resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
September, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 09
Help Grow a Pearl
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB
Despite several dark clouds hanging over the profession of massage therapy/bodywork, there is reason to be quite optimistic. The public demand for soft-tissue therapy continues to increase.The public patronage of venues providing relaxation massage also continues to increase. If a critical mass is reached before universal health care is forced upon us, it will be difficult for the politicians to take massage away. Relaxation massage will probably be unaffected.
Massage therapists, as first-door health care providers, will survive if our professional associations stand up for us. If our associations do not, and they seldom have, therapeutic massage will be put under the gatekeeping control of allopaths, where it will exist in some form. Not to despair, if you don't want to work under the thumbs of the allopaths. You can do a lot under the guise of relaxation if you are careful about the words you use. Just never treat a condition. This is simple. Only specifically address the tissue in spasm, reduce tender and trigger points, restore circulation and range of motion, and if the condition goes away it's not your fault, right? Of course not. Posture analysis and alignment are strictly for cosmetic purposes, right? So those who learn "how to rub" as Hippocrates called it, instead of just learning how to push lubricant around, will still be able to make a good living helping a lot of people. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Everything is an opportunity, and ours to make the best (or worst) of.
The organic food industry has become the target of a hostile take-over by the agribusiness/government cartel. People want clean, safe food that tastes better and that makes them feel better after they eat it. They are willing to pay a premium for it. The people who started many of the brands you have come to know and trust are reaching retirement age. One of the large agribusiness conglomerates makes them an offer they can't refuse, so they sell out and retire as millionaires. You can't blame them really. It's scary how one of the large food conglomerates now owns almost every major health food brand. Have they come to their senses and decided to provide better products? Hardly; they have bought up the organic food industry and are now using their millions and their lobbyists to corrupt and dilute the organic standards. Why? For profit, of course. They can get more money for chemically laced crap if they call it organic. It is called "greenwashing." This is having a negative impact on small, sincere organic farmers and companies who can only compete if organic standards actually mean something. The FDA and the USDA are doing everything they can get away with to destroy organic standards for the benefit of the large agrichemical and food companies. Are you concerned about the quality of the food you eat, the environment and organic standards? Does the survival of natural alternatives in health care and access to quality supplements, herbs, homeopathy, even massage, mean anything to you? If so, you need to get involved. A phone call and one letter a month would make a huge difference; even better, one a week. A good source of information is www.organicconsumers.org.
A more radical group - not in a bad way - that really lays it on the line is www.healthfreedomusa.org. Believe that you, as one person, can make a difference, because you can. The letters and e-mails to these bureaucrats are making a difference. Several dastardly initiatives and power grabs have been turned back. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Become an irritant - help grow a pearl!
It's fascinating how the microcosm of the massage profession reflects the macrocosm of American society at large. In this case, large career colleges bought up the largest and most successful massage schools whose owners were at or near retirement age, and now are using their millions and their lobbyists to dilute our professions education standards.
Along these lines, what's left of Iowa's massage law is now under attack by the "cosmo schools," among others, who want no standards for instructors or a required curriculum. No standards or accountability means more profit, but a poorer product be it food or therapists.
As our organic food standards are lost, it will become best to shop at farmer's markets for food from local growers who still care. As our massage education standards are lost, it will be best to go to locally owned schools operated by therapists who have successfully made a living at massage. If you can't, or haven't, made a good living at it, you shouldn't be teaching it. This is a huge problem with education in America in general. The motto, "Those who can't do, teach" is a major reason why our education system turns out so many illiterates and incompetents.
The muscular system of the body is not a bunch of separate parts (muscles). It's really one huge muscle, "The Muscle." Inseparable from fascia, "The Muscle," or the myofascial system, is such that tension anywhere in the system is tension everywhere in the system. Look for "chaining" patterns of muscles in the body. For example, the abdominal obliques interdigitate into the anterior serratus, which continues into the rhomboids and levator scapula, creating a spiral connection from pubis to C-1. How about the rectus abdominis merging into sternalis, continuing on to sternocleidomastoid? When one muscle in a "chain" won't relax, maybe it can't because of the tension placed on it from the rest of the chain. Examine the other muscles in the chain, treat (relax) them and see if the problem muscle then responds better to your treatment.
Out of ink, so I have to stop. See you in November.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB.
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