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The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
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