resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Connections Worth Making
"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons. Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
May, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 05
Scope It Out
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Ignorance is only bliss until reality smacks you in the face. As promised last time, the discussion of regulation (licensure) continues. This month's subject is scope of practice, an area in which we really are punishing ourselves and decreasing our ability to help the public, due to the poorly written laws we are passing.
Another purpose of licensure is to define the scope of practice of a particular profession.To use more accurate terms, scope of practice defines the extent of the monopoly granted by the state. Of course, the MDs who were first to the trough have a virtually unlimited scope of practice. That was their goal in creating licensure: a complete monopoly, along with the elimination or complete control of all competing forms of health care. It still is their goal, and universal access to health care may give it to them if we are not diligent. Every other profession has their scope limited by their licensing law.
Most professions desire as much extension of a scope of practice as they can get and always are working to expand it. Sadly, ours is not this way nationally. Our national leadership has given up huge aspects of our scope for no apparent reason, other than to just pass something. For example, any muscle-bound meathead at a health club can do specific stretches on anyone who walks in the door, but we pass laws for ourselves that prohibit us from doing specific stretches or joint mobilization. This has got to stop and should be reversed.
Our profession has failed miserably when it comes to defending our scope. I have watched it shrink to a shadow of what we should be able to do. In most licensed states, we no longer can do what massage therapists of the 1950s and 1960s did very well - without licensure. Our national leadership's willingness to restrict our scope of practice actually is endangering the public and limiting the care the public can receive. If alternative disciplines give up scope of practice, where can the public receive it? The public frantically is searching for alternatives to the current health care system, which is the single biggest killer of Americans. That's right. According to their own figures, allopaths kill more than 250,000 people each year; yet allopaths call alternative practitioners "quacks." By passing laws that end our ability to perform what historically has been the scope of massage therapy, we are forcing the public back into the hands of the allopaths - to face cuts, burns, poisons and even death. "Sorry, we used to be able to treat the soft-tissue conditions of scoliosis, but our new law won't allow us to manipulate the spine. So, I guess you will have to go get rods installed." How does it feel, Indiana?
By not having a logical, aggressive plan to pass uniform legislation for massage in every state to protect and expand our scope, our national leadership is depriving the public of the soft-tissue care it seeks, needs and deserves. In the process, our leadership slowly is killing the therapeutic side of our profession. It's the first-door-provider, therapeutic massage practice that the public needs and that allows massage therapists to make a comfortable income. Every massage licensing law should give us first-door access to the public, along with the right to assess, examine, manipulate and otherwise treat connective tissue with whatever means, techniques and equipment we are trained in. Training should be able to come from school or post-school sources. Stretching, movement and alignment techniques are necessary for proper and complete soft-tissue care, and should be included in our scope. While we might have to do it subtly, language-wise, this is the outcome we should achieve. Anything less is merely a self-imposed tax on our practice with no resulting benefit, except maybe to our egos - "I'm licensed."
If the massage profession is going to impose licensing, it should benefit from it, not suffer from it. Remember, the purpose of licensure is to benefit the profession and to protect it from the public and other professions. Don't say that when you are trying to pass a bill, but it is the reality of the situation and needs to be kept in mind. Every professional benefits from good legislation and suffers from poorly written laws.
At one time, I was a huge proponent of licensure. However, in the past few years I have been on the opposing side of several laws, because the laws were so poorly written that, had they passed, they would have been more of a burden than a benefit. Be alert as to what is being proposed in your state. Don't let a law restrict what you can do more than if you didn't have the law. Wakeup out there! A bad law is worse than no law.
Speaking of bad laws, Indiana is in the process of passing one. It will be another patch in the quilt of completely incompatible laws we have imposed on ourselves. It will be nothing but a burden on practicing therapists, but the schools are going to love it. Allowing schools to do whatever they want is all that is important, right? Indiana therapists, if there still is time when you read this, I encourage you to fight the legislation. If it's already passed, read this and weep.
So, what is the point of all this licensing discussion, other than just the educational aspect of it? Well, colleagues, it's about paradigms and what our profession once was, could be, but instead is becoming. Not enough ink to write on that until next time.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.