resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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."
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
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.
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.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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