resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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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