express great disdain at working in a spa environment. Most of the "charged" expressions of disdain, some to the point of red-faced stammering, involve a perceived misuse of the poor overworked, underpaid massage therapist. C'mon, it's just another place to work, people! I just returned from a vacation at a resort and spa in Jamaica. (Yes, I know, the New England snow finally got to me!) Being a chatty and inquisitive kind of guy (some would even say nosey!), I asked lots of questions of the massage therapist assigned to work with me - and yes, I was on a table under the palms on the beach - sigh.
She was quite good, demonstrated multiple skill sets, had trained for about a year and a half in massage school, and received regular continuing education. She loved her job at the spa, and it showed. She particularly enjoyed just having to "show up" at work and not needing to invest in equipment and supplies. She also said that she wasn't one to enjoy actively marketing her abilities, and the spa allowed her to have ready access to clients without her feeling that she was pushing herself on the populace. While I didn't specifically ask her about her satisfaction with the compensation she received, neither did she say that it would be a better job if it paid more, and this was at a resort with a no tipping policy!
Last fall I was fortunate enough to spend a few days at the Green Valley Spa in St. George, Utah. It may well be the best spa in the country (I haven't been to lots of others) but it was so good to me that I now use it as the yardstick upon which I compare others. The massage therapists there expressed similar stories to my therapist in Jamaica. These therapists were delighted to continue learning new things and enjoyed the ready stream of clients (tipping clients here!). None appeared to be burnt out or bored, and they had a large menu of services they provided, from Lomi Lomi to Watsu.
I'm not suggesting that all spa therapists are delighted at their lots in life! I have known several who were treated badly, scheduled poorly and paid less than their peers. I have known others suffering the same fates at chiropractors' offices and massage clinics, too. Worse still, I have known many more who worked for themselves, set their own prices, arranged their own schedules, and couldn't keep enough people on their tables to stay in business. If you have ideas or suggestions on how to make spa work more desirable for the "average" massage therapist, I'd love to hear them!
Last item - NCBTMB! I really didn't want to feel a need to write this, but just can't see why this isn't the big deal issue in massage therapy today. In February, I wrote about a reported elections process fiasco at the NCBTMB. Concurrent with that editorial, the NCBTMB adjusted its election procedures to ensure not only fairness but also the appearance of fairness, which included appointing a new Nomination Committee (NC), implementing revised election criteria, and subsequently reopening the application process.
Based on that, I wrote the following: "Scandal is a terrible thing for everyone, and this one certainly gets in the way of much of the good that the NCBTMB has done for the profession. If the NCBTMB satisfactorily exorcises this demon, I feel it deserves our support in fulfilling its ideals. If it chooses not to or fails to do so for other reasons, it will have not regained our trust and will likely wither and die." I felt confident that our support would soon be in order.
In the time between that occurrence and now, the NCBTMB has taken other actions. To fill vacancies that occurred when a portion of its own Board Executive Committee resigned their directorships, the board voted in as chair-elect the very individual central and subject to the election irregularities. Thus, the new chair-elect, who was otherwise ineligible to even be considered by the 80,000-plus certificants to run for re-election (her original complaint), bypassed the nomination process, bypassed the election process via certificant votes, and is assured an additional year on the board with the subsequent elevation of position to chair. This is not, in my opinion, the way for the NCBTMB to exorcise its demons! Is it me, or is the NCBTMB going out of its way to ensure that the steps to redemption are ridiculously steep?
Thanks for listening, and please tell me what you think!
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 by regular mail to:
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.
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