resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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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