resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
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!
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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 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.
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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."
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
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.
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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