resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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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