resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
July, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 07
When Massage Isnít Legitimate
Professional Massage Therapists Struggle to Separate Themselves from Illegal Prostitution Rings
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
Enormous amounts of illegal activities are conducted and advertised under the guise of massage therapy in publications for all types of races, genders and even sexual preferences.This is a multi-million dollar business and massage seems to be one of the most common ways to cover up the operations of these prostitution rings. Should professional massage therapists be striving to create an obvious distinction for themselves? The opinions vary on what exactly should be done to separate legitimate massage therapists as professionals.
In Santa Ana, Calif., there is an ongoing federal investigation targeting the Jung Organization, accused of human trafficking and harboring illegal immigrants. This operation allegedly transported Korean nationals into the country with the intent to engage them in prostitution. The charges include money laundering through the massage parlor industry.
The investigation led to four more arrests after a 40-count indictment was unsealed later in federal court. The accused head of a string of Los Angeles-area brothels is among the four charged in an ongoing multi-agency investigation. In response, the Feds seized more than $4 million in assets, including four motor cross tracks.
Jong Ock Mao, 47, (aka "June,") head of the brothel operation, was arrested April 11th in Madisonville, Texas. Federal agents also arrested Edward Lutt, 43, of Paramount, Calif., and Randall Johnson, 51, of Los Angeles. Additionally, Charles Fields of Long Beach, Calif., is being sought. Lutt is suspected of managing the operations while Johnson and Fields were the so-called owners of the brothels, despite the fact that Mao was the "de-facto owner," according to the indictment. The brothels were located in a variety of different businesses, including spas, tanning salons, massage parlors, chiropractic offices and acupuncture clinics.
This recent series of arrests involves conduct that has existed since the beginning of recorded time. The complexities include human rights, the harboring and transporting of illegal immigrants and, sometimes, the very abusive treatment of women. Most were brought to America only with the impression for them to "massage" (prostitute) until their entry fee was paid off. What's presently being done about this horrifying situation?
San Francisco's solution was a law which began in July 2004 that relaxed the permit process and clearly distinguished therapeutic massage therapists from adult entertainers. This shifts the authority of regulation from the police department to the department of public health and creates a two-tiered system that recognizes "therapeutic massage practitioners" on the one hand and "adult entertainment massage workers" on the other. The first system is required to have 100 hours to practice, while the advanced practitioner is required to have 200 educational hours.
On the San Francisco Massage Ordinance Web site, the San Francisco Coalition of Therapeutic Massage and Body work Practitioners, a group of professional massage therapists, said, "Most [San Francisco] elected officials have no desire to wipe out the massage parlors, so the net result is that therapeutic practitioners have to coexist with adult entertainment practitioners. We have come to the best compromise that we believe possible at this time...We feel that the DPH is more responsive to the needs of therapeutic practitioners than the police department has been and support the creation of an Advanced Massage Practitioner permit...to better define the distinction between adult entertainment and therapeutic massage practitioners."
Moreover, therapeutic massage practitioners deserve to be seen as professionals. This leaves the responsibility to dispute the connection of massage with prostitution to the therapists. In Orange County, Calif., the problems recently have subsided due to the extraordinarily high requirements for getting city permits to do massage therapy. Police departments are busy examining, fingerprinting and giving written tests to prove validity. This does not solve the entire problem of association with the sex industry; however, it does require a lot of expensive and time-consuming work for therapists to prove their validity to the police department.
Some say efforts to legalize prostitution make the most sense and will officially separate the industries. Brian Goodwin, BA, NCTMB and a massage therapist for more than 10 years, suggested "an interview process with clients before business to avoid embarrassing solicitation from happening." Goodwin also said, "If my primary business problem is prostitutes/clients confusing massage and prostitution, I need to ask why this problem exists and look for answers...Maybe we could stop using the word massage." But does allowing the adult entertainment industry to be legally regulated say that therapists agree the behavior is morally correct?
This lack of distinction between bodywork and prostitution causes more suffering to the public as well as massage therapists. Every day, more people are experiencing the health benefits that come with receiving regular massage. However, many are still skeptical due to the common perception that massage somehow is linked to prostitution. By making the significant difference clear in the public eye, these hesitations and embarrassing situations might be prevented from happening. The public would more likely be open to trying massage if they knew they were in a legit situation, where they could feel comfortable and safe in the hands of an educated and professional therapist.
Nevertheless, Beverly May, co-chair of government relations for the AMTA, explains "the intent of massage regulation at the state level is not to prevent prostitution under the guise of massage, but to pull massage therapists out of local regulation intended for prostitution that currently regulate massage. One of the reasons some massage therapists state that they oppose state regulation is that they don't feel it will stop prostitution in the guise of massage, just like it still occurs under other state-licensed professions. But the weakness of that argument is that even though prostitution may occur under acupuncture and chiropractic, acupuncturists and chiropractors are not regulated as vice. Those who violate the law are charged and may lose their licenses. In massage, we are all treated as a vice issue under most local regulations."
However, for the rest of California, it looks like SB412, the current bill in California for state licensing, will pass through the appropriations committee next year. According to May, "the hearing will now not be until mid-summer...one thing for sure it will be interesting to see how local ordinances, from the tough Orange County ones, to the odd San Francisco one, will apply when SB412 passes." It seems any issue within the industry will be easier to work on as a whole when everyone shares the same state-recognized license. Along with state regulation, a board of massage professionals will be created to look out for common professional interests.
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.