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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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