Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
May, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 05
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
It spring again, at last! Daylight savings time is upon us. Flowers are blooming and legislatures are in session. Exciting times. There is so much news about so much sickness and the lack of insurance.I am amused that there is so little news about how insignificant the flu epidemic was this year, without enough vaccine. We should hope for another contamination "crisis" in the vaccine industry next year.
Preventive maintenance is recommended for your car, but not for you. Just live life until your health fails and then see your friendly neighborhood allopath (medical doctor). Vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended for animals but not for you. All humans need to do is eat a balanced diet of chemical encrusted, GMO foods.
The wellness model seems to be fading. As our profession frantically scrambles for acceptance by insurance companies and allopathic physicians, the focus seems to be turning more to crisis management. Accidents happen and soft-tissue injuries generally are best addressed by massage and stretching; however, the focus should be on getting people well and then keeping them there. We should be about health, not catastrophes. Of course we should handle injuries when they occur, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. How much pain and injury could be eliminated if people were educated about posture, movement and proper soft-tissue care? The wellness, holistic care paradigm needs to be taught in all massage schools and promoted to the public. We, and our alternative health colleagues, have a better mousetrap, and the public is beating a path to our door. Already, more people pay out-of-pocket to see alternative providers than to see allopaths. If we could promote personal health savings accounts, the number would increase in our favor.
Where are our beloved associations on this? Talk about creating opportunities for their members! Why are we squandering our resources trying to prove that what we do works in order to gain the acceptance of the allopaths who accidentally kill between 200 and 2,000 people a day? (Estimates vary but are still ahead of any other cause of death, including wars.) The allopaths say we are unproven and quacks. Let's see, maybe 50 people have died from a chiropractic manipulation in the last 50 years, a few dozen from supplements, and none I am aware of as the result of massage.
Allopaths kill more people in a day - at the low estimate - than all alternative providers have in over 50 years. Who are the quacks? Who's dangerous? The only thing I can see that's proven about what the allopaths do is that it's damn dangerous. We should be educating the public to this incompetence and promoting our alternative. Who should have to prove what is safe and effective? Allopaths should have to prove medicine is safe and that it is not the biggest killer on the planet or be relegated to second-tier providers. Look at the number of causalities. Where is the outrage? Wouldn't the public be much better off with alternative providers as the gatekeepers, except at the emergency room?
There is such an opportunity for massage and other alternative professions to upset the allopathic applecart, once and for all. Other alternative professions such as acupuncture and chiropractic are positioning themselves for this step. They are fighting for larger scopes of practice and higher standards of education. The massage profession is fighting among itself as to whether 300-500 hours is too much because not everyone can afford to go to a longer program, and schools couldn't make as much money if programs were longer and besides it's "just a massage."
The massage profession needs to step up to the plate and take advantage of the opportunity at bat before we are relegated to slave labor under the thumb of other alternative providers, or worse, the allopaths. How about we begin to call for a nationwide boycott of health insurance programs, by everyone - patients and providers? If no one had insurance, health care would quickly become affordable. We would be a bargain. If no providers accepted insurance, the public would stop buying it. Where would they go - to the most cost-effective providers.
That's us, and other alternative providers. Radical? You bet! But it's spring, time for rebirth, new ideas, new beginnings, hope and idealism.
What's wrong with proposing any idea that might end the reign of death and disease resulting from allopathic medicine's control of health care? What's wrong with wanting to promote health, wellness and awareness, not to mention increased opportunities for massage therapists? It's spring again, at last! Exciting times!
Try This: Remember when treating elbow and wrist conditions, such as medial and lateral epicondylitis (Golfer's and Tennis elbow) and carpal tunnel syndrome, the muscles involved run from the elbow to the fingers. If you do not get the resolution of the complaint when you only treat at the point of the discomfort, the lateral epicondyle, for example, treat the entire length of the muscle, from elbow to hand with both massage and stretching. Compression with engagement has been found to be very effective.
After warming up the tissues with myofascial and massage techniques, engage (compress) a spot on the problematic muscle with your thumb or finger and as you hold, have the patient flex and extend their wrist. After two or three cycles of flexion/extension, begin moving your thumb or finger in a circular motion (circular deep friction) as they continue to move through two or three more cycles. Release and move about an inch and repeat. Continue until you have treated the entire muscle or the entire forearm. I have found I get slightly better results when working from distal to proximal. It will take some time, but it will bring dramatic results. More next time (July).
Correction: In my March column, while discussing our scope of practice I wrote, "Due to poorly written laws, in some states, CranialSacral Therapy cannot be practiced by massage therapists." I was referring specifically to Mississippi; I have recently been advised by the Upledger Institute that this dark moment of our history has ended: "As of Dec. 17, 2004, The Upledger Institute was approved as a Continuing Education Provider by The Mississippi State Board of Massage Therapy to teach CranioSacral Therapy to massage therapists in Mississippi." At this time there are no states preventing the practice of CranialSacral Therapy by massage therapists. I am most happy to stand corrected. Congratulations and thanks to The Upledger Institute for fighting for our scope of practice.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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