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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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