resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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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