resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
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.
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 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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
May, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 05
An Opportunity and a Double Cross
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The recently passed stimulus bill has lots of interesting stuff in it. Several clauses of the bill deal with health care. There is $1.1 billion allocated to "comparative effectiveness research," looking at outcomes of different medical procedures.Will this research embrace, or at least include, alternative therapies such as massage? Boy, could we score big if the studies are set up fairly. Who is representing our profession, and advocating that we be included?
The American Massage Therapy Association's (AMTA) government relation's person told me that they have a legislative tracking service in relation to massage. But she was unaware of HR 676 (see previous article, MT March 2009, for my discussion on this bill) or any clauses of the bailout or stimulus bills. However, they are sending a representative to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) meeting soon.
An Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) spokesperson said they are very aware of the legislation and are closely monitoring the situation. They are optimistic that changes in health care regulations will include us and other alternative disciplines. They do not have a formal action program or policy in place at this writing but they are ready to work for us when they see an opportunity to do so. At least they are in the building and in the right room, taking notes.
A new kid on the block with great potential is the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC). It will be interesting to see what this group will be doing for us and other alternative disciplines in the future. They are already at the table, hard at work. Kudos to ABMP and IHPC! (More on IHPC in the July column.)
The transition to nationalized medicine will take several years, maybe longer. Will we be allowed into the new system? If not, will we be allowed to exist outside the system and still do therapy? How will the computerization of everyone's medical records affect us? Will we be part of it? Will we have access to it? Can our profession maintain its first-door provider status? Massage therapy as a wellness-based, alternative discipline cannot thrive if placed under gatekeeper supervision. (Access by prescription, and limited to only what is prescribed.) The PTs are already there, so where would we fall in the hierarchy?
The public is looking for alternatives to the current sickness-care system. The government is looking for more cost effective procedures since they are going to be picking up the bill. This is a perfect storm for our profession (and all the alternative professions) if we can get to the table and be heard. Massage therapy is the premier wellness modality and the most cost-effective, soft-tissue, pain-management therapy there is. It would be a crying shame if we get left out of the coming nationalized system as it is created just because no one was able to speak up and represent us. It is imperative that we get in on the early stages of any new health care system's development. Not just for the thousands of massage therapists, but for the millions of people we could help.
The Sucker Punch
While it is important to play ball in good faith with the government and the allopathic sickness-care industry, we must be aware at all times what the bureaucracy is up to so we can hopefully protect and defend our freedom to practice. Our profession has made a huge (for us) investment in research trying to validate what we do. It is important to study how massage works and its best applications. However, research is a double-edged sword, as this next report shNew FDA regulations are now threatening to ban any food supplement that has been researched in clinical trials. Currently, Section 201 of FDA regulations already prevents the marketing of dietary supplements which have been subject to published clinical studies, but only when they have also been the subject of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application.
The FDA's unprecedented, controversial and ambiguous changes to regulations, may mean that all food products, including dietary supplements, could be barred from being marketed if they have been the subject of published clinical studies. Gretchen DuBeau, executive director of the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF), explains further: "This would strangle innovation. It would create a 'Catch 22' situation in which supplement producers who undertake scientific research on new supplements will find that their very research will lead to a ban on the proposed supplement."
It appears they are going after Stevia initially, a natural, zero-calorie sweetener, which is considered a threat by the giant sugar and artificial-sweetener industries.
See how we are being sucker-punched here? We are told that claims of effectiveness cannot be made without research to back it up - never mind clinical observation for several hundred years. It has to be current valid "research." They thought that would prevent the alternative health community from being able to make any claims because we could not afford to do the research. Now that research is being done that threatens pharmaceutical sales, they will ban the sale of products proven to be effective, classifying them as "drugs" that must be controlled for the "safety of the public." We are in a period of time where the mindset will be that the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the group is considered necessary. That's all well and good, unless you are an individual.
How does this apply to massage? Glad you asked. Those of us in alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture are told we need research to validate what we know to be true. Research is now proving us right. Will they now take our research and ban us from doing procedures with which we get positive results? Would they do that? Will we get sucker punched by research, like the supplement industry just has been? Let's hope not. However, they justify human suffering in the name of profit. Where is the profit? Not in massage or other alternative therapies. We cannot follow the allopathic model and be an alternative to it at the same time. Health care freedom is something we will be able to tell our grandchildren that we once had.
All conditions in the physical begin as discordant thoughts and emotions in the mind. The physical condition distracts us from perceiving and recognizing the mental disturbance. For true healing to take place, the mind must be illumined to its part in the condition. Until the causative thought pattern, usually subconscious, is changed, the symptoms will return. Mind-body healing is the cutting edge of health care. Massage can bring about awareness on more than just a physical level. Be a teacher, particularly of awareness of the self.
We live in interesting times. See you in the July issue for America's birthday.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.