resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
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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