resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
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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