resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
March, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 03
Beware of the Backlash
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The backlash against our profession has finally begun. I was asked by a resort spa to do special medical massage training for its staff. In the conversation, the spa manager confided that it is getting harder to sell massages to guests. The reason he gave was that guests have received too many lousy massages at resorts and spas. They have either been injured or received a less-than-relaxing rubdown that did not help them at all, so they have written off massage. Therefore, these affluent guests, who can afford our services out-of-pocket, are writing off our profession as worthless, or worse, dangerous. This is the beginning of the backlash against the massage profession. I am surprised it has taken so long.
All the research that has been done validating massage becomes worthless if the typical therapist cannot reproduce the results. When the typical massage school student does not really know the difference between deep friction and effleurage, much less anatomy, how can they read a research protocol and duplicate the treatment? I have been told, "Silly boy, it is not necessary to know anatomy, all that is needed is a good intent. Just feel the energy and let it guide you." All I can say to this ignorance is that even if you are going to be a psychic surgeon, you need to know the difference between a tumor on the liver and the gallbladder before you begin the removal.
As we frantically beg for acceptance by the allopathic medical establishment (that is, MDs), do we believe we can garner much respect given the average competency of our profession?
A fellow instructor told me of a spa owner who said they would rather risk the chance of a lawsuit than put money into educating their staff on techniques and hygiene for stone massage. Some spas only change the stone water once a day. (How green of them.) How can this happen in a profession that is theoretically about health and healing? It happens as the heart of the profession is replaced by bottom-line mentality. Professionalism and professional ethics are more difficult and expensive for schools to demonstrate and teach, and for operators to maintain. Investors and investment groups are only interested in massage for the return on their investment (the bottom line). This mentality abuses both the therapists and the clientele. Both are beginning to figure this out. The number of people entering the profession is leveling off and now the public is walking away.
Debra Brooks, PhD, said, "When you lose the heart of a profession, you lose the art of a profession." It has been the art of our profession that attracted people to massage. The art provides the caring, healing and true health care. We are losing the art at an ever-increasing rate, and as we do, consumers will walk away in greater numbers. They get all the science and routines they can stand from the allopathic providers for "free" via insurance. The public came to us because we were an alternative. We had the science with a heart that gave the art, which finally provided the individualized attention people needed to heal.
Now we seem to have either one or the other. Some therapists learn the science, but not the art of touching from the heart. Others learn lots of new age/artsy stuff (which is different from the art of professional practice,), but not enough science to be safe and effective at the physical level. As we have become branded, integrated (look what has happened to osteopathy since it became integrated - if you are old enough to remember) and educated by investors, we have lost more and more of the heart. Our profession has disintegrated into first a trade and then down to just a job. Sometimes success, as measured in numbers, is a hollow victory.
What will our profession do about this? Probably nothing in the near future. It's hard to stand in front of the cash-flow train of the schools and large spa/clinic operators at this time. The marketplace will eventually force corrections. The marketplace is ruthless and it won't be pretty.
In my January column, I mentioned a possible correlation between trigger points in the Achilles tendon and restless leg syndrome (RLS). I received two very interesting e-mails on the subject. The first suggested that RLS is the body discharging the excess energy from overconsumption, especially eating too much meat and sugar. The second suggested a correlation with nerve entrapment in the psoas muscle. If you have experience with RLS and would like to share, please e-mail me.
Your Government and Mine
As the presidential circus moves across the country, notice there is only one candidate who has come out publicly for freedom of choice in health care and who supports unfettered access to alternative therapies. All the rest propose completely allopathic systems. One candidate wants to force everyone to get annual tests and vaccinations, calling this wellness care.
Meanwhile, over at the FDA, political appointees accept and approve bogus studies from approval-seeking companies, often against the recommendations of FDA staff. Thus, we are being force-fed GMO foods while the rest of the world is trying to ban them. We use our economic leverage to try to force it down their throats, too. Most recently, the FDA approved milk and meat from clones. How can this be? There haven't been enough clones producing meat and milk to feed a significant test group of people to determine its safety. Politicians, not objective scientists, have ruled it as safe. Whenever there is a political or corporate gain to "scientific research," follow the money trail and you will find the truth. The truth is seldom what you are being told by the mainstream media.
We are endangering our own food chain with GMO foods and "terminator" seeds. Without quality food, there can be no health, and health is the most important thing there is. Massage should be about health: maintaining it, enhancing it and, if necessary, restoring it through healing touch and advocating a healthy lifestyle. We are selling ourselves short when all we do is push oil around. More in May.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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