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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
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.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
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.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
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."
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!
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
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.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
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.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
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.
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
Heart on the Bottom Line
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Happy New Year! I have observed with fascination and wonder as our professional associations have willingly given away huge chunks of massage therapists' traditional scope of practice. Most professions have associations that hire lawyers and lobbyists to fight tooth and nail to expand their scope of practice.Not ours. We give up more and more every year. Look at the state massage laws passed by our associations in the last few years. We have given up traction, stretching, exercise and joint mobilization, and saddled ourselves with establishment licenses in some states. No other health care providers have to obtain establishment licenses. Why are we doing this to ourselves? At times, I've surmised it was just desperation to get some law, any law passed. That coupled with ignorance of the professional regulation "game."
In collusion with our associations, when it comes to giving up scope of practice are the majority of our schools. Not all schools of course. There are a few good ones left, and you know who you are so do not take offense. I have lamented this sad situation before. However, I have never been able to understand why our associations and schools are giving up the rightful, historical scope of our profession. Finally, while lost deep in nature in Massachusetts during an extended teaching tour this past fall, the truth was revealed to me. It is so simple and obvious, yet so sad.
It's in the financial interests of schools to give up and dilute as much of our scope or practice as possible. The less they have to teach, the less it costs them. Just teach the simple, basic stuff. Sadly, we have set a lowest common denominator with national certification and licensing exams, and all schools need to do is "teach to the tests". Thus in legislation battles, it's easy for the opposition to say something is not in our scope as it's not taught in entry-level programs, even though it's being very thoroughly taught in our continuing-education courses. So, they turn on continuing-education instructors and try to suppress and restrict them from teaching the advanced work and/or restrict therapists' ability to perform it even if they know it. As sad as it is, I can understand the schools' part in this. It's simply the easiest way out and makes them the most profit.
But why the associations? Why are they not working to increase our opportunities to help the public by fighting to expand our scope? This is the big revelation: They are insurance vendors. They make their money from the insurance they provide their members. The less scope they have to insure, the more money they can make and the less claims they might have to defend. It's in their interest to give up scope, especially any advanced work. The less we can do, the better for our insurance vendors. The less they have to teach, the better for our schools.
The two groups that historically lead a profession to greater scope of practice, less restrictive regulation and higher levels of income are leading the massage profession in the opposite direction. Maybe it's not quite as malicious as it seems. Maybe it is just that they are not aware of the full potential of soft-tissue therapy and the historic scope of practice of massage. The effect is the same. They are depriving the public the potential of soft-tissue care and limiting the opportunities and incomes of massage professionals. This is what we get when the heart is on the bottom line. Anybody care? We pay an incredible price for ignorance. On a positive note, Florida should be our national model. Their licensing law gives them a great scope of practice and it hasn't yet been dismantled by the tyranny of the minorities or political correctness.
I cannot wait to read the reactions and outcries from the schools and association to this column. Pay no attention to what they so righteously will say. Look objectively at what they're doing. What are the measurable outcomes? Follow the money trail. What economic incentive do they have to expand our scope? When threatened, how hard have they fought to maintain it, let alone expand it? Never believe what politicians and sales/marketing/media people say. Only believe what they do. Actions speak louder than words.
We get so emotional. We want to believe so badly in some principle, group or politician that we only hear or read words that support our beliefs, and seldom compare words to actions. You can hope all you want but you will eventually find it is a poor strategy to accomplish anything. When you find yourself desperately wanting to believe something, stop and check it out. We pay a huge price for ignorance.
Alternative Health Care News: Flu
The good flu news is they cannot force people to be vaccinated if they don't have the mercury-laced vaccine to inject. I would much rather battle the flu than mercury poisoning. If you don't know the symptoms, you should look them up, especially if you consume high-fructose corn syrup and get vaccinated for the flu. You don't want mercury in your body.
In its attempt to prevent you from being well and avoiding the flu, the FDA is attacking any source for alternative information. Dr Andrew Weil was warned to change his Web site because he was offering an immune-boosting supplement. Read the FDA letter here: www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm186837.htm.
It's frightening how hostile our "new" government is becoming toward alternative health care and health in general. Its new appointees are working to dilute all organic standards. See: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/642/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27042. It's going to be a long, bleak winter, especially politically. I will be back on a more positive note in March. Bring your kites!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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