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Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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?
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
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.
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
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.
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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
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.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
September, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 09
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
We live in interesting times. It seems the good is better than ever, but the bad is worse than ever. Chaos Theory says this is an ongoing evolutionary process, so expect it to continue to even greater extremes.Maybe some global polarity therapy could help.
The "corporatization" of America continues to accelerate and thus the corporatization of the massage profession continues along with it. I have nothing against corporations by the way. The tax laws are written to favor corporations. If your business is not structured as one of the several corporate entity forms, you probably are missing out on a lot of advantages. There is one limitation, a huge one, for individual massage therapist's setting up a corporation, so incorporate only with good professional advice. But, I digress.
Some of the corporate mergers and buy-outs will be good for the profession overall. However, when it comes to the delivery of massage therapy to the public, for the most part, this corporatization means guaranteed mediocrity. For example, I spoke recently with a therapist who works for one of the up-and-coming massage franchises. She must do the massage routine exactly as choreographed, asking the same questions, the same way, at precise times during the massage. The "Cosmic Mother Company" sends in "mystery shoppers" who check her out for compliance. If the customers request a particular therapist for return appointments, that therapist is grilled as to what she/he is doing different or special and "mystery shopper" visits increase. I am sure such franchises are impatiently waiting for the day when they can install mechanical massage robots. The McDonald's- and Wal-Mart-conscious faction of the public probably is just as anxiously awaiting that day and will stand in line to receive it.
A colleague reported he went to a very large, exclusive day spa on the "Gold Coast" of Florida where he paid $145 for an hour massage. The therapists were not allowed to touch, let alone massage, the abdomen or the hips. Yes, forbidden to touch the abdomen or hips - some of the hardest working and most important musculature of the body, and not even if the customer requests massage in those areas. Pitiful.
This is what the public is experiencing as "massage." This certainly is not health care, nor is it compassionate touch therapy. For many years, I have argued that we should use the term "patient." I never even considered the term "customer," but that is the appropriate term for the recipients of massage in venues like these.
On a much more positive note, Dr. Tiffany Field and the Touch Research Institute have just released a study, funded by Biotone, showing that a 30-minute massage twice a week can significantly reduce lower back pain, increase range of motion, decrease pain-induced sleep disturbance and improve overall mood. Cool! This is huge. Now, where can the public get this massage?
Quilting Bee Continues
I see the great state of Massachusetts just got a massage law passed, and over the veto of the governor no less. I think that is a first. Congratulations! The bad news is that the patchwork quilt of dissimilar state laws grows. This new law has some very interesting language in it. Massage therapists cannot stretch a specific muscle, but can do a "non-specific stretch" and many standard terms now used in our profession appear to be forbidden in advertising, like "medical massage," "orthopedic massage," "neuromuscular therapy," etc. My favorite clause forbids a massage therapist from doing exercise. No, it doesn't say anything about on a patient, it says, "No person licensed to practice massage or massage therapy shall perform any of the following: exercise. It's very clear. So, there will be lots of out-of-shape massage therapists in Massachusetts, I guess.
Speaking of licensing laws, my next few columns will focus on professional regulation. You need to know this stuff. I will keep it interesting and entertaining. Professional regulation is a classic example of the political double-speak we are faced with everyday. Like The Medical Privacy Act, HIPPA, which sounds like a great idea until you realize the only privacy it provides is to the government, insurance companies and medical researchers to go through your personal health care records without you ever knowing about it or being able to prevent it. You now have no privacy; in fact, you barely can get access to your own records or the records of your family. Who passed the act? The government. Who gets the privacy? The government and its health care cartel do. All true cartels are linked to government. Your government and mine got the public to fall for the privacy act because the public believes their privacy is at risk and the government is there to protect and help them. The first part is true, but the second part is no longer the case. The government is now there to protect itself and help itself to more and more control over you, as well as to an ever-increasing share of the fruits of your labor.
Professional regulation (licensure of some sort) is another form of double-speak, only more subtle. We are told licensure is to protect the public, right? That's the mantra from the departments of health and/or professional regulation, "protect the public." Think about what you have observed about licensure. Do you ever remember the public going to the legislature demanding the licensure of a profession? I am not aware of it ever happening, certainly not in the last 25 years. It's always the profession that goes to the legislature begging to be granted a monopoly in the form of a license to practice. The dirty little secret is that professional regulation was originally created specifically to protect the profession being regulated from the public.
Think about that, and I will explain more of the licensing scam in November.
Don't Try This
Pesticides (insecticides), which are derivatives of WWII nerve gas weapons, kill by attacking the nervous system of insects (or humans). A new Harvard study, the largest ever done, has linked pesticide exposure to a 70 percent increased risk of Parkinson's disease. Learn more at www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_902.cfm.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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