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.
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.)
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 07
Upsetting the Health Care Pyramid
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Just to set the record straight, I want to clearly state that I am not anti-government. I do not believe in or desire anarchy, or an every-person-for-themselves mentality. I do not think everything the government does is bad or wrong.Government of some form and to some degree is necessary in a civilized society. The debate becomes, what type and how much. My issue is freedom of choice in health care. There is nothing more important to me than health. So if I may make one disclaimer when reading my columns: Try to remember I truly have the well-being and health of humanity as my primary goal.
The current "health care system" in the United States has nothing to do with health. It is strictly a sickness care system, a crisis management industry. We need it. There will always be sickness and accidents. We have the best crisis medicine system in the world. People from all over the world come here to receive treatments, especially from countries that have government run systems. Hmmm. However, the system is totally funded by human suffering. There is no economic incentive for our current system to get people well and keep them well. Has the overall health of the public improved recently? The lip service the current system pays to wellness is token at best and maliciously flawed at worst. Plumbers and engineers have done more to improve health in civilized countries than allopathic (conventional) medicine.
You have to set aside your emotions and become objective in viewing the system. When you can do that it becomes very clear that the medical-pharmaceutical-government cartel abhors health and does everything possible to prevent you from acquiring it, justifying human suffering in the name of profit for the allopathic drug cartel and population control for the government.
I know it seems a bit radical to say this, but if you observe their actions it is blatantly obvious. Actions do speak louder than words, especially from politicians and propagandists.
There is zero incentive in the current system to get you healthy much less keep you there. Are there any bonuses paid when a patient doesn't ever get cancer or doesn't have a stroke or heart attack? No. Money is only made when people are sick. The more sickness, the more profit. The system's ideas of wellness are tests and vaccines. I am not against tests and if you want to inject a live virus pickled in mercury into your arm or your fanny, you should be allowed to. However, I should be able to say "no thanks" and not be made a criminal. It is called freedom of choice in health care. What a concept. However, healthy people are not profitable for the industry and the government cannot have people living in good health into old age as politicians have already spent their social security taxes paying back their political contributors.
So where am I going with this, other than the educational value? We are at a sea change in health care in America. A new system is going to be put into place. There is a window of opportunity now open to include a wellness paradigm into the national system.
Economically and morally, alternative providers should be at the top of the health care pyramid. We should be the first door providers and gatekeepers. Health and wellness should be taught and practiced, from childhood on. Correct posture and movement, breathing, nutrition, exercise, and natural health/healing should be integral in education and health care. Of course when there is a crisis, patients would go directly to the allopaths for their specialty. When something borderline is beyond the scope or skills of alternative providers it should be referred to the allopaths. DCs, LMTs, acupuncturists and OMDs should be at the top of the system, allopaths at the bottom. The incentive should be for wellness and a job well done through safe, cost-effective, natural therapeutics. What a concept! Only a few, if any people have died from natural methods (herbs, supplements, homeopathy, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.) in the past 5 years.
Currently, our health care system and our government rewards ineptitude, inefficiency, and failure. In health care this results in sickness and suffering. (250,000 people killed by mistakes and "safe" prescription drugs every year, plus the ones irreparably damaged by side effects and non-lethal errors.) No one seems to care; after all, medical deities have a license to kill. Additionally, this very expensive system makes people very dependent on the government, and politicians love that.
However, we have a new president. There is Hope and Change we can believe in. Maybe with some education and persuasion, the re-make of our health care system could bring about a true change that would help humanity and save tons of money from being printed. This will only happen if our elected representatives are constantly approached and reminded to include alternative providers in any new legislation as first door providers, and also allow us to exist outside the system legally. If only we could put freedom of choice, open competition, accountability, and rewards for personal responsibility, into the new system, we could actually have a health care system that saves money and improves people's health. There is always hope! Sadly, it is a fairly poor strategy as it lacks any effective tactics, but that is what most of us voted for, so let's get with it.
The question is, who is going to represent us, the alternative providers, as the new system is created? It appears it is going to have to be a grass roots lobbying effort of providers and patients, as our professional organizations are being slow on the uptake and not working together.
Yes, this would mean that our profession would have to improve our quality and consistency of entry-level practitioners. Most of our schools won't like that but it is time we had a serious upgrade in our educational system. I am trying to stay positive and optimistic here. For humanities sake, we need to make this change. All the alternative provider associations (chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, etc.) need to get together and start working very hard to take advantage of this window of opportunity, not for the profession's sake, but for the sake of the public.
I was hoping to provide more information on the Integrated Health Care Policy Consortium. However, they did not get back to me in time.
Happy Birthday America! From every mountainside, let Freedom Ring. Enjoy the fireworks. Think about what freedom means to you and what you would do to protect and preserve it.
July is my favorite column because I get to say, "See you in September!"
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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