resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
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.)
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
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.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
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 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.
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.
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.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
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.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
April, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 04
We Get Letters & E-mail
By Editorial Staff
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be edited for space and clarity, and published in a future issue or online. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to .
Just wanted to say how very much I enjoy reading the articles [by Rita Woods]. The debut article in January was one that I related to on a personal level. Then came the next two articles and the timing couldn't have been more perfect, as I am new to teaching. It has helped. I look forward to more articles.
Jackie L. Lander, LMT
Why We Don't Need Government Regulation of Massage
I support the letter by Kay Gustin, LMT in the Feb. 2008 issue saying that we do not need state government regulating the business of massage. I am a massage therapist with a business in Wasilla, Alaska, a state which does not have any state licensing regulations for massage. We recognize that massage is a healing art that has been practiced for thousands of years and has been handed down from elders to grandparents to parents and to their children.
Most of our cities in Alaska are Native American (First Peoples), so massage is a part of their heritage and traditional medical practice. For a central government thousands of miles away to require us all to take 500 hours of formal training in a school thousands of miles away from our homes and villages would insult our elders. Is their careful teaching worth nothing? Furthermore, this is a ridiculous proposition for us economically. Licensing regulations serve private schools and other special-interest profit motives rather than the interest of our people. Many states, and even the municipalities of Anchorage and Fairbanks, require a GED to study massage and to secure the required license to practice massage therapy. Fortunately, most of the state of Alaska does not require this. What does having a high school diploma or GED have to do with massage except throw up a made-up hurdle to prevent competition in the market?
Kay Gustin is keenly perceptive when she points out that chiropractors have been state regulated and licensed for more than 50 years, but that this has not brought respect down upon them from most medical professionals. Indeed, respect must be gained on the merits of one's work.
Although, the municipalities of Anchorage and Fairbanks are unique in Alaska for having licensure requirements, they allow apprenticeship instead of schooling. However, these municipalities are under intense pressure from special interests to reverse this wise alternative. I think apprenticeships in a hands-on profession such as massage therapy are the only way to gain the skill and knowledge actually required to do the job.
But, it is quite important for massage therapists trained in apprenticeships to learn to work together with western medical professionals in a mutually beneficial partnership. This partnership will help bring respect to our profession, which government licensure regulation can never do. No hourly or yearly requirements on apprenticeships should be imposed, since a signature of an elder qualified to teach massage stating that a student is ready to practice is sufficient. Lobbyists for special interests stand in the way of such sensible alternatives in the interest of money in states where massage therapy is regulated.
Some therapists who support state licensure of massage believe that by fabricating hurdles making it difficult for people to get licensed, they will make more money. This anti-competitive behavior prevents many skillful and talented massage therapists, trained by their elders, from competing in a fair marketplace and it literally takes food from their tables. This evil practice should be acknowledged and stopped. One way to counter this constant lobby from these special interests is for us to write our state representatives to not support state licensure of massage therapy in states where this has not yet been imposed, and to reverse state licensure in licensed states, because this is a waste of our tax money.
Special interests will argue, "We need licensure regulation and national certification minimum requirements to protect the public from harm." Have you ever heard of a case of an unlicensed massage therapist who has injured the public by massage? That malpractice insurance is available to massage therapists for less than $100 per year proves the very low risk of injury from massage. Clearly, the public does not need any protection by government from massage therapists! Some argue that regulation will stop unethical behavior or blue-massage. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork publishes a list of page after page of licensed massage therapists whose certification has been revoked or suspended for unethical behavior in their practice of massage.
As Kay Gustin points out, state regulation has not stopped prostitution in massage. Therapeutic touch is often confused with sexual touch by most people in the United States, because most people in our society suffer from severe touch deprivation (see article by Daniel N. Russell, "Touch-Starvation: Severe Cost; Simple Cure," Alaska Wellness, Nov/Dec 2003, p 32-33). This confusion can be overcome and eliminated in part by education as Kay Gustin suggests, but this is not enough. We, as a society, also need to satisfy our human need for touch in positive and nurturing ways. Enlightenment is required at this time of violence in our culture.
Our government relies on a free market to solve problems in any market, and to ferret out bad practitioners in every business practice. Good massage therapists will, naturally, seek education and put those who do not provide positive results out of business. We should allow our free market to work to provide us with the best therapy, rather than support "Bolshevik" state licensure bureaucracies.
Daniel Russell, MS, LMT, NCTMB
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