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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 06
Research: The Key That Opens the Door
By John Slavin, PhD, LMT
The amount of research opportunities and data available to massage therapists is growing steadily each year, ever since Dr. Tiffany Field's original groundbreaking research on pre-term infants was published more than two decades ago.However, although all new ventures have a glitch or two to work out, evidence suggests massage research needs more development; due in part to the fact that a great majority of therapists tend to be unwilling to form alliances with allopathic practitioners or even other massage therapists. Many therapists seem to be content only when they distance themselves from others, seeing them as a threat and building walls in an effort to protect their environment from competition, rather than trying to aid the progress of touch therapy.
It's sad, that in an environment where we value touch and closeness it seems therapists can, at times, be anything but amiable! Recently, I had a student ask me rather rudely why I was so involved in touch research. When I explained that research leads to conclusive findings, and conclusive findings lead to respectability, the student shrugged her shoulders and went on to tell me how she does not need respect from anyone but herself. This is true and very noble, but the fact remains, medical evaluators such as insurance companies will not reimburse massage therapists based on self-respect; they require concrete medical data and this is where research sometimes falls short.
Although, in this era of much research regarding touch therapy, it seems not nearly enough is being done. And that is not due to any lack of interest from the medical community. When presenting potential research studies to some of the major research hospitals and medical schools in my area, I was welcomed by the allopathic community with open arms. Granted, I had some help getting my foot in the door, but then I found myself meeting with prominent members of the medical community. Many times, the chief of staff of a given department would even set up a lunch. Discussions developed, in allopathic terms, why a certain massage technique was valuable and where they could see it placed in the medical model. When I mentioned the idea of research being done, the doctors challenged each other as to who would have the opportunity to work with the therapists. Within one day, I had calls from the head of oncology, the head of hematology, and the physical therapy department all wanting to do research. The physicians even discussed the potential of research being funded through the hospitals' own research department! Now, to what do I owe this amazing outcome? It's all about simple professional courtesy! If therapists would only work at speaking the allopathic language and gain their respect, then nine times out of ten they will not only be willing, but eager to work with them. Is it any doubt that Tiffany Fields, PhD, Janet Kahn, PhD, or Janet Travell, MD, were so successful in their research attempts? They did not go against the grain. They understood the need for good clinical research, studied their field and were well versed in the language of allopathic medicine.
Massage therapists seem to be the most highly underrated health care providers and this is a real shame. Sadly, they seem to be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to respectability in the medical field, but this has been changing in recent years. This is primarily because their scope of practice is so broad and their knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology so vast, that when medical practitioners see this they often are dazzled at how knowledgeable therapists are and how useful they can be!
Unfortunately, it's not the therapist, but how they come across that makes or breaks them in the medical field. With all the recent bickering about defining medical massage and extra certification and training, it appears what it really boils down to is communication. The better therapists can speak with other health care providers, the better they can promote themselves. Many times, massage therapists complain of not getting compensated properly for their work in medical offices, but more often than not those same therapists are the ones griping that there is too much interest in touch research and therapists should focus their efforts somewhere more useful. To me, it's all tied up with research! Modern society is full of "doubting Thomases" and unless therapists can show them the proof, they most likely will never believe how powerful touch therapy can really be.
With research, one can definitely prove the physiological effects of a certain technique and reproduce the results. And this is what the insurance companies want to see.
In closing, I will tell of one more student comment. Recently, while instructing a student how to be successful when networking with doctors and fellow massage therapists, another student commented, "Why tell him your secrets? If everyone knows how you do what you do, then you won't be unique, and everyone will be successful!" I answered quite simply, "Good! Then I would have succeeded at my task!"
John Slavin, PhD, LMT, received his massage education from Florida Academy of Massage in Ft. Myers and his PhD in biology from Canterbury University. He was recently appointed Vice President of research and development for the American University of Healing Arts in Little Rock, Ark. He is extensively involved in medical research pertaining to massage therapy and is very proactive in bridging the gap between LMTs and the allopathic community. He can be reached at "> .
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