resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
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 .
To join an open discussion on this issue, log onto our Facebook page www.facebook.com/massagetoday.
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