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Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
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.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
September, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 09
The Wide-Open World of Massage Therapy
By Linda Riach
In this helter-skelter world, stress reigns. With so many tense and jittery folks seeking help, there's never been a better time to be a massage therapist. According to the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), there now are almost 200,000 massage therapists in the United States, and more than 50,000 people are entering the field each year.Massage is over a $5 billion-a-year industry and has become such an important segment in the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) arena that massage therapists are its largest professional group, followed by chiropractors.
Much of this growth is attributable to significant changes in consumers' perception of the industry. Through its annual market surveys, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) discovered that only about 25% of Americans had ever experienced a massage from a massage therapist in 1999. By 2004, that number had almost doubled to 49%, and there is every indication the growth will continue for years to come.
With such explosive growth in the industry, massage therapists have more career choices today than ever. According to the AMTA, while the vast majority (84%) of massage practitioners continue to provide services in an independent setting, such as their offices or on location, considerable growth in massage is taking place in spas, salons, health & athletic clubs, hotels and resorts. And with the rapid emergence of CAM and medical spas, a growing number of massage therapists can be found working alongside medical doctors and other professionals in their offices or in hospitals. With such a plethora of choices available, many wonder what factors they should consider when deciding on a massage therapy career. A good place to start might be to assess why you decided to pursue massage therapy in the first place.
If you view massage therapy as a way to help people relax and reduce stress, you might consider working for a resort, spa or upscale hotel, where guests have massage therapy available as a means of stress-reduction. According to ABMP, massage therapy generates over 60% of such a facility's total revenue; therefore, as more resorts, spas and hotels open, massage therapists will be in greater demand. Visitors to these facilities often seek such techniques as Swedish and Thai massage and shiatsu, thus providing diversification to your practice.
If you identify with the growing acceptance of CAM, you are committed to the notion that massage therapy can help relieve pain and restore function from injuries that may previously have required surgery or other invasive procedures. In the most recent national survey by the AMTA, 91% of respondents agreed that massage is effective in reducing pain. Chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists and other practitioners of alternative medical care often recommend massage therapy treatment for acute or chronic conditions. In-depth knowledge of anatomy, science and pathology will enable you to apply such techniques as myofascial massage, shiatsu, and deep-tissue massage for clients' improved health and healing.
Over the past several years, our society has become increasingly more exercise-conscious, leaving both amateur and professional athletes in pain due to overuse conditions or injury. Passage of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Title IX has brought an unprecedented number of women to the training room for treatment, thus requiring more trained therapists. According to Myles Brand, president of the NCAA, "In 1972, fewer than 30,000 women were participating in sports. Today, nearly 150,000 women are competing in sports at NCAA member institutions." And with the growth of sports programs in high schools, as well as in colleges and universities, many more massage therapists are being hired to keep their athletes healthy, limber and able to play. So, whether your clients are weekend warriors, scholars or professional athletes, the invaluable services you will provide might include sports massage, deep-tissue massage, myofascial release and/or hydrotherapy.
Thought of as an "enlightened" pursuit for years, massage in the workplace is being offered by more companies today than ever, primarily because an increasing number of them have found on-site massage to be a low-cost benefit with a high payoff. (So says ABMP in a recent survey.) With the growth in corporate massages comes an even greater opportunity for massage therapists. Having a massage therapist visit the workplace has become a real plus for employers wanting to attract new people and retain existing staff. It also has become a terrific source of business for the proactive massage therapist.
The rapidly widening acceptance of massage therapy in almost all corners of our environment means your career choices are limited only by your imagination. I've described a few options you might consider, but I also suggest you keep another thought or two in mind. Many massage therapists do not confine themselves to just one setting. Many therapists who work in resorts, spas and other places with large, established practices, do so part-time while they develop their own independent practices. That's the approach taken by many who are just getting started. Then there are those who look upon massage therapy as a part-time career. They have other jobs, but enjoy providing their healing touch in their spare time. So, there is no "right way" to pursue your career in massage therapy. It totally depends on your other interests and how much of your life you choose to devote to it.
Previous articles, a "Talk Back" forum and a brief biography of Linda Riach are available online at www.massagetoday.com/columnists/riach.
Click here for previous articles by Linda Riach.
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