resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
May, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 05
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
Out of Touch?
I was amused to see a full-page advertisement for a massage ointment, which featured photographs of eight well-known massage educators, all of whom are men. Evidently, the company doesn't have a clue that the vast majority of massage therapists are female! Get in touch with the profession, please!
Continuing the Dialogue Over Texas & Educational Hours
Editor's note: The following letters are in response to "Stop Pushing for More Hours," We Get Letters & E-Mail, March 2005, www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/03/17.html.
I have been a massage therapist for about 10 years now, specializing in "loving people's feet." I just read Betty Jacobs's letter. I'd like to say: RIGHT ON! With gratitude to Betty for speaking her peace and to Massage Today for printing her letter,
I was appalled at the two letters written in reference to Janine Ray and her work with the TAMT and Texas coalition to raise the standards of massage therapy in Texas. Panhandle Association of Massage Professionals, Inc., hosted Janine at its February meeting to discuss the proposed changes. I was impressed with her professionalism and preparedness to speak to our group about these changes and keep us informed. Janine is a professional extraordinaire; we will have her back soon for another meeting and continuing education classes. I started this association in 1996 to promote massage therapy and to raise the standards locally. At this time, Panhandle Association of Massage Professionals, Inc., is proud to support Janine Ray and the TAMT in this endeavor to raise the standards in Texas.
Larry Brooks, RMT
My educational background is as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, although I prefer to practice as a massage therapist. After working in a rehab setting for several years, I am very aware of the importance of anatomy in the field of massage. My clients have experienced a more thorough and rapid recovery because I am familiar with the bone and muscle structure. Allowing for increased learning in massage schools, which is what the increase to 500 hours would do, can only lead to quality work by quality professionals. This effort of passing key bills to support this is to be commended.
Irene M. Castaneda, RMT
Where do I begin? In response to Rich Haslam's letter: Are you kidding? I mean no disrespect but, of course you use anatomy - you use it every single day! Did you or did you not take the state board test? We are nothing without our knowledge of anatomy. I, too, am practicing in Florida, and in my neck of the woods it is a respected profession because of our knowledge! My patients will often ask my opinion and ask me to explain what the doctor just told them.
Not only has [Haslam] just cut his clients down, he is making the profession look bad. Anyone can give a "fluff job" - my 8-year-old can. A professional helps people. Open your books and expand your horizons, buddy, and let Texas take care of Texas. Anatomy is 100 percent of our business. Thank you Massage Today. This is why I love reading you - real therapists with real thoughts and issues!
I don't think anyone needs to be a lawyer to be a judge of what's true about Texas schooling hours. In the Nov. 2004 issue, Janine Ray said: "The existing education requirement is limited because the current law specifies that the schools can only require a maximum of 300 hours of training in their entry-level programs" ("Updating Texas Massage Legislation," www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/11/04.html).
In response, [Haslam's] letter said: "To say that 'The existing education requirement is limited because the current law specifies that the schools can only require a maximum of 300 hours of training in their entry-level programs' is a lie, pure and simple." Texas state law says: "Sec. 455.205. PROHIBITED PRACTICES. (b) A massage school or a massage therapy instructor may not require the successful completion of more course hours than the number of hours required for registration as a massage therapist under this chapter" (www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/oc.toc.htm).
Forgive me for presenting a double shot of Janine's words - sometimes that happens.
John Fred Spack
On behalf of Texas and serious massage educators and therapists everywhere, I want to say that Rich Haslam's letter revealing, to quote, "the fundamental truth...that you do not need any anatomy to be a...massager" was the most flabbergasting letter I've ever read in our field. So much so, were it not tragic, I also had to laugh. I could go on and on but here are few important points: 1) If Rich finds anatomy unnecessary, this is probably an indictment of his anatomy teachers as well as of his standards; 2) Rich is right. You can do a massage without knowing anatomy. You can also speak without knowing how to read. But no one would then make the positive case for illiteracy! 3) Stating boldly "I started TAMT to oppose the AMTA" reveals the negativity of his agenda. We need more cooperation, not more opposition in our profession.
I co-founded The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin over 16 years ago. Since beginning, we have offered up to 750 hours of rigorous, wonderful massage and bodywork training. We don't vastly care whether the law changes or not. We will maintain high standards no matter what. Here's a vote of thanks and confidence to all who continue to aim high in our profession.
David Lauterstein, RMT, Cert. ZB
I continue to be surprised and shocked by the individuals who want to limit the educational requirements needed to practice as a massage therapist. Clients come to us with problems affecting their health and well-being. They are looking to us to help them return to normal functioning.
I cannot believe that Rich Haslam can say he has never used his 75 hours of A&P or the additional 150 hours he took in Florida. Or how he can claim that more hours only benefits massage schools. In my opinion, an understanding of anatomy and physiology and how the body works is an essential component of our work. How can you assess the client without understanding A&P? How can you determine which direction to apply forces and strokes without understanding the orientation of structures and fibers in the body? To randomly apply massage without considering the structures and tissues you are working with provides a disservice to the clients. This is particularly true as many more massage therapists are working in more traditional health facilities, with more involved clients.
Yes, a generally applied massage may feel good anyway and it may help temporarily, but it doesn't help address the underlying issues that cause recurrent pain. In my opinion, education needs to become more in-depth. Therapists need to be trained to assess their clients and determine appropriate treatment plans based on those assessments, and 500 hours of training just does not cut it.
Robert Benson, PT, LMT, CSCS, MA.Ed.
No Distinction Between Therapeutic & Relaxation Massage Necessary
I read the interview with Nancy Schmitt (March 2005, www.massagetoday.com/archives/ 2005/03/04.html) and was dismayed by the interviewer's question, "What separates Mindful Touch Therapy from therapeutic or relaxation massage?" It is the "therapeutic or relaxation massage" with which I am concerned because the interviewer's question leads one to believe that therapeutic massage is not relaxing, nor is relaxation massage therapeutic.
I take issue with that thinking and have voiced my opinion in meetings on a few occasions when other therapists have said, "just" relaxation massage. I admit that I don't really know how those who say "just" relaxation massage define it; I can only assume that they envision pressure that is too light in their view, but I was taught that the client is to gauge the appropriate level of pressure.
In any case, I believe that it hurts all massage therapists for one to put down any modality and imply that relaxation massage is not therapeutic. I refer to another letter to the editor from Kenneth J. Klak, DO, published in January 2005 ("We Get Letters and E-Mail," www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/01/18.html). Dr. Klak wrote, "...my profession is evolving into an understanding of osteopathy being most appropriate when we can take a patient to their most relaxed state," and further stated, "...the benefit of relaxation massage whose purpose is to take this patient to a state of peace may have ultimate value as far as being primary for the 'medicalization' of massage. I hope your profession never lets go of the thought of relaxation as a form of medical therapy." One more quote I found in Deepak Chopra's newsletter in a list of seven simple ways to ignite your immune system, "Get touched. Massage awakens immune function and feels good." No distinction necessary! Please review your editorial policy and represent all modalities responsibly.
"Fair and Balanced"
Dear Cliff Korn:
Excellent editorial in Massage Today. How fair and balanced you write ("Trust and Expectations," www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/02/09.html,Feb. 2005). I am struggling as an approved CE provider trying to do the right thing renewing, adding courses, providing paperwork and not getting clear answers from the administrative side about what's required, say, to add courses between renewals. Given my (and others') ongoing nightmares and time we've spent checking and re-checking NCB info, it was a relief to read your matter-of-fact mention of poor service at the NCB. It was like an easy breath - I wasn't dreaming when I experienced repeated poor service! And you're right. NCB can fix it, get their house in order, and restore trust. I think in a few years we will look back on this and laugh in relief that it will happen. You wrote an editorial with heart, vision and a good measure of taking-to-task. Great job. Thank you!
Tracy Walton, LMT, MS
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