resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
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.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
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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