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We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
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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