resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
March, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 03
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
This month, the ongoing discussion of professional regulation (licensure) continues. The purpose of this series is to raise your awareness of the licensing process, hoping that increased awareness will bring about the demand for well-written, more effective licensing laws.Better laws would provide more opportunity to bring alternative health care to the public, control over (and eventual elimination of) unethical therapists and schools, and the ability to expand our scope of practice, allowing us to better serve suffering humanity.
Aside from the monopoly that licensing grants, it also gives special protection to practitioners from normal prosecution for harming the public. The disciplinary process protects licensed practitioners. Apart from extreme cases, a doctor will not be arrested for an oversight. Instead, a complaint has to be filed with the medical board. (Death is not usually considered an extreme case, as practitioners have a license to kill. And I am not talking about abortion, but the 250,000+ fatal mistakes practitioners make every year - mistakes few seem to care about.)
This same disciplinary system applies to massage therapists, DCs, PTs, etc., in licensed states. The complaint process is confidential and is investigated by the board, which is in need of more investigators. For example, one state had two investigators who handled all the complaints for 17 boards. The medical board had its own investigators, but still not very many. This means investigations take months, sometimes years, to complete.
In the typical regulatory board disciplinary system, the accused provider is judged by their peers, not by impartial citizens (a jury). They usually are able to continue practicing until the decision is reached. Over this time, any negative publicity for the profession blows over and witnesses no longer pursue the case for various reasons: simply losing interest, moving, or in some cases, death. Finally, when the decision is reached, it's announced with little fanfare and usually results in an admonishment, a cease-and-desist order, or something fairly benign, like a token fine. Occasionally, a suspension or a revocation of the license might be ordered. Seldom is a practitioner banned from the profession, and imprisonment is virtually unheard of, except in cases of political persecution by medical boards. Then the appeals start.
In other words, licensure protects providers from the public better than it protects the public from the provider. It was designed this way and used to be much worse than it is today. Since licensing has expanded to the "other" health care practitioners (which wasn't supposed to happen when the AMA created licensure for MDs only), disciplinary processes have improved and are less of a sham. However, now medical boards in particular are using their powers to persecute practitioners who step off the reservation and provide patients with "unconventional practices," including such dreadful and dangerous things as nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, yoga, successful cancer cures; you know the stuff - quackery. If the standards of practice documents are ever completed for our profession, our boards will start doing the same things to us - something to look forward to. (If you have ever filed a complaint with a regulatory board, you know this statement is true. Some states are better than others.)
The point in explaining this is that in our profession, this disciplinary system does not work very well. Most of our boards are charged with approving and disciplining massage schools. Yet, the laws we have passed, which are modeled after regulations for other professions, have left our boards completely unequipped.
Further, when we "wimp out" and pass title protection laws, the boards have no way to stop dangerous providers and sexual predators from practicing. Title protection in massage regulation means anyone can do massage, but only people with a license actually can call it massage or other titles that are protected, like "bodywork," for example. Practice protection means no one can do massage without a license or a specific exemption in the law. These exemptions have gotten out of hand and, in some states, have turned practice protection laws into title protection.
Here's what happens. Some licensed massage therapist is sexually abusing clients. A complaint is filed. The therapist is found guilty. Instead of hanging the offender by their toes in a dungeon indefinitely, which is the least they deserve, all the board can do is take away the license. All the therapist has to do is change the name of their work to something not covered by the title protection, or call it something that has an exemption. The offender is back in business, and the board can do nothing more.
So, we are writing laws that protect the worst among us and punish the ethical therapists with fees and the hassle of compliance. In no way has this protected the public. We have to do better in the future. In May, I will discuss the scope of practice and how poorly written laws are taking away our ability to help the public, and how properly written laws can further expand our opportunities.
Working with patients suffering from whiplash caused by a rear-end collision? If their hands were on the steering wheel, there is a good chance they have suffered an injury to the rotator cuff. Be sure to examine every muscle of the shoulder for tender points and trigger points. Further, their jaw most likely will have snapped open and shut. Examine the temporalis and masseter muscles. One side usually will be worse. Normalize these and you might well prevent TMJ syndrome from developing in a few years. There always is more damage than initial complaints indicate. Provide a more complete service for whiplash victims and you will soon develop a very busy practice.
The Big Two
The two most common, yet modifiable, risk factors for heart attacks and strokes are poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. This makes sense. In fact, one definition of death is "lack of movement." Actually, the underlying cause of most disease is the body being too acidic. Get your pH up to ideal levels and you'll be amazed at how much better you feel.
See you next time, when April showers bring May flowers. Have a great spring!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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