resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
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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