resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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