resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.