resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
March, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 03
Health Care Reform and the Massage Profession
A Crisis Too Great to be Wasted
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The current economic downturn is a crisis "to great too be wasted," according to our new president's chief of staff, and we will soon see some form of socialized medicine. It is not a question of if, it is a question of what and when. The point of this dose of reality is this: How is the massage and bodywork profession positioned to maintain its viability when health care is nationalized?
Health and health care is not really a right, it is a responsibility. Sadly, people in general do not want to take that responsibility and further, they want someone else to pay for their own irresponsibility and misfortune. We are in a period of rewarding bad behavior and poor decisions.
When "the people" ask the government to take over their personal responsibilities, this transfers individual rights and freedoms to the government. (And politicians can hardly wait.) The government that controls the health of its people controls its people. Ultimately, the State wants to manage its "human resources" (that's you and me) to maximize productivity for the State. It will take awhile, incrementalism is essential, but eventually it leads to population control.
Allopaths Versus Massage Therapists
In a government run system in the United States, "traditional medicine" (allopathy) will rule. Retirement is very unproductive and bad for the environment. In between, the allopaths get to skim their profits. Where does a health-based paradigm fit in? Think about it if you dare. Only a significant shift in societal consciousness (awareness) will change this.
The pharmaceutical-medical lobbies have the most money and thus access to the best politicians money can buy. The alternative health movement's window of opportunity is rapidly being closed, much to the delight of the allopathic system. Alternative providers tend to promote health and allopaths abhor health.
If that statement shocks you, and it is suppose to, remove your emotion and objectively look at our current health care delivery system. There is no economic incentive to the system to get or keep people healthy. They only make money off of sickness and symptoms. There is relatively little money to be made curing conditions, and even less preventing them. There are huge amounts of money to be made treating never-ending symptoms. This is why effective cures, cancer cures for example, are suppressed or run out of the country. Follow the money trail. You have to see the overall structure and philosophy of the system. Once you can, it is crystal clear. Of course there are exceptions within the system.
There will be a potential opportunity to bring wellness based care to the forefront in a nationalized system and that could be huge for us. It could save money and prevent a great deal of suffering (like 250,000 people dying from the allopath's admitted mistakes each year). Sadly, the government is not interested in cost-effectiveness or optimizing your wellness. It rewards inefficiency and ineptness. Allopathic sickness care is the epitome of both.
Current Bill in the House of Representatives
How will massage and bodywork, as a profession, be affected by the implementation of socialized medicine? It could be as benign as being left alone. If the Clinton plan is revived, we could have to become employees of hospitals or physicians or face being felons. There is currently a universal health care bill in the House of Representatives, HR-676. In this bill there are provisions for alternative providers to participate in the plan as long as they are licensed. This means our colleagues in states that are not licensed or that have some lesser form of regulation than full state licensure could be put out of business. Also, one of the three ways HR-676 will be funded is with taxes on the self-employed. That's a lot of us.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services' first first assignment will be handling health care reform. Obama's top pick for Health Secretary, former Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, abruptly withdrew his nomination after admitting his failure to pay about $140, 000 in back taxes. While Daschle is out, his nomination gives us some guess as to the types of policies we will see after an eventiual appointment. Daschle, who was voted out of office by his own constituents in November 2004, has said the Clinton plan failed because it had too many details. Instead he proposed to pass a skeletal bill and let bureaucrats make the administrative rules that will fill in the details of the plan.
[Editor's note: As of press time, the appointment of the Secretary of Health and Human Services has not been made.]
The Crisis is Too Great to be Wasted
Bureaucrats are not very supportive of us. If you doubt this, notice how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration treats herbs and supplements. Notice how the Department of Agriculture treats the organic food movement. There are plenty of precedents to make one quite concerned about how the bureaucracy might treat us and what amount of freedom they would give us to do therapy.
Who is going to watch out and stand up for us when this "health care reform" is created? Who is going to be the voice of alternative providers? Who will offer a serious wellness model beyond mandatory allopathic tests and vaccinations?
Where are our beloved membership organizations on this issue? Are they ready to represent you, to protect you, to insure you are at least allowed to continue to practice? Will they stand idly by and let us be put under the thumb of allopathic gatekeepers, making us unwanted slaves in the physical therapy departments? If you care about this, you might want to find out what their plans are, or if they are just counting on hope. Hope has never accomplished anything.
Take Action: What We Can Do?
It will be in the best interests of all of us to be in contact with our U.S. Representatives and Senators and let them know we deserve a place as the first door providers we are now, in any new system they may implement. We need to lobby strongly for our right to practice therapy both with and without gatekeeper supervision. Let me be clear on this. If you want to work for the government that should be your choice, but if you want to work for the patient, outside of the government system like most of us are now, you should have that right too.
If we are forced to become employees of hospitals or physicians or can only access patients through controlled referral, we will not last long. Remember, they ran manual therapy out of medicine here a long time ago. It is not profitable enough.
To survive as first door providers, we will have to lobby individually and through our associations. Are we up to the task? If all else fails, we may have to play dumb and say, "Hey, its just a massage."
Happy kite flying! See you in May with how we may get sucker-punched by research.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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