resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
October, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 10
The Labors of Legislation
Pennsylvania, New Jersey Bills Raise Different Issues
By Editorial Staff
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are two of several states in which massage therapists are seeing legislation introduced regarding licensure and certification.As we go to press, New Jersey Assembly Bill A4034 has been approved in committee, while Pennsylvania's House Bill 1643 has been sent to the House Committee on Professional Licensure.
New Jersey - A4034
New Jersey State Assemblymen Peter Barnes and Patrick Diegnan (both D-Middlesex) and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood), proposed the bill, which would require certification for anyone performing "massage, bodywork or somatic therapy services." It is believed that this bill will be amended on the floor of the Assembly and then voted on as early as November 2005, when the New Jersey legislature returns from its recess. If the bill is not voted on by both houses by the end of the year, it will be reintroduced in 2006.
The bill stems from a title act approved by the New Jersey legislature in 1999 for massage, bodywork and somatic therapists. The act provided for optional certification, meaning no one was prohibited from practicing; it was just an issue of whether someone wanted to use a specific professional title affiliated with massage and bodywork, such as "Certified Massage Therapist." The act does prohibit state-certified therapists from providing treatment: "Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies do not include the diagnosis or treatment of illness, disease, impairment or disability."
As with most cases of licensure/regulation, there are potential concerns with A4034. In its current form, the bill would make existing voluntary state certification mandatory. Thus, the limited scope of practice in the title act would become the scope of practice for therapists.
Specifically, in the current draft of the New Jersey bill, anyone practicing bodywork who is not state certified is considered to be guilty of prostitution. The following text is taken directly from A4034: "Proof that any premises, place or resort which holds itself out as rendering massage, bodywork or somatic therapy services employs or utilizes a person who is not certified to render these services as required by section 1 of P.L. c. shall give rise to a permissive inference that the premises, place or resort was conducted or maintained as a house of prostitution."
According to the legislative update on the AMTA-NJ chapter's Web site, members are informed that "it is important for AMTA-NJ Chapter Members to remember the State Certification Law is a Title Protection Law, and therefore Professionals choosing to use any of the Titles identified in the Law are obliged to become State Certified. Consequently, for Practitioners in our profession who offer services which are not becoming State Certified this could potentially create a challenge should the State Examining Committee interpret that they fall under the NJ Title Act for Massage Therapy, Bodywork or Somatic Therapies. It is the hope of the leadership of the AMTA that our members and all Professionals in the State will want to become State Certified and be proud to hold their title as defined by our law."
New Jersey has been accepting applications for state certification since November 2004, and as of August 2005, only 60 therapists have been officially state certified, and 170 applications are pending. The current timeline for completing the certification process is at least three months.
Rena Margulis, NCTMB, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), a practitioner in Haddenfield, N.J., notes several potential problems with the latest version of A4034. (Under the current title act, the New Jersey Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Therapy Examining Committee, which is within the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs, is responsible for certifying massage therapists who wish to utilize titles affiliated with massage and bodywork in a professional capacity.)
According to Margulis, A4034 "allows state-licensed, state-certified or state-registered professionals to perform massage and bodywork if it is within their scope of practice. But no one else. In an obvious error, there is no exception for students performing massage in a clinic or for anyone else receiving training in touch, even medical students. There is no exception for out-of-state continuing education instructors or for bodywork offered without reimbursement. Under A4034, anyone who performs bodywork without state certification faces the 'permissive inference' that he or she is operating a 'house of prostitution.'"
Margulis urges massage therapists in other states to watch this debate carefully, as there are fears other legislative bodies could make similar decisions in other states - making a title act a practice act with very little warning. "Compare the differences between the New Jersey statue and the New Jersey regulations. In many cases, what legislators did not prohibit, the regulations did. Many New Jersey therapists who backed the title act several years ago are now very, very, sorry they did," Margulis said.
For more information about A4034, visit www.njleg.state.nj.us.
Pennsylvania - HB 1643
Meanwhile, in neighboring Pennsylvania, House Bill 1643 finally has been sent to committee and is awaiting a vote by both houses as of press time. Currently, 66 state representatives have signed on in support of this bill and the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA-PA) has distributed 14,000 cards across the state, requesting that HB 1643 be moved from committee to the House for a vote.
However, as with the New Jersey legislation, this bill has its critics - albeit in this case (as far as we can tell), from outside the massage profession. In its most recent legislative update, the AMTA-PA said physical therapists in Pennsylvania have publicly stated they are against the bill. The attorney for the Pennsylvania Physical Therapists Association, F. Stephenson Matthew, was quoted in the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal as saying, "The group believes massage therapists are not qualified to treat disabilities or impairments, that licensure is neither necessary nor appropriate and that it has concerns with the grandfathering of existing massage therapists." However, after repeated requests, the PPTA leadership has yet to contact the Pennsylvania Chapter to discuss their issues with the bill.
Despite this criticism, in the same legislative update, Pennsylvania Chapter President, Nancy Porambo, MS, NCTMB, offered her support of the bill: "[The bill] sets parameters from which we can build higher standards for the future of the profession of massage therapy, a position every profession seeking licensure had to take in the beginning of their growth."
She also said: "We are proud to state that many of our schools have redesigned their massage therapy programs to become an associate degree program. Many other programs across the state are above the proposed 600 hour minimum and our standards in the bill are currently higher than the national average of 500 hours."
To track the status of HB 1643, visit the AMTA Pennsylvania Chapter Web site at www.amtapa.org/gov/updates.php.
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.