resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
January, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 01
It's About Health
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
What a year 2005 has been - and 2006 should be really interesting. There are several themes I hope to discuss as the year unfolds. I hope my columns stimulate you to think and, ultimately, to act, not just react.By shining the spotlight of this column on topics I consider to be important challenges facing our profession and sharing my views on them, I hope to start discussions that bring about positive change. I do not expect everyone to agree with me. Not only would that be boring, but it would not bring about the debates our profession needs to grow and improve. For too long, the open discussion of various viewpoints has been discouraged and stifled by our professional organizations, whose elite carry on their discussions behind closed doors. Massage Today is the only forum in our profession where different ideas can be presented and discussed openly. Hopefully these discussions continue beyond the pages of Massage Today and into your lives, practices and associations maybe even into laws and rules.
This year, I shall discuss licensing, research, the new Federation of State Massage Boards, and of course my favorite topics: education, insurance and medical massage. Along the way, I shall provide you with some therapy tips and general health information, including health freedom issues. Keep an open mind and a sharp memory, and take action on whatever you feel passionate about. Get involved. You will get out of this profession what you put into it.
Sweet Gone Sour
In the interest of promoting health, which I feel should be one of the primary goals of the massage profession, I thought I would share some interesting information that has crossed my path lately. Hopefully, it will help you and might help you help your patients.
For those of you trying to be healthy by going sugar-free, be aware that aspartame has now been found to cause cancer in rats, at levels currently approved for humans. Aspartame is the artificial sweetener used to make diet pop and most commercial sugar-free foods taste sweet. It seems the incidence of malignant tumors, lymphomas and leukemia go up significantly at only 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The United States government says the acceptable rate for humans is 50 mg/kg. Europe only allows 40 mg/kg. You can find the whole story at www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=34040#. The connection seems to be that aspartame turns into formaldehyde, particularly in soda pop, if allowed to get warm. This has been linked to MS-like symptoms in some patients. Now, it appears the cancer connection has been made. So, if you think your government cares about your health and is trying to protect it, think again. The FDA, which I call the "Fools for Drugs Administration," is made up of soon-to-be or former executives of pharmaceutical and agribusiness companies. The only health they are concerned about is the health of the balance sheets of their soon-to-be or former employers. Don't trust them, and don't for one minute think they care a hoot about your health or anyone else's. A former head of the FDA testified before the U.S. Congress that he would not stand by and allow the rapidly growing natural health and supplement movement to negatively impact the sale of pharmaceuticals.
To further demonstrate the lack of care and compassion by your government and mine, I offer the proposed new rules by the EPA which, if enacted, will allow chemical and pesticide testing on children. Yes, that's right, children, but as they point out, testing only will be allowed on certain groups of children. Let's see; those groups are mentally handicapped, orphaned newborns, rejected or abused children, and children not in the United States. See what compassion our bureaucrats have? (For more, see www.organicconsumers.org/epa6.cfm.)
Anyone for Health Freedom?
On a more positive note, there is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that needs the support of all who cherish their health freedom. Hopefully you do. It's the "Health Freedom Protection Act" (H.R. 4282), introduced Nov. 9, 2005. The act specifically will: 1. Stop the FDA from censoring truthful claims about dietary supplements; 2. Stop the FDA from prohibiting the distribution of scientific articles and publications regarding the role of nutrients in protecting against disease; and 3. Address the FTC's violations of the First Amendment by preventing the FTC from trying to control what is communicated about nutrient-disease associations. If you believe in this effort, please write your representatives in Washington, D.C., and request that they become a co-sponsor and vote for the bill
What does this have to do with massage? In my opinion, massage is about health. Massage is an alternative to the sickness care system. Part of the massage therapy exchange should include the sharing of information on health. As alternative providers, we should be resources to our patients on alternative health information and practices. Quality food is one of the major components of a healthy lifestyle. You cannot have health for long without quality nutrition. Access to alternative health and nutritional information is essential. Remember, massage is an alternative therapy for many conditions. We, as alternative providers, must support freedom of choice in health care and freedom of access to alternative health information. We must do it now, and constantly, or the pharmaceutical/sickness industry will stomp out the alternative health movement. We already are well on the way to being co-opted and controlled by insurance companies and gatekeeper physicians. (For an enlightening look at where your health insurance dollars go, see www.bolenreport.net/feature_articles/feature_article017.htm.)
A significant segment of the massage/bodywork profession needs to get over the idea that this profession is nothing more than a trade that smears oil over skin, which anyone can do with little or no training. The "come on, it's just a massage" segment of our profession either needs to take some self-esteem pills or be relegated to a bottom tier of a segmented profession that is clearly defined and strictly restrained. We have the opportunity to become the premier, first-door health care providers in the alternative health movement. Do we have that big of a vision, or not? This really is about the health of the planet and all of humanity, not just a massage or the profession itself. If we do not stake our claim to this potential for our profession soon, a huge opportunity will be lost. We can never accomplish it by modeling the current failed power structure of the sickness care industry, or molding into it.
So much to think about, so little space. Hope your New Year is off to a great start. Best wishes to each of you for a successful, happy year. More in March. Bring your kite.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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