resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
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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