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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
December, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 12
Year-End Observations of Our Profession
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Kudos to Dr. Janet Kahn, PhD, and the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) for their successful efforts to ensure that alternative practitioners have a place in the new national health care legislation.They managed to get an amendment into the Senate health care take-over bill that adds the language "licensed complementary and alternative medicine providers and integrated health care practitioners" to the definition of the health care workforce. This is huge.
At least someone is working for us in this stampede toward socialized medicine, which may be a done deal by the time this article reaches the printing press. I hope not. I hope it is completely defeated and the country can start over on a simple, understandable plan that will improve people's health care instead of increasing politician's power over us.
The work of IHPC is ground-breaking and they deserve our support. They are the only organization of which I am aware that is actively engaged in the debate in Washington, D.C. Hopefully their amendment will survive the process as the various bills move through the legislative process. I am confident they will stay on it. Sadly, in several states where massage therapists are not licensed, we are going to be excluded. Registration, certification and other bogus forms of regulation enacted in some states will not count. The shoddy, patchwork quilt of massage laws passed by our major associations will be put to the test if (when) the draconian health care regulation bills in Congress are enacted.
Fortunately, there is one group that has the potential to salvage the mess made primarily by AMTA, and by ABMP to a lesser degree. By "mess," I mean the state massage laws that have been passed with no uniformity, model, or intent of protecting and expanding our scope of practice and facilitating portability. After all, these are the main purposes of professional regulation. For the most part, good meaning people who have no understanding of professional regulation have written our laws. This has created portability nightmares for therapists and in several states sold out and given up our historic scope of practice. Our regulation "system" is so discordant that it is mostly a burden on therapists. And our associations are so proud of their "work" that there is little hope of them working to change anything for the better.
However, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) has the opportunity and the potential ability to create model practice act legislation and have it enacted uniformly in every state. There are a lot of pieces in the puzzle that must come together, but FSMTB is the only hope I see for uniform regulation and thus easy portability.
This organization is already moving ahead with an ambitious plan to bring about reciprocity for therapists moving from one state to another ("portability"). Other standardization language will also be developed. FSMTB has the potential to raise the standards for our profession, something our associations and massage schools have no financial incentive to do. FSMTB deserves our support; they need volunteers who care about our profession for committees.
Less Than Good Stuff
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCB), which has continually refused to accept its real purpose of being a certification agency, has now decided to become an insurance vendor and a pseudo-professional association. This will be interesting. I wonder if it will use the same tactics to keep its insurance customers that it uses on its primary certification exam customers: the state regulatory boards, which is lawyers and intimidation? Threatening clients has never been an effective marketing tool for customer retention, except maybe for the Mafia. NCB has sealed its fate and will not be around much longer. Its poor service, legal actions and legislative tactics have created incredible ill will against it in the regulatory arena. You can never win a war against the bureaucracy. Maybe a battle or two, but eventually the bureaucracy will have its way. NCB's days as a licensing exam are over once the lawsuit agreements expire. The ongoing transition of our profession to a trade will minimize the demand for a certification credential. NCB was initially a good idea. Too bad it didn't live up to the high expectations. Oh by the way, I actually hope I am wrong about this observation. It would be such a waste of time, money and energy if NCB was lost. Time will tell.
Speaking of insurance vendors, there are two principles being demonstrated in the massage world at this time. The first is that obscene profits bring ruinous competition. AMTA once had a monopoly on the professional massage practitioner insurance package. Then along came ABMP. Now there are many vendors, the newest being NCB. Most are competing on price. The icing is melting off the insurance cake and the big two are losing business and thus, profit.
The second principle being demonstrated is the Third Law of Thermodynamics. This law of physics says that a system tends toward entropy (chaos) as its energy becomes disorganized over time. However, the practical application of the law also provides that local order can be produced while increasing overall entropy. This is what is happening. Smaller groups are bringing a more localized order to the massage community. However this is at the expense of increased chaos (less order) in the overall group. This may be a good thing internally, but who is going to represent the entire massage community externally in issues like state legislation and the new national health care system, whatever that turns out to be? This increase in overall entropy will probably not help us as a profession unless it somehow evolves to separate the profession from the trade in a way that elevates the profession. At this time, it is probably helping the good to get better. We need the good to get larger, to be an ever-increasing percentage of the whole. At this time, that is not evident. But hey, there is always hope for change we can believe in.
Merry and Bright Stuff
It is hard to believe that the holiday season is already upon us again. Hope you sell lots of gift certificates! However you celebrate it, remember there is a bigger reason for all these special and sacred days than just shopping. May all the various holidays bring you joy and peace. Here's to a better year in 2010! I wish a healthy and very Happy Holidaze to all. See you back here in January.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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