resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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