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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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 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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 02
Making a Statement About Massage
AMTA advocates consensus conference; ultimate goal is a federal statement declaring that massage provides effective relief of low back pain.
By Meghan Vivo, Associate Editor
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) recently approved financial support for the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) to propose that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hold a consensus conference on massage for low back pain.The IHPC is a coalition of health care professional organizations advocating public policy to ensure access to safe, high-quality medical care for all Americans. The latest survey from the AMTA provides evidence of the increasing popularity of massage for therapeutic purposes and suggests the tides may be changing in favor of insurance coverage for massage.
Massage has been credited with alleviating a wide variety of aches and pains, from migraines and carpal tunnel to anxiety and low back pain. More than 100 million Americans suffer from low back pain, and nearly $25 billion a year is spent in search of relief. In the Centers for Disease Control's 30th annual report on the health status of the nation, Health, United States, 2006, low back pain was the most commonly reported type of pain, the most common cause of job-related disability, and a leading contributor to missed work and reduced productivity.
Medication may still be the most common way to treat low back pain, but increasing evidence suggests it is neither the most effective nor the safest treatment method. The need for more effective solutions to low back pain has led many health care organizations to increase research for alternative treatments such as massage therapy. Although many Gen X and Gen Yers believe massage is not only a luxury, but also a medical necessity, Medicare and Medicaid have not yet supported insurance coverage for massage as a remedy for low back pain. In fact, most existing research ignores massage therapy as a treatment for low back pain altogether, instead focusing on drug therapies and surgery.
With the NIH consensus conference expected to occur in 18 to 24 months, the AMTA hopes to elicit a federal statement declaring that massage is effective for low back pain. Historically, the conference panel's findings have triggered Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement policies which, in turn, have expanded insurance coverage policies. If the conference goal is reached, the AMTA anticipates that massage for low back pain will be widely accepted by the health care community.
The NIH's previous consensus development conference on treatments for low back pain occurred more than 10 years ago. Although the expert panel at the conference concluded that research supported the use of chiropractic care for low back pain, it ultimately decided that too little evidence existed to assess the actual benefits of massage. Similarly, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports that the best treatments for low back pain include bed rest, exercise and various medications, such as over-the-counter analgesics, anticonvulsants, opioids and some antidepressants - with no mention of massage therapy.
More recently, however, a number of studies have indicated that massage is highly beneficial for people with chronic low back pain. For example, a 2003 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that massage therapy produced better results and reduced the need for painkillers by 36 percent when compared to other therapies, including acupuncture and spinal modification. And with 39 million American adults getting a massage annually, and 30 percent of those adults using massage therapy for medical purposes, recent AMTA consumer surveys continue to show that massage therapy is a growing trend.
As evidence that massage therapy is increasingly on the minds of the public, the AMTA reports that 9 million more people discussed massage therapy with their health care provider in 2006 than in 2001. Moreover, almost twice as many doctors recommended massage therapy to their patients in 2006 than in 2001. When patients inquire about massage therapy, physicians are more likely to recommend it (59 percent), while nearly half of all chiropractors (48 percent) and physical therapists (47 percent) also recommended massage. And nearly 80 percent of 25- to 35-year-olds would like to have their insurance plan cover massage.
Despite lingering pessimism from some in the conventional medical community, an impressive 25 million more Americans each year are getting a massage today than they did 10 years ago, according to the 2006 AMTA study. People 55 years old and up have tripled their use of massage over the past 10 years. Gen Yers have become less reliant on medication to treat low back pain, with 94 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds preferring massage therapy for pain relief.
Today, massage therapy is one of the most common ways people relieve back pain. Research is increasingly showing that millions of Americans regularly use complementary and alternative health care approaches. Because most of this complementary care is paid for by the patients themselves, without any assistance from Medicare or other forms of insurance, it is not accessible to all Americans. Only those who can afford the out-of-pocket costs have access to broader choices in their health care. Massage patients, massage therapists and affiliated health care organizations remain hopeful that the NIH consensus conference will convince the health care community and insurance providers of the benefits of massage therapy - a treatment that already provides much needed relief to millions of Americans.
Editor's Note: In September of 2006, the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals also pledged $15,000 in an effort to help gain medical recognition of massage therapy as a treatment for low back pain. The ABMP contribution accounts for about one quarter of the funds needed to advance a review under the auspices of the NIH, Office of Medical Applications of Research. Visit www.abmp.com for more information.
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