resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.