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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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.
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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?
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
May, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 05
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I constantly am amazed at the variety of topics massage therapists discuss with me. This past month has been quite interesting, and I'm going to share some of the issues brought to my attention.I must stress, however, that I am not a definitive source of information on any of these issues. I have only opinions, not answers. If you want answers, you need to be contacting our "Dear Lynda" columnist, not the editor!
One prospective massage therapist from New York started his e-mail to me with, "This might be a dumb question but" I used to think there were no dumb questions, but I guess I might have judged too quickly, as the writer went on to ask my thoughts about breaking the law and working unlicensed. Apparently, "There isn't much opportunity for massage therapists that much anymore." Overlooking the fact, for a moment, that there has never been a better time to work as a massage therapist in the history of the whole wide world, does this writer think the editor of the largest touch therapy trade publication on the planet would advise that there are loopholes in the law that can be exploited so one can bilk the public by impersonating a massage therapist? My answers to this person would be to follow the laws in your jurisdiction, go to school, start your business and work hard to grow it, the same as you would if you were a carpenter, a Quiznos sub franchisee, a hot dog street vendor or a barber. The writer asked, "Could I maybe give massages (which I think in general I am good at) and accept only tips, plus have everyone sign a medical type release form in case someone tries to claim that I caused them harm or something like that?" No, you can't!
Another reader from California wrote, "I am contacting you to inquire into any new laws around licensing. I heard in November of 2005 that a new law was being implemented in January 2006. In this new law, statewide licensing would be made null and void by national licensing. Furthermore, well-seasoned MTs would be 'grandfathered in' by this law." She continued with, "I need to know EXACTLY what the truth is and any surrounding information to support me and my staff." I'm not sure where this information came from in November of 2005, but whoever was doing the talking was either uninformed or misunderstood. There are almost no national employment credentials, at least that I am aware of. Physicians, attorneys, bus drivers and licensed investigators are all credentialed by the state. As far as I know, only James Bond as 007 was licensed by a national entity. We at Massage Today try to diligently cover any and all state licensing news. Be sure to use the "search" function on www.massagetoday.com to see what has already been written on this topic.
Perhaps the most engaging communication I had this past month was from a New Hampshire massage therapist who wanted to recertify with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. She told me that after completing the recertification application, she called the NCBTMB to verify certain information so that she wouldn't have to resend the application. After several such attempts without getting a return call, she finally sent the completed application to the assigned NCBTMB lockbox. When she didn't hear anything in what she felt was a reasonable amount of time, she called again, and again, and again. She kept getting told her application had not been received and that she needed to speak with a particular individual to resolve the issue. That individual was never in the office and never returned her calls.
This massage therapist was on the verge of tears as she relayed to me her at tempts to recertify. The only advice I was able to suggest was to put her situation in writing and send it directly to John Page, NCBTMB's executive director. She had already gone through more effort to recertify than I would ever have done myself. As a former chair of NCBTMB, it pains me to admit that, but it's very true. I happened to be in the company of another former NCBTMB chair when this story was unfolding, and when I asked him his thoughts on it, he relayed to me that NCBTMB had never even sent him recertifying applications and that his certification had lapsed before he was even aware of it. If a private organization designed to serve the public and the profession cannot efficiently recertify those who support it, the decay has reached overwhelming proportion.
Another reader chose to remain anonymous, so I have no clue where she is from. Normally, I just delete communications that aren't signed, but I read this one and had a chuckle or two at the well-meaning, albeit opinionated writer. (Opinions are my job, after all!) She wrote, "I have a question. I am strongly aware of a massage therapist who is operating a disreputable practice. To my surprise, I am shocked at how many people are okay with it. They think it is funny, especially guys. Or they think it is just rumors. I know they are not rumors. I know for sure. I know facts but I cannot prove them to anyone. This leaves people to check it out for themselves. Who do I tell? This is what I know. She has told me things herself."
She went on to itemize a laundry list of alleged violations and her reasons for why she thought them an affront to her and her business. They were all important to her, but I shall not repeat them here, as it serves no purpose. She continued, "See, I find this all completely unethical and so wrong. No one seems to care or listen or want to get involved. How does such a situation get fixed when people seem to not want to get involved? If I talk to men, they kind of laugh and make comments about happy endings, etc. I personally don't want my name mentioned to her if she gets reported, either, so I understand why others don't want to get involved; I don't want to either. But this has to stop."
My response to this person is that the only place to send complaint information is to your state licensing board. It is the only entity that can send a cease and desist letter and actually stop unethical practice. If you are unfortunate enough to be practicing in an unregulated state, your only recourse is with the local police department if there are local laws being broken. Do not try to send a complaint without identifying yourself, though. If you aren't signing the complaint, it isn't really a complaint; it's gossip.
So, how would you have responded to these questions?
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.
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.