resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
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."
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?
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.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 07
Where Itís Been, Where Itís Going
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Happy Birthday America! Hope your summer is going well and you have (had) a great 4th of July. It's my favorite non-religious holiday. This is my 50th column for Massage Today. Seems like a milestone of some sort.Thank you all for your continued support.
To carry on from the May column, a trip back in time is appropriate to look at what the profession of massage was and what it has become. A long time ago, the profession of massage didn't have all the fancy names and compartments it does now. It was just massage. Therapists knew the strokes, anatomy and spoke a common language. They knew how to examine tissue, find abnormal tissue and treat it. Therapists were trained to do both relaxation and specific, therapeutic work and flowed smoothly between the two. In the mid-1980s all the names (any name but plain old "massage") and compartmentalizing began.
"Sports massage" was one of the first "hot terms." I can remember the pioneers of sports massage laughing at all the buzz because it was nothing different than what they had been doing for years. Now there are dozens of little compartments of massage, each really the same, but with its little twist. After all, they all use the same strokes, which can be identified with those dreaded, old French words. It's mostly marketing and ego. "Oh, I don't do massage, I do - insert whatever it's called today." "Touch therapy" is not a group of different systems. It is one continuum, from deep in the body to off the body, from dense to less dense.
Other professions do not have this schizophrenia. There are many different approaches to chiropractic, from no-force to high-force, but they all come together under the term chiropractic. The same is true for PTs and acupuncturists. Some claimed the word "massage" had a bad image and they needed to disassociate from it. I never bought that line. Everyone knows there is ethical massage and there is adult entertainment hiding behind the name massage. Adult entertainment can be cleaned up quickly with good professional regulation statutes. It can be made worse by poor ones, as is the case in some states today. Massage became associated with adult entertainment due to unscrupulous schools preying on under-privileged women in the early 1900s. It's our professional karma and our duty to clean up the term "massage." Until we do, it will haunt us. Sadly, we are closer to a repeat of history than to a resolution, but that's another story.
The massage profession made a fateful mistake in the mid-1980s when it decided to become the umbrella for every new-age concept imaginable and to allow them to demand their autonomy within the massage profession. Too many groups were allowed on the boat without being required to row. Soon, the tyranny of the minorities paralyzed the majority from effectively defining a profession through standards and effective legislation. Prior to that time, the massage profession knew what it was and knew what it did. Since that time, it has been impossible to define what the profession is and what it does.
Groups that claim to not be massage and thus should not be regulated by massage legislation demand to be accepted as continuing education for massage therapists. Our sacred national certification exam, which is used as a licensing exam in most regulated states, tests one's knowledge of meditation and other fascinating but irrelevant, fringe modalities. (I have been a mediator for years. It has nothing specifically to do with the practice of massage.) The exam has forced Asian theory and techniques down our throats and now the Asian groups want exemptions from any regulation. They seem to claim they are not massage or bodywork and should not be governed by massage regulation. Yet, they have demanded everyone study Asian techniques to get a massage license. Oh, and of course, Asian techniques should be approved as continuing education for something they say they are not. Every little group wants to claim the creditability and acceptance that professional massage therapists have earned but without meeting any standard or having any accountability. It's insane and a joke, but not a funny one. We are in a sad state for a profession.
To pass a licensing law, the compromises made within our own profession make the regulation worthless and nothing more than a tax on those who participate for their ego's sake of saying, "I'm state-licensed/registered/certified." Just to pass some law, any law, we have given up important parts of our scope of practice - along with most of the benefits that professional regulation was created to provide, as I have discussed at length in my recent columns.
On top of it all, enter the career colleges and chain schools that want to turn us into "allied health care providers" taught 50 percent via distance learning. It's a seductive title, until you realize that it puts us with PT assistants, nurses' aides and other medical techs under the complete control of the allopaths. Nothing wrong with those professions, but they are a step down in freedom and pay from being first-door providers. These schools believe our profession should change its entry-level standards for the convenience and profit of the schools, instead of the schools accepting the responsibility of training students to the standards of the profession. This completely selfish attitude shows how little they actually care about our profession in particular or the quality of care provided to the public, in general.
So, that is where the profession of massage is today from my view. I hope this little bit of history was beneficial. If it seems like it paints a dark picture, despair not, as it is neither dark nor light. It is just the reality of the situation. I am an optimist and recognize that much good is being done despite our floundering. There always is hope.
Hang in there and I will share some hope with you next time as we look at what can be. I love writing the July column, because I get to close with the classic line, "See you in September."
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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