resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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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