resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
July, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 07
Suffering for Profit
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Never has the direction of our profession been brought into focus more clearly than by the recent legislative activities of our major professional associations. With little, if any, understanding of the professional regulatory mechanism, our associations are working hard to pass massage licensing laws, state by state. They obviously only have themselves in mind, not the profession and certainly not the public.
At one time, the AMTA was the association working for regulation and the ABMP was the association working against it. Times have changed. The two have now teamed up against us. Most professions, through their associations, are constantly working to expand their scope of practice to better serve the public. Not our associations. They are working for themselves so they can say, "We passed a law." Never mind the laws they are passing are deeding away huge portions of our traditional scope of practice. Who cares about joint mobilization, stretching and exercise? We'll trade them for a new law. One new law defines what a massage parlor is relative to us. Great - we've just legally defined adult entertainment as a part of massage.
On pessimistic days, I see our profession merging into adult entertainment, with the boundary being very unclear and no one really caring. How many hours does it take to train a prostitute? What anatomy must they know?
Of course, there is no set amount of anatomy a massage therapist must know. One hundred hours sometimes is specified, but 100 hours of what? According to the recently passed law in Massachusetts, therapists are forbidden from doing exercise, period. Better not be seen in a health club if you are a therapist in that state. A new law being proposed in a major northeast state will forbid us from doing joint mobilization, among other things. This precedent will now be the standard demanded by the dark forces of allopathy for all future laws and, of course, they will now add even more demands to limit us. The physical therapists have been given the charge to negate us. We're letting them win.
Any muscle-head in a health club, with no qualifications whatsoever other than large biceps, can give the public stretches and exercise, but massage therapists can't. Thanks, AMTA and ABMP - great job. You've done a great job of selling us down the river.
If you like the laws being passed by your associations, you should let them know. However, if you don't, it's even more important to let them know. Call the AMTA at (877) 905-2700 or the ABMP at (800) 458-2267. No law is always better than a poorly written or bad law. Laws that restrict our traditional scope of practice are bad laws.
Who is the winner and who is the loser when bad laws are passed? The associations and the schools win. The schools get to keep grinding out minimally trained therapists and the associations keep signing them up. As usual, the public loses because they are denied the full potential of massage therapy care in the name of profit for schools and associations. It's amazing the human suffering we justify in the name of profit, isn't it? At one time, this profession offered an alternative to the profit-driven allopathic model. I fear that time is nearly gone. Only you, through your involvement, can save alternative health care. Do you care?
More Sauce, Please
Do you know what the massage lubricant you're using is made from? There is some very dangerous stuff being sold as massage oil, lotion and gels. As lotion gets cheaper and cheaper, do you really think it's getting better and better? You put it on your patient/client for an hour or so at a time, now and then. You put it on yourself every session. Many colleagues are developing skin reactions to massage products. Worse, some are developing liver problems. Even clients are reacting negatively to some of the products being put on them. Read the labels on your massage products. If you see terms such as Quaternium-15 (or any of the Quaterniums), which are harsh; skin-sensitizers; BHA/BHT, which are linked to cellular changes in lab experiments; or maybe glyceryl cocoate ethoxylate (a water dispersant that can cause skin irritation/sensitivity), you should seriously consider why you're exposing yourself and your patients to these chemicals, and maybe find a cleaner, more natural product.
By the way, just because something says it's natural or even organic on the front label doesn't mean it really is. For example, Splenda, the artificial sweetener, starts with pure sugar, but there is little resemblance to the natural substance once it is processed. It's buyer beware, as it should be. However, that places the responsibility on you, the buyer, to become educated and aware of exactly what you are buying or using.
Even More on RLS
Interesting information continues to come in on restless leg syndrome (RLS). The following comes from Valerie Whiting, MS, OTR/L, LMT, in Knoxville, Tenn. I find it quite insightful, as it correlates with some qigong information I have come across recently that says a lot of our problems come from lack of walking in a full and correct gait pattern. "The RLS folks have habitual short stride length, so the limit may be from hip, knee or even ankle injury, but the problem is that stretch doesn't occur as it does naturally in a long, easy walking stride. Personally, I find that with people sitting on the job, tight quads limit the stride length. That concept is the base of my assessment for RLS complaints." Send in any RLS information you would like to share and I will pass it along in a future issue.
As this is the July issue, Happy Birthday, America! Have a great 4th of July. See you in September.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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