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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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 10
Mother Nature's Disastrous Touch
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I just turned off the news. The constant updates on the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina represent about 90% of the airtime. The news keeps reporting on the impact of Katrina. I don't think it comes close to representing the true "impact." A week ago, when the worst was happening, I remember being unable to tear my eyes away from the TV screen, even though watching was making me nauseous.As estimates of impact roll in on the numbers of homeless, the numbers of unemployed, the numbers of failed businesses, the economic impact of Gulf oil production, etc., etc., it is beginning to occur to me that these macroeconomic extrapolations are, in truth, dwarfed in comparison to individual tragedies.
I'm sure no one has any true estimates, but it's safe to say that a certain number of those no longer employed are massage therapists. I look within our professional community and know that large percentages are part-time massage therapists and single moms who strive to feed their families and fulfill their dreams. We have a great profession that lends itself well to Mothers' hours, but what good are Mothers' hours if the treatment room is gone or the clients have evacuated?
I honestly have no clue as to whether or not the average self-employed massage therapist is eligible for unemployment. I feel pretty sure that those working "under the radar" in licensed states are ineligible. Even in large clinics, many massage therapists are functioning as independent contractors instead of employees. Massage therapists who have lost their business location due to storm damage are particularly at risk if relocating to adjacent states. There are no states that I am aware of with licensing reciprocity, so a therapist trying to temporarily work in a neighboring state would likely be in violation of the law, with consequences ranging from loss of insurance coverage to actual arrest. I don't think this is an overstatement. This morning's news had an article about a hurricane victim who had fled with his family to Atlanta. With no more money or food, the man resorted to asking for help from others and was promptly arrested for panhandling by a patrolman on bicycle. If panhandling results in arrest, certainly working without a license could result in similar actions.
So what is the temporarily out-of-work massage therapist to do? What are massage students to do now that their school is no longer in business? If their graduation is postponed, how much longer must they wait to begin practice? The implications to massage therapy are many.
Being a "guy," I have a tendency to look for solutions to problems, and the dilemma of the out-of-work massage therapist is one problem I have been pondering. I don't have a background that lets me contemplate changes to levees or egress transportation logistics, but massage therapy regulation is not unknown to me. It seems prudent to me for massage regulatory boards, at least in states bordering Katrina-affected states, to enact or petition their legislatures to enact an emergency waiver of massage licensing regulations for itinerant therapists temporarily working in the state. I'm sure there are valid reasons to not do this, but I haven't thought of any yet that aren't outweighed by the benefits of enabling those in need to generate income. I know that if it were me in need, I'd prefer to be able to earn my way out of the hole rather than accept charity. I ask all massage boards to look into this now for immediate emergency implementation, and to then spend some planning time developing some options for future licensure waiver situations.
It's nice to be proud of my peers, and I am delighted at the expressed desire of so many to help the victims of Katrina. The major massage associations are assisting their members' desires to help by coordinating fundraising efforts and disseminating information. I just heard of one association state chapter that has established a "Therapist Relief Fund" where collected monies will be used to help at least 3 or 4 therapists with start-up costs for getting their businesses going again or relocating. What a wonderful idea!
Perhaps a less wonderful idea, although caring and tempting, is the plan to pack up and travel to a disaster area to "help." Specialized experience or training is required to be of real assistance. Showing up in locations without food, water or shelter and expressing a desire to be of assistance might be just getting in the way. Just like a therapeutic session in your office, the needs of the client must supersede the needs of the therapist to "help." And although the desire to help those in stricken areas may be overpowering, let's not forget all those who may need help locally! As I write this, 39 states have welcomed evacuees. Your "regular" clients might be connected to storm victims and be under added stress. Many local families have military members who now have additional or extended duty involving further family separations. They all need you right there in your office!
Another way to be of real assistance is to donate to legitimate organizations providing disaster relief. I have seen several companies offering to match donations made by individuals, and this is an excellent way of maximizing your ability to help!
Unlike Mother Nature's Disastrous Touch, the human Power of Touch can connect us all. Whether in roles of family members, friends, co-workers or citizens, we all are human beings who need to have security to feel safe. As massage therapists, we have a unique ability to make people feel secure at least in their own bodies. Times might be stressful and difficult for many, but we still are lucky to be who we are. Let's make the most of it!
Thanks for listening!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters related to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue or online. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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