resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Illuminating the Hidden, Freeing the Source
Amongst the Primary Channels, from a classical point of view, the small intestine is perhaps the most important channel to understand. It is one of the least used acupuncture channels in modern acupuncture, yet it within it can be found a wealth of theories from the Ling Shu.
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in Taiwan Hospitals
This spring, a team of Western medical doctors and TCM practitioners from Cleveland Clinic traveled to Taiwan to visit Kaiser Pharmaceutical Co. (KP), and China Medical University (CMU), Taiwan's leading integrative medicine hospital.
What's New in the NCCIH Strategic Plan
The NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) released its draft strategic plan 2016-2021 for public comment in early spring of 2016.
Time to Fight for Your Medicare Right
I have heard a lot of noise and a lot of debate about what is going on with Medicare. As an ACA delegate, I often get asked: 'What is the ACA even doing?'
The Professional and Practice Benefits of Political Activism
Welcome to election season, a vital part of our American culture. Every two years, without fail, we are bombarded with TV, print materials and phone messages seeking our vote.
Know Your Research: Tips for Evaluating Literature Reviews
Clinical and experimental studies are not the only types of published research we might encounter as we look for evidence to inform our practices. One of the most useful types is the literature review, which summarizes a group of studies.
Less Time Than Required
Q: When is it appropriate to use a modifier -52? Can I use it for a timed service when I do less than the time required by the code?
Don't Ignore the Lower Half of the Pelvis (Part 1)
When your patient complains of lower back or pelvic pain, but your usual treatments are not getting the job done, what do you examine and treat? You may be missing important structures in the lower half of the pelvis.
Are Probiotics Doing More Harm Than Good?
Considerable controversy exists concerning the efficacy of probiotic supplements. Very few human studies show any real positive impact on the microbiome or health. The "promise" of probiotics is based on the few animal studies that suggest a positive effect.
International Congress on Integrative Medicine
"Bridging Research, Clinical Care, Education and Policy" was the theme for the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2016 (ICIMH).
Adventures with the Pericardium
My previous column on the San Jiao deserves equal time for SJ's loving partner, the pericardium. I nicknamed SJ the travel meridian – but pericardium can also play a crucial role in air travel.
Lessons from Functional Neurology
Chiropractic neurology, also known as clinical neuroscience or functional neurology, is moving the chiropractic profession forward by leaps and bounds.
A Study of Relationships
Sa-Ahm's five element acupuncture method is known to be one of the most effective acupuncture techniques in Korea because it gives an instant response at the time of treatment and has a high success rate in resolving chronic problems.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists more than 80 common autoimmune diseases including asthma, Crohn's disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
What are the Meridians?
The meridian and collateral system (jing luo, hereinafter referred to as "Meridians") is comprised of the main meridian channels (jing mai) and the collateral vessels (luo mai). Jing takes from meaning of the Chinese word pathway (also jing) and are the main branches of the system.
Guidelines for the Use of Modifier -52
Modifier -52 identifies that a service or procedure has been partially reduced or eliminated at the physician's discretion. This is to indicate the basic service described by the procedure code has been performed, but not all aspects of the service have been performed.
Analyzing Acupuncture Case Studies
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Take this case study as an example. After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse during cold weather.
MPA Media Wins More Publishing Awards
The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) has honored Dynamic Chiropractic with a national award and two regional awards for editorial excellence, and sister publication DC Practice Insights with two regional awards for graphic design excellence.
Chiropractic in the Eyes of the Public: 2nd Gallup-Palmer Poll
The second Gallup / Palmer College poll has been completed, yielding significant additional data regarding Americans' experiences with and perceptions of chiropractic care.
Let's Talk About Biceps Injuries at the Elbow
While most muscles cross over only one joint, the biceps crosses two joints: the elbow and the shoulder. Injuries to the lower biceps cause considerable elbow pain. Here's how to assess and treat an injury to this area conservatively.
Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes (Part 1)
More than 45 million children ages 6-18 participate in some form of organized athletics, and 75 percent of American families with school-aged children have at least one child participating in organized sports.
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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