resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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 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.
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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