resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
January, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 01
A Pivotal Year in Massage Therapy
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Happy New Year! It's the year of the Earth Rat and it appears to be a pivotal year for our country and our profession. The massage profession often serves as a microcosm of our country; we are fighting turf wars with other professions, we have border control issues as to who is in or out of our profession, and we have very selective, whitewashed reporting of current events by our associations and the majority of the massage media.
As you listen to the politicians of our country, as well as our profession, remember that they are saying only what needs to be said (partial truth), and expressing themselves in such a way as to achieve a desired result. Politics and propaganda are, for the most part, the same - partial truth. Usually, the desired result(s) is in the best interest of the politician(s), not the people.
Pay attention during this national election year, especially to health care. This issue has the potential to significantly affect and possibly dramatically alter our profession. Politicians want control of your health. Always remember that the government that controls the health of its people - controls its people.
The massage profession and all alternative providers must position themselves to survive if socialized medicine is enacted. Spa and relaxation massage probably have little to be concerned about but, if you do therapeutic (clinical) massage, your ability to practice could face extreme challenges. Lately, the presidential candidates are in Iowa (my home state) on a daily basis and what I hear them proposing for "health care" is rather frightening, as my practice is 100 percent clinical. Wellness and alternative therapies are not even being mentioned. It's all about forced shots and tests, surgeries and drugs - in other words, all allopathic. These do not create health and it's debatable if they even prevent sickness. Most politicians are for sale and some of the highest bidders are the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. They work for whoever pays them. Be careful what you wish for with your primary vote.
My biggest disappointment with my profession is that it has probably missed its opportunity to become an alternative health care/wellness profession. The clinical side is leaning more and more toward an allopathic - insurance model of symptomology (identification and reduction of symptoms). The relaxation side is leaning toward branded routines. Neither really is about creating wellness, although the relaxation model actually comes closer. Massage should be about a wellness-based lifestyle, not just pushing lubricant around, generally or specifically.
An incredible amount of common symptoms are the result of sugar consumption. Low-cost, starchy foods that become sugar in the body are easy to transport and have a long shelf life. They are the highest-profit foods to sell. They also provide the highest profits for the medical profession. Note how the medical profession urges a low-fat diet; they know what is good for business. Sadly, the dietary education given to most allopathic practitioners is carefully controlled and minimized. Most only know what they have been allowed to know so they believe they are giving good advice, when in reality they have been brainwashed into giving advice that is good for pharmaceutical and medical profits.
A real cure is to get insulin levels (blood sugar) down. High cholesterol and low insulin don't go together, they repel. Low insulin generally is a hallmark of health and longevity. High insulin indicates a sugar-burning metabolism. In "sugar burners," when not enough sugar is present, the body converts muscle and bone into sugar to burn. And it becomes a vicious, destructive cycle. How much soft-tissue pain is the result of this? I don't know. Too bad only sickness is researched and studied. If health were the focus of research, the alternative health care professions would thrive. The government, pharmaceutical-allopathic cartel won't allow that. They want dependence, not health, which gives independence.
About 10 percent of our health care resources are spent on wellness and 90 percent on treating and suppressing symptoms. This is justified because of the profit it creates. Wellness and alternative therapies and lifestyle just do not generate enough profit, so they are suppressed or co-opted. Massage is being co-opted, which is the better of the two. The public is kept sick, even made sick (get your mercury-laced flu shot), suffers and dies in the name of profits. What to do? Don't play their game. Become a living example of a wellness-based life style. A good place to start might be to reduce your sugar consumption and eat more omega-3 oils and healthy fats.
I riled the AOBTA with my July column. I have nothing against Asian massage/bodywork therapies; I receive them regularly. However, they are just part of the continuum of massage, nothing more and nothing less. They are not as unique as they would like you to believe. This is a problem with our profession. It looks for differences and separation instead of commonalities and oneness. This lack of unity holds us all back from achieving the recognition and acceptance massage deserves. As for the verbose response to my column, all I can say is that as a carefully observing participant in the leadership of this profession for 20 years, including serving on a state regulatory board for eight years, I have observed the actions of the AOBTA and other groups closely. Their actions have spoken loudly and more accurately than their words. Maybe their current leadership has changed directions; time and actions will tell. Until then, I stick by my observations.
I am noticing a high correlation of trigger points with twitch responses in the Achilles tendons of restless leg syndrome (RLS) patients. Are any of you finding this? If so, let me know. Maybe together we can build a better program to help these people. I'll be back in March. Bring your kite.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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