resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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 Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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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