resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
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.
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