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.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
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.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
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.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
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.
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.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
August, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 08
A Definition of Medical Massage
By W.D. "Peter" Lane, LMT, CNMT, NCTMB
There is a need to define the frequently used term "medical massage." One proposed definition would require a medical massage therapist to have significantly more training to qualify for licensure.The curriculum for medical massage would include cadaver studies, chemistry and nutrition, as well as an internship. The state would provide a separate license for a medical massage therapist, which would allow the practitioner to bill insurance. The insurance component would compensate a therapist for the additional required education. A medical massage therapist would work with a patient's primary care physician to provide optimum health for the patient.
One of the most vexing issues facing the massage therapy industry today concerns the term "medical massage." All health care professionals know what it is, yet few are able to define it. Yet, when we as bodywork practitioners answer the question of what medical massage is, we will further the goal of legitimizing and establishing advanced bodywork in the health care environment.
Why is "medical massage" creating such a stir in the massage and medical community at large? Who should be allowed to practice medical massage and how? When is it indicated and when is it not? I attempt to answer these questions from the standpoint of a licensed massage therapist and a certified neuromuscular therapist who has been treating patients in New Mexico for the past 12 years. My opinions are based on practicing in both the massage and medical environments.
I have come to these opinions based on a sincere desire to see the perception, understanding and appreciation of bodywork advanced throughout the U.S. with some degree of uniformity. More importantly, the bodywork industry needs a universal definition so when a patient seeks out the services of a medical massage therapist he or she will know that therapist is licensed and properly trained to treat their pathology. It's important to define medical massage to both eliminate imposters and to protect legitimate medical massage therapists.
In my opinion, medical massage should:
These days, many other definitions of medical massage are floating around the country. Some serve the limited financial gain of a person or organization promoting a particular definition. Some definitions state medical massage should only be practiced in a doctor's office under the absolute control of an MD or DC. If practiced in a PT clinic, it must be under the domain of a PT. One organization states only students who take their "national certification examination" in medical massage should be recognized as a medical massage therapist.
From an insurance billing perspective, there has been recent litigation attempting to prevent a bodyworker from filing insurance unless they are a "medical massage therapist." Fortunately, when the judge asked for a definition of medical massage and none could be offered, he ruled in favor of the massage therapist. It has become quite clear these definitions do not have at their core the benefit of the patient.
Under the definition I propose, an LMMT (licensed medical massage therapist) should be someone who has received training requiring more than the universal 500-hour training threshold that has become the norm for massage therapists. The curriculum should require more hours in anatomy and physiology, pathology, patient assessment, kinesiology, musculoskeletal anatomy, including cadaver studies, chemistry and nutrition. The curriculum would include alternative therapy electives, a segment on business and ethics, practice management and insurance billing.
I also propose a significant clinical practicum and internship. Included in this formula is a continuing education requirement that exceeds the current eight to 16 continuing education units required biannually by many states. The extra education can be accomplished within the context of a 2,000 to 2,400-hour program similar to the structure of training programs in place in Canada where 2,200 to 3,000-hour programs are standard.
An LMMT would have the option of practicing in a controlled environment such as an HMO, working in private practice or something in between. The state would be required to adopt separate licensure for LMMTs. Furthermore, the LMMT automatically should be included in the mix of approved therapies for insurance billing.
The benefits for patients and therapists are obvious. The patient will know his or her therapist is properly trained, qualified and competent to treat the condition they have been referred for. The therapist will have the satisfaction of knowing their training will bring measurable results to the patient and they will be compensated for their work by insurance. The insurance industry benefits by knowing an LMMT is ethically and legally following a standard of treatment and documentation. By arriving at a national consensus about the definition and training of an LMMT, the U.S. will have gained a cost-effective tool in containing spiraling health care costs.
A quality-driven, credible medical massage therapy program should be predicated on proper program development and organization complimented by a competent and experienced teaching staff and utilized in an active clinical environment. Too often, education and competency have not paralleled each other and curriculum has not been problem-centered and patient-based.
The following curriculum outline is designed to assist preeminent institutes for higher education in the medical massage industry. The medical massage program can be implemented in stages as instructors are trained and certified or offered as a comprehensive second-tiered advanced program.
Medical Massage Therapy Curriculum Outline
Anatomy and Physiology:
ACI-Cell anatomy and physiology
The chemistry and physiological processes of the body.
Musculoskeletal pathology and related disease processes.
Nutrition and your patient. Pharmacological and nutritional interactions and outcomes.
Medical Massage Theory and Disciplines:
Assessment Procedures and Protocols
Advanced Musculoskeletal Palpation:
Cadaver Dissection I-V
Medical Massage Clinical Practicum
Medical Massage Externship Program
Business and Ethics:
Insurance billing for the medical massage therapist.
History of Medical Massage
W.D. "Peter" Lane is director of the NeuroMuscular Therapy Center of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. He is an instructor of anatomy and physiology and maintains a private practice treating patients who present with a variety of soft-tissue dysfunctions. For more information about the NeuroMuscular Therapy Center of New Mexico visit www.salubria.org.
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