resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
NCBTMB Responds to AMTA
Calls decision based on "passion."
By Christie Bondurant
The top story in the March issue of MT reported on the American Massage Therapy Association's (AMTA) recent support of the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination(MBLEx). Responding to the AMTA's endorsement of the MBLEx as the premier entry-level licensure exam, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) issued a statement contending that the AMTA's decision was "driven by passion" and alleging that parties advocating use of the exam have financial interests in mind, not the profession's long-term goals.
The AMTA stated in late January that, after thorough research and two months of open discussions with both the NCBTMB and the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), "all issues were examined regarding support for the MBLEx exam, as well as its impact on massage therapists and the [NCBTMB]" itself. Even so, the NCBTMB's response to the AMTA's support of the exam stated that the decision lacked judgement and added that the existence of the MBLEx is "redundant" and will threaten the profession at large as any national health program will not likely back a profession that has "abandoned its status as a credible and credentialed profession."
The AMTA gave its reasoning for the support of the MBLEx, also in the January statement: "For many years, the [AMTA] has supported an envisioned future of portability of massage practice, fair and consistent licensing in all states, and uniform standards for the profession. AMTA continues to believe acceptance of one exam for state regulation of massage therapy will give a consistent message to legislators and regulators that can best facilitate the achievement of these goals. ... AMTA believes the [MBLEx], developed by the [FSMTB], is the best choice for a licensing exam that can lead to portability of massage practice." (To read AMTA's full statement visit: www.amtamassage.org/news/012609release.html.)
The following is the NCBTMB's full response, sent to Massage Today on March 6, titled "NCBTMB's Position Regarding AMTA's Endorsement of MBLEx": "NCBTMB feels, respectfully, that AMTA's decision to endorse the MBLEx was driven by passion rather than reason, and does not promote the long-term interests of the profession. The parties that have advocated the MBLEx have economic interests favoring entry into the profession of a higher number of practitioners content to adhere to lower standards.
"Perhaps the most telling evidence of this intent was the decision to produce a redundant examination rather than jointly create a national practitioner data bank to protect the public. These interests are in direct conflict with the interests of over 91,000 nationally certified massage therapists, who benefit from a field comprised of knowledgeable, highly skilled and committed professionals who can best guarantee quality massage experiences for consumers.
"Introduction of the MBLEx threatens the viability of national certification and the profession at large. If massage therapy becomes the first allied health profession to abandon certification, we can only imagine what kind of message that would send to consumers, patients, hospices, workers compensation bureaus, referring health professionals, and to the Medicare program. Congress stands ready to appropriate over $1 billion for comparative effectiveness research, which has potential to demonstrate the ability of massage therapists to produce good outcomes for patients. It seems unlikely to us that any national health program will be inclined to study, let alone decide to cover, treatment in a field that has abandoned its status as a credible and credentialed profession."
The NCB feels that the "most telling evidence" of the parties' (advocating the MBLEx) economic interests is the lack of collaboration to "jointly create a national practitioner databank." However the FSMTB (creator of the MBLEx) initiated collaboration in 2005, when the federation was established because of their interest in creating a new exam. As reported in Massage Today [November 2005;5(11)], "the FSMTB states that they recognize the scope and potential impact of such a choice and have initiated a dialogue with NCBTMB to explore the possibility of the two organizations working in collaboration to improve NCB's existing exam program."
Collaboration did not take place, and thus the MBLEx, created in October 2007, was developed. According to the FSMTB, at the request of state boards, the exam was "created from a job task analysis survey of more than 7,500 professionals in massage, bodywork and somatic practices."
Why Create the MBLEx?
NCB's role in regulation has been questioned due to "the fact that state boards have had no direct input into the design and administration of this examination program, nor any role in the policy making process of NCBTMB," (also reported in MT, November 2005). According to the FSMTB, the MBLEx was created in part to solve this problem. "By having one licensing exam, the states can assist in the process of portability of licensure for massage therapists. With the MBLEx now in place, it is no longer necessary for state regulatory boards to be at the mercy of, or beholden to any party that can dictate or jeopardize the regulatory boards' function, decision making or integrity."
The NCB, in a second statement released to Massage Today on March 6, explained "NCBTMB's Position Regarding Use of its Certification Tests as the National Standard for Entry-Level Licensure Exams": "NCBTMB whole-heartedly supports licensure through our certification program as the best licensing path for the massage professional. Over 30 years of national policy and precedent in the healthcare field, as well as 16 years of successful implementation by the NCBTMB favoring licensure through certification, supports this successful inter-relationship. NCBTMB's exam program has successfully raised the standards for massage therapy and thereby protected the public health, safety and welfare since 1992. Today, in 33 of 39 states that regulate massage, our licensure through certification programs have successfully helped transform massage into the acknowledged, respected profession it has become. NCBTMB's licensing through certification programs have demonstrated their value to students, schools, regulators and businesses, with consumers as the current, and perhaps the most vital, audience. We believe NCBTMB's licensure programs are inextricably tied to the future growth and credibility of the profession in the United States."
The growing acceptance of the MBLEx may cause alarm for the NCB, however the Federation believes there is a place for both certification and licensure. "The [FSMTB] does not wish to compete with NCBTMB over its certification exams or to engage in a 'turf battle' as some observers have described recent events. The FSMTB maintains the factually-based position that licensure is the function of the licensing boards - not the function of certification boards."
In related news, Massage Today conducted a poll asking readers whether or not they preferred one entry-level exam nationwide. The overwhelming response was "yes;" however, the question still remains which exam is or will be preferred. (See the results of the poll on page 22.) Massage Today will continue to follow this story and update as necessary.
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