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News in Brief
New President / CEO Takes Office at Yo San University. Electroacupuncture for Constipation?
6 Steps to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet
People often ask me what defines success. Success, for me, is simple: doing exactly what you want to do in life. Whether it's the kind of practice you run, your life at home, your hobbies or something else, it's achieving anything you put your mind to.
Molecular Motors: Tiny Machines Behind the Rhythm of Life
In the clinic, we aim to restore healthy patterns of movement for qi that has gotten trapped or misdirected, or may have even collapsed. We may be focused on freeing stagnation, releasing heat or redirecting counterflow qi, but it often comes down to helping re-establish a flow of sorts.
Herbs for Digestion: The Power of Bitter
Many cultures (and indeed herbal clinicians) around the world have long respected the role of bitter herbs and foods for promoting digestion. For example, aperitifs – drinks consumed before a meal to stimulate appetite and digestion – were originally derived from bitter herbs.
Little Sticker, Big Impact
It's the end of an election year. Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump were the subject of conversation for everyone, everywhere for the entire 2016 calendar year. I don't think any of us can deny that this election affected us all very deeply on a personal level.
A Letter to the Profession from the New President at AAAOM
Volunteering for a national, nonprofit organization brings with it such highs, lows, and accomplishments, as well as a steep learning curve.
Assessing Core Stability and ROM: 5 Basic Checks
One of the first steps in addressing core stability is assessing static posture, ranges of motion, and motion of the pelvic bones, sacrum, femurs, lumbar spine and thoracic spine.
Chiro School Reunion: Whatever Happened to...?
I opened the door to the closet slowly, carefully, since I knew it contained a large number of precariously stacked file boxes. It also held numerous outdated gizmos with electrical cords of various lengths that could trip or strangle a person.
Another Chance to Make a Difference
Just a few months ago, "the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy" hit Louisiana. During this storm, one area experienced 31 inches of rain in 15 hours as almost 7 trillion gallons of water rained down in just one week across the state.
Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes (Pt. 2)
Most overuse injuries are benign, but there are some high-risk injuries that, if unrecognized or inappropriately treated, can result in significant loss in time from the sport or even require leaving the sport.
What We Can Learn From Spine Surgery
Patients with lumbar stenosis presumably present for conservative care to improve their quality of life and avoid surgery. However, providing clear guidance to these patients can be difficult for a number of reasons.
A Q & A About Updated Codes
Yes, indeed there was an update to ICD-10 on Oct.1, 2016. This is a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and this type of update will occur every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Can a Multivitamin Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence?
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multivitamin supplements in cancer prevention. However, with respect to preventing breast cancer recurrence, an important study was published in the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment in 2011 by Kwan ML, et al.
A First for the Profession: CCE Accredits First Chiropractic Residencies
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) has awarded accreditation to all five chiropractic residency programs currently administered at Veterans Administration facilities, "the first residency programs in the nation ever to be awarded this distinction, a significant advancement in the evolution of chiropractic education," according to a VA press release announcing the milestone.
Meshing TCM With Environmental Pediatrics: Where's the Overlap?
Pediatrics has a long history within Chinese medicine dating back to the late Han dynasty (i.e., the late 200s CE), with the two primary areas of emphasis being herbal medicine and xiao er tui na (pediatric massage).
Dedicated to Defending Chiropractic
Whether you're a veteran DC or a first-trimester student, the name George McAndrews should be part and parcel of your professional vernacular, as familiar as the word chiropractic.
A Simple Protocol for Holiday Stress
It's winter, a time when we should be deep in reflection, eating warming foods and sleeping long hours. Following nature's rhythms, we restore our bodies and minds in preparation for the renewal of spring.
Branding: Set Your Practice Apart
Dr. Brad started his practice seven years ago on a shoestring budget. He created his generic logo in five minutes using a website because he didn't have the time to figure out how to make something special.
2016: A Year in the Life of Acupuncture
Happy Holidays, may you, your family and friends have peace, joy and blessings throughout this special time of year. As 2016 comes to a close, we can look back and celebrate the many events and accomplishments for the profession of acupuncture.
End of an Era Looms at NYCC
New York Chiropractic College recently announced that Dr. Frank Nicchi will retire in August 2017 after 36 years with the college, the past 17 as president.
DVT: Know the Signs and You Could Save a Life
I lost a friend several months ago. He died from a pulmonary embolism (PE) secondary to a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) that originated in his lower leg. Bobby was in his mid-60s, soft-spoken and had a big heart.
Southwest Acupuncture College Brings It to Division 1 Athletes
When Michael Phelps' photograph with the distinctive round marks left by cupping went viral, the Division 1 student athletes treated through the Dal Ward Athletic Center at the University of Colorado (CU) could relate.
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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