resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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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