resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Decoding the Mystery of Medical Insurance Acceptance
In the constantly evolving profession of acupuncture, one of the least understood areas is medical insurance acceptance. The profession is filled with controversy surrounding this topic: Is it ethical?
Getting Paid by Medicare Is Getting a Major Adjustment
The 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law to implement a new approach to clinician payments and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
First Annual ICD-10 Updates Take Effect
Yes, there was an update to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1. It was a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and will take place every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Natural Cancer Prevention: Pomegranate for the Prostate
In recent years, the ingestion of pure pomegranate juice (8 ounces per day) has been shown in clinical studies with human subjects to slow, and to some degree, reverse, the progression of prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North American men.
ITB Syndrome: Treat the Tensor Fascia Latae
Iliotibial band syndrome is usually the result of repetitive knee flexion, such as in runners or cyclists. Pain may be experienced in the knee and/or the hip. The patient may express a sense of the hip dislocating, popping or snapping.
Dysautonomia: The Medical Condition You May Already Be Treating
TCM practitioners have spent thousands of years healing patients without knowing or needing the names of their diseases as defined by allopathic medicine. We have syndrome names that are both poetic and efficient.
Going Beyond Just Feeling Good
We all know that most patients come to us for some pain complaint: neck pain, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc. We also all know that acupuncture is a great first-line care for these issues, as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Update from the International AIDS Conference
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, brought together more than 15,000 of the world's leading scientists, activists, funders, policy makers, and consumers from 153 countries.
Pediatric Asthma: A Case Study
I have had very good success with pediatric asthma, combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal products. Treatment is given over four to eight months, twice monthly, with herbal formulas rotated every month.
Treatment Success at the Won Institute
According to the World Health Organization's 2003 report titled, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials," acupuncture has been shown to improve many physical, emotional, and mental conditions.
Integrative Cancer Care: Chiropractic for Chemotherapy-Induced Hiccups
Hiccups (singultus) are a frequent occurrence during cancer treatment. The cause of the hiccups may be the chemotherapy drug itself, such as Cisplatin; or the prophylactic use of corticosteroids such as Decadron, which is used to prevent nausea and/or vomiting.
U.S. Olympians Have a DC in Their Corner
It's probably old news to you that doctors of chiropractic play an increasingly prominent role in treating athletes, from youth sports participants to weekend warriors, to elite / professional competitors.
Pediatric Footwear: Function Over Fashion
As practitioners, it is not uncommon for parents to bring us their children to treat or ask us questions related to the pediatric population. Children's feet tend to be a perplexing region for parents and practitioners alike.
National Board Apologizes for Testing Issues
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has issued a formal apology following a series of computer-based testing malfunctions that impacted two separate examinations (March and June 2016) and caused "widespread confusion and frustration" to the nearly 1,500 examinees taking the tests.
Upgrade to "Parker 2.0" in Las Vegas
Continuing your education and refining your practice: two key elements of a successful chiropractic career. Parker Seminars promises both as it celebrates its 65th anniversary in Las Vegas next February, according to Parker University President, Dr. William Morgan, and seminar consultant Dr. Mark Sanna.
Four Ways to Attract Patients
Acupuncturist A has been in practice for six years and has struggled since day one. She spends as much time and money on marketing as she can, but since her practice is slow, her budget isn't that big.
Power to the Patient
Against a backdrop of splintered political parties, polarizations within nations, civil unrest, and distrust of established government (such as the growing anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment) comes the not-so-surprising finding that health care authorities and practitioners (with perhaps the exception of insurers) are turning over more and more powers to the individual patient.
Using the Lens of Chinese Medicine
One of the most common medications I see in clinical practice on a daily basis is fluoxetine or Prozac. Consequently, I hear many complaints concerning the side effects of this medication and am frequently asked by patients to help manage these side effects with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy: Multi-Faceted Approach Including Laser Therapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States1 and nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Many suffer from the disorder without ever identifying the cause.
Workers' Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution
You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.
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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