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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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 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
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.
August, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 08
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Healthy competition benefits everyone. Our entire system works on competition, capitalism and the free enterprise system. One of the only situations I can think of in our history when competition wasn't healthy was the Old West gunfight! Is the shootout coming in the massage industry? Our profession has several "big guns" that appear to swagger through the countryside.Usually, they are able to "play nice," but if some of the communications I've received recently are any indication, a few of them seem ready to call each other out and swap hot lead!
The "big guns" I am speaking about here are the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the fledgling "big gun wannabe," the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). Another "big gun," Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) seems to have elbows on the swinging doors of the saloon peering out at the OK Corral observing the activity.
Most Massage Today readers first heard about the FSMTB in our July (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/07/01.html) and November 2005 (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/11/05.html) issues. In the November issue, I wrote,
"At its recent meeting, FSMTB also determined that one of the areas of greatest concern expressed by both state massage therapy boards and massage therapy schools is the examination program administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). From the FSMTB perspective, the continued reliance on this exam program is being questioned for a number of reasons, including: 1. Long-standing problems with delivery of basic services, such as exam registration and approval of continuing education providers; 2. The fact that state boards have had no direct input into the design and administration of this examination program, nor any role in the policy making process of NCBTMB; and 3. Inconsistencies between the eligibility requirements set by NCB for this exam and the specific curriculum standards upheld in each state where massage therapy is regulated. FSMTB stated these are not only logistical problems; they also might present issues of legal exposure for the state boards. As a potential solution, the FSMTB has been researching the establishment of its own national licensing examination."
The NCBTMB, of course, has long been known for its certification program and associated entrance-level certification examination, which many states also have chosen to utilize as a licensing examination. In a letter to "Members of the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Community" and to massage therapy state regulatory boards, the NCBTMB expressed dismay that the FSMTB actually went ahead with plans for a licensing exam. (The two organizations had discussed ways to collaborate, but those discussions obviously weren't of sufficient substance to dissuade the FSMTB from its initial idea.) NCBTMB's letter states, "The NCBTMB's experience to date has been a series of mixed messages from FSMTB, which first challenged the validity of NCBTMB's examinations and then sought to transfer ownership of the these examinations to their control." The negativity continues in a recent communiqué from the FSMTB that raises the following questions and concerns:
The AMTA has chosen to insert itself into the FSMTB/NCBTMB squabble by, on several occasions, supporting the NCBTMB position through its own statements. In a letter to its members, AMTA recently wrote, "AMTA supports one set of massage therapy exams for the profession, those created and administered by the NCBTMB."
As the NCBTMB prepares itself to "gun down" the upstart FSMTB, with AMTA handing over extra ammunition, I wonder why. To me, other than the obvious issues of garnering or retaining cash flow, this is a tempest in a teapot. All of the involved organizations make one-sided statements without explanation, assuming readers will just accept the statements as truth. I have yet to hear an explanation from any AMTA source that would explain why one set of exams is better for the profession than two, 12 or 112. The AMTA also has given no reason for choosing why the exams created and administered by NCBTMB are any better than those from any other test developer. One wonders why it would disenfranchise another organization's attempt to develop something "new and improved," and who might actually be able to do the job better! The NCBTMB gives no rationale for how a purposely developed licensing exam would "further divide the profession," any more than it is divided by multiple professional associations or multiple educational accreditation organizations. The board provides no examples of how reciprocity would be adversely affected by multiple entry-level exams any more than it is by multiple massage school diplomas. As I see it, this is just turf protection and spin.
In my world, competition is a good thing. I'm a better massage therapist because there are others in my community also striving to be the best they can be. I think the AMTA and ABMP are better professional associations than they would otherwise be if they were not both there to offer alternative choices. I think the NCBTMB will become a more responsible certification provider if there is another organization offering an alternative entry-level examination. The fact is that standards are the key to effective assimilation of multiple choices in almost any situation. It is accepted accreditation standards that allow a degree from thousands of colleges/universities to be accepted as a prerequisite for graduate education. As long as similar standards are applied to the FSMTB's new exam as to the NCETMB, then there should be no noticeable difference to the entry level therapist - other than it might be easier to schedule an exam after graduation.
But other than giving my opinion on this issue, I'm laying low and keeping my head down in case bullets start to fly!
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.
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