resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
April 29, 2010
Opponents Call Backers of Law Targeting Massage Therapists "Liars"
Assembly Member Swanson Accused of Slandering the Massage Profession
By Christie Bondurant
Opponents of a proposed anti-prostitution law that requires "in-person" police investigations of California massage therapists accuse its author, State Assembly Member Sandré Swanson, of slandering "the entire profession" and have called the data used to justify it an "outrageous lie."
Swanson (D-Alameda) has failed to respond to repeated requests from Massage Today to discuss both Assembly Bill 1822 and a survey used to justify the bill that asserts that 89 percent of applicants for therapist certifications are either prostitutes or of "questionable backgrounds."
"Assembly Member Swanson's claim that 89 percent of massage applicants are prostitutes or of questionable character slanders the entire profession," said Mike Schroeder, a board member of the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). The Council is charged with issuing certifications to therapists under a two-year-old law.
"He knows that his claim is false and he should apologize to the entire profession," Schroeder said.
After Massage Today's initial conversations that began on April 21 with Swanson's office, where staffers indicated a willingness to setup an interview with the assemblyman, Swanson's office failed to setup an interview or to even return e-mails. As a result, Massage Today was unable to obtain Swanson's comments for this story.
Effect and Cause
If passed, AB 1822 effectively neuters a two-year-old massage certification law that placed certification in the hands of a state board, the CAMTC.
That law (Senate Bill 731) created the Council and gave it authority to conduct both professional and criminal background checks prior to issuing statewide certifications to work anywhere in California. Considered a major reform measure, SB 731 was enacted because it was clear that the old system, which required therapists to get work approvals in every jurisdiction where they had clients, was both onerous and ineffective in preventing criminals from operating "massage" facilities.
Swanson voted in favor of the reform.
But the law he is now proposing essentially returns California to the old system and gives local police the real power to issue work permits to practitioners. In order to legally practice, applicants would be required to present themselves in-person to the local agency where they will be doing business, regardless of whether or not they have become certified by the CAMTC.
While Swanson has ignored interview requests, a letter he wrote supporting his bill offers up this justification for it: ". . . (T)he need for this urgency is a recent random sampling of CAMTC applicants, which concluded that 57 percent of the applicants were known prostitutes and 32 percent had questionable backgrounds that required additional investigation," Swanson wrote.
This statement strongly implies that the new state board has failed in its duty to weed out undesirables from operating illegal prostitution and human trafficking schemes, yet to date, neither Swanson, nor the organization that produced the data, the California Police Chiefs Association, has provided anything beyond a sampling of "applicants."
Thus far, the only public statement alleging that CAMTC has let undesirables obtain authorization to work has come from a lobbyist for the Police Chiefs Association, John Lovell, who told Massage Today that there have been "several hundred certificants with past convictions."
This contention was strongly denied by CAMTC executive director, Ahmos Netanel, who said that Council data shows that police departments are the ones who have allowed criminals to pass background checks, not the Council.
Under the current state law (SB 731), criminal history checks are conducted at both the state and federal levels prior to the Council issuing certification, Netanel said.
"The CAMTC has never approved anyone who was not already approved through the DOJ (Department of Justice)," said Netanel.
Netanel also stated in a document calling for opposition to the bill: "CAMTC has rejected 3,424 applicants, who had passed (emphasis added) background checks by local law enforcement, but when checked through CAMTC's process did not pass muster. In fact, so far 346 of those already approved locally were found to have criminal backgrounds and denied the statewide certification."
Schroeder called the statistics used to support the bill, "An outrageous lie they told about the profession. They knew it was a lie when they said it. And I believe every member should call his (Swanson's) office and demand an explanation as to why they've slandered the profession."
The CAMTC believes that this bill, if passed, will put back in place a system that didn't work. "AB 1822 is bringing back the old broken system," Netanel said.
"The reason why the old system didn't work is because it was run on the local level. If (a criminal doesn't) qualify with one city they'll just go to the next city until they do. California will become the haven for human trafficking."
Some CAMTC board members have called AB 1822 a mere "turf bill" posing as an anti-prostitution law that is based on a thinly sourced survey -- leaving many in the massage community questioning its origin and the motives behind it.
Schroeder, who believes the survey was used as a false means to gain support of the bill, said: "This is a pure turf bill where some police chiefs want their turf back."
Claims From a Survey
The key data being cited as justification for the bill is a "random/regional sample" survey of CAMTC applicants in San Mateo city and regions around the city. This survey, compiled by the Police Chiefs Association, claimed that 89 percent of these applicants were prostitutes or had questionable backgrounds.
When Massage Today asked to view this data used to produce this survey, Lovell stated that it was based on a summary of sensitive information that he could not supply.
When asked to see the collected data that was shared with Swanson for the composition of this bill, Lovell stated that it was in a letter sent to Swanson proposing AB 1822, and to contact his office for it.
Lovell went on to say that the Police Chiefs Association requested applicant information from police departments statewide and learned of ". . . a number of convicted (persons) who were certified."
When asked to provide this data, he stated that he was unable to provide an exact number due to the "secretive" behavior of the CAMTC.
Although CAMTC provides a secure law enforcement login to verify certification, Lovell said that the board has been uncooperative in helping them determine the percentage of applicants with criminal backgrounds who have gained certification.
Regardless of this, Lovell stated that from the data compiled so far, they were able to determine "several hundred certificants with past convictions."
When asked to see this data, Lovell stated that the data is incomplete and that not all police departments in the state have submitted their information.
Another Police Perspective
Richard McElroy, CAMTC board member and a former police officer who investigated illegal massage parlors for more than 25 years, states that the CAMTC's review process is superior to all past methods of vetting massage professionals.
McElroy, who also wrote the Los Angeles Police Department's manual that is used to abate massage brothels stated in documents opposed to the bill:
"The following are the reasons why (CAMTC's) review and investigative process is superior to all past methods of vetting massage professions:
Claims of Uncooperative Behavior
Out of frustration with the CAMTC's "secretive" and "uncooperative" behavior, Lovell, who was also the past lobbyist for SB 731, stated: "The bill is going to pass. SB 731 sunsets in 2016. And if in 2016, we are in the same mess we have now with the exclusionary behavior by the board, we will conclude that this is a failed experiment."
In response to Lovell's claims of the CAMTC behaving uncooperatively, Beverly May, CAMTC chair, shared some of her history in working with the Police Chiefs Association. She stated: "When creating SB 731, I chose Lovell because of his relationship with the Police Chiefs Association."
When May (San Mateo County resident) heard of San Mateo police considering the repeal of SB 731, she contacted Mike Callagy, deputy police chief to setup a meeting to discuss the issue. According to May, Callagy stated to her at their meeting that they were on the same side.
"I felt very comfortable with our meeting until October when I asked to meet with both Mike and John (Lovell) and was denied. I was completely shut out." She went on, "After my attempts, they never contacted me or reached out and went to find an author (for AB 1822) against Oropeza's (author of SB 731) wishes."
AB 1822 recently passed the Business, Professionals and Consumer Protection Committee (see Massage Today article) and is currently sitting in the Assembly Appropriations Committee waiting to be discussed within the next couple of weeks.
For a list of the Appropriations Committees' phone numbers and emails, go to www.assembly.ca.gov.
To contact Assembly Member Sandre Swanson's capitol office call (916) 319-2016 or email him at , or contact his legislative consultant Opio Dupree .
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