resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
May, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 05
The Politics of "Free": The Dichotomy of Doing Good
By Raymond Blaylock
Massage therapy is growing by leaps and bounds. Over the years, we have employed several approaches to nurture this growth pattern. In the mid-1980s our tool was "sports massage." We took massage, via sports events, into a very public forum with a high level of success. Doing this permitted people to view massage happening in a favorable light, the light of day, in fact.
In 1985, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Sports Massage Team was formed, co-founded by myself along with Bob King of Illinois and Tom Fink of Pennsylvania. In those early days and for years to come, we gave away our services at sports massage events all over the country. Our first national event series was the Bud Light U.S. Triathlon Series. This early work with sports massage catapulted our message of massage all over the country into the media and the positive press began in earnest.
However, the dichotomy of doing all of this good for massage therapy and our profession as a whole is that people began to assume massage in a public forum is free. Massage schools and practitioners continue to perpetrate this image today. Have you ever been giving a massage at an event, where someone asked you if the massage was free? Why do you think they ask? I would be truly surprised if any other health profession gives away more hours of their service than we, as massage therapists, do.
It is a fact of human nature that which we receive for free is valued less than things we have a vested interest in. If you have ever been to a convention or a trade show you know what I am talking about. You walk around picking up items that you may or may not need or want. You bring a bag full of "stuff" home and you may or may not ever use any of those things. But if you purchased an item you would keep track of it and use it as soon as possible.
Politics of Free
The politics of free are affecting our function as massage therapists especially with respect to seated massages. Being in a very public system, we constantly have people asking, "Is this free? We respond with something like, "No, this is a professional service that we have provided for this event." We have been told seated massage is a great public relations/marketing tool, which it is. We have also been told seated massage is great for stress relief, which it is. However, do you ever see your dentist or your internist out in the park on a Sunday doing free work? Why would you expect to see any other health care provider out offering free service?
Massage therapy has several public image issues; and this misperception that our services are free is one that directly effects our ability to make a living, and needs to be addressed immediately. A very simple solution will correct this misperception: remind the public that our work is valuable.
Whenever I do seated massage at a function that is not a revenue producing event, I take donations for a worthy cause. This has multiple positive outcomes. First off, it continues to allow us, as massage professionals, to use seated massage to promote our practices and profession. It also allows us to give people that initial massage experience and allows them to show their gratitude and be vested in the experience by making a donation to a good cause, such as a homeless shelter, SPCA, or UNICEF.
Additionally, people begin to realize that they need to make that energy (and value) exchange with their massage therapist. The massage therapist expends their energy giving a massage. The client then gives their massage therapist some "green energy" that is used to do energy exchanges with other people in their lives. Or, as in the instance of the fundraiser the massage therapist takes that green energy and gives it to a worthy cause that can turn that green energy into good works, and so on. This is the best of all possible outcomes a win-win-win scenario. Plus the massage therapist is connected to something in the community that the community holds in high regard.
Another way you, as a massage therapist, can deal with this is when you rent a booth at a show or festival, where you expect to charge for a massage. First be clear with the exhibit coordinator that no one is going to be there giving away free massage. Put it in your contract for the event. Talk to your massage school if they are out there doing events and giving away massage at events. Your massage school should support you in the education of the public.
Important to Note
Make sure whether it is a revenue producing event or a fundraiser that you get the names of everybody you work on for legal reasons to show who you worked on and who did the work. With a revenue event (where we are charging for each massage) collect the money before they get on your chair. This avoids any possible "confusion of free" before they get on the chair. If it is a fundraiser, get their name before they get on your chair and after they receive their massage you tell them, "I hope you enjoyed your massage. If you would like to make a donation to this event you may do it at the sign-in desk." If you are working with a charity or a not-for-profit group, it is nice to have a representative at the event to talk about what they do and how the money will be used.
In my opinion, all massage therapy events are either fundraisers or revenue producing events, and it behooves us to participate as this educates the public about the benefits of massage therapy as a necessary part of their health care. That said, please know that I do not feel that all massage must incur some form of money exchange. I know and understand that if you and I go to the women's shelter, for example, to give a massage, we are not charging or taking donations. And if we are at an emergency scene, we are not charging. If we are doing any form of "give-back," we are not charging for the massage.
We can do good and do well for ourselves at the same time. Ben Franklin called it "doing well by doing good." We can improve the public's perception of massage therapy by getting them invested in the outcome by creating an energy exchange via green energy. An interesting note to end on -- green in the color spectrum is the color of harmony, balance and growth! In many cultures, the color green denotes growth, learning, healing, abundance, fertility, and prosperity. It is believed to augur great success in any new venture. Any of those sound like a place you would like to be?
Raymond Blaylock, practitioner and educator, is the director of education at the Touch Resource Institute. He may be contacted by email
or through his Web site: www.mytouchresources.com.
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