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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
August, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 08
Should Massage Therapists Use the Term "Medical" Massage?
By Boris Prilutsky, MA
I have been practicing medical massage for more than three decades and have had the pleasure of practicing in the U.S. for the last 10 years. In my early days in the U.S., many of my colleagues, including those within our professional massage associations, did not like that I was calling the method I practiced and taught "medical massage." They were unhappy with the term because they did not want to draw disapproval or anger from the medical community.To this day, even though many massage therapists use the term medical massage and many schools refer to their programs as medical massage, the term continues to evoke negative and confused reactions. In my opinion, the negative reactions to "medical" massage are driven by the personal interests of various health care practitioners. The reasons for prohibiting therapists in some states to use the term are, in my opinion, not in the interest of public safety but are instead the result of pressures from professional and personal interest associations.
Last year, massive recognition by the media helped promote medical massage. Newsweek published a feature article surveying the efficacy of back surgery versus alternative therapies and found that massage was effective at managing persistent pain. The Los Angeles Times published a five-page article specifically on medical massage in which three well-known physicians in Southern California were interviewed and praised medical massage as a way of treatment. Last year, the general public spent approximately $3.5 billion out-of-pocket on massage therapy, and surveys have indicated that recipients of massage are seeing positive results.
At the same time, the disagreement within the massage community and the lack of recognition and support of medical massage by our professional associations worries me. As I stated above, private and special interest organizations would love to control us and see us making money for them. However, a much more unpleasant situation is the condition of our own professional community; that is, we are not united around the fact that we all provide therapy. Calling ourselves massage therapists means we provide therapy by means of massage. If you provide massage therapy with health benefits, you are, in my opinion, performing medical massage.
In 1955, Drs. Sherbak, Glezer and Dalicho, who are, in my opinion, the "fathers" of medical massage, published their first textbook: Segment Reflex/Medical Massage. Since then, many more research studies have been conducted. I am sure that some of you have practiced massage therapy and helped thousands of people without knowing its scientific roots, and honestly, it makes no difference to me. But when you discuss massage with doctors, other health practitioners or even with your clients, reference massage therapy studies. In medical societies all over the world, doctors reference research when discussing medicine in their professions. It is the only way research is taken seriously; therefore, please use the same habits when referencing massage.
Who Should Use the Title "Medical" Massage Therapist?
Recent discussions in professional publications have debated the number of hours of training one must have to call him/herself a "medical massage therapist." In my opinion, those of us who have made our careers by providing full-body stress management massage are medical massage therapists. Modern society as a whole is susceptible to stress. Stress-related illnesses include heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, clinical depression, and more (and it should be noted that the American economy is losing $300 billion annually due to stress-related illnesses). Full-body stress management massage is scientifically and clinically proven as a powerful method for managing stress.
There is little doubt that those suffering from back pain have a disrupted quality of life. However, people are not dying from back or joint pain. People are dying from stress-related heart attacks, strokes and diabetes; therefore, how can we consider therapists who perform full-body stress management massage anything less than medical massage practitioners?
For the past 40 years in Europe, the educational training in full-body stress management massage has stayed between 120-200 hours. I strongly believe that 120 hours for full-body medical massage training is enough. Therapists who would like to be involved in the treatment of specific disorders should have additional specialized training. And therapists not trained in how to treat particular disorders should not attempt to treat them.
Consider this: The credential "DDS" stands for "Doctor of Dental Surgery." This type of doctor is qualified to legally perform surgery in the cavity of the mouth; however, if this dentist evaluates a patient and discovers a tumor or difficult tooth extraction, he/she will refer the patient to an oral surgeon. An oral surgeon is also a DDS, but has had special training in oral surgery. Suppose a dentist who can legally perform extractions causes harm to a patient and is sued for malpractice. The plaintiff will inevitably demand proof that the dentist has had additional training/continuing education to treat the plaintiff's specific complication. Professional difficulties are sure to arise for the dentist who lacks the proper training needed to perform a procedure. This analogy pertains to massage therapists, as well. Just because a dentist is not an oral surgeon, does not mean that he/she is not a qualified dentist. And so it is in our profession. Not being a specialist in a particular discipline or, conversely, having hundreds or thousands of hours of training, does not make one therapist better than another. The professional associations should accept massage therapists who have 120-200 hours in basic full-body stress management massage and not demand a 500-hour minimum with no definition of the curriculum.
There are several reasons why full-body stress-management massage therapists that refer to themselves as "medical massage therapists" should be accepted in the massage community: 1) It is not right to ignore colleagues who are adding to the good name of massage therapy because they have fewer than 500 hours of training; 2) As members of a professional association, these massage therapists will be familiar with ethical codes; 3) These therapists will feel like they belong to the community as a whole; 4) Most likely, many of these therapists will decide to continue their education in orthopedic massage, sports massage, etc; 5) As a bigger, more unified profession, we will have more political power and will, in turn, gain recognition as a profession more quickly, similar to that in Europe.
The National Institutes of Health has spent millions of dollars sponsoring massage therapy research. The Touch Research Institutes continually publishes wonderful studies on the positive effects of massage (www.miami.edu/touch-research). Fifty years of mass utilization of medical massage in Europe clinically proves that this method is safe and effective. It is common knowledge that the price of malpractice insurance is directly related to the degree of risk to harm in the method of health care provided. Evidence supporting the safety of massage therapy for the general public is the very low cost of malpractice insurance for massage therapists. Given the facts, I think that we have valid reasons and a strong foundation to call the method that we are practicing "medical" massage therapy.
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