resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.