resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
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!
July, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 07
CA Law Defanged
By Christie Bondurant
They expected "a walk in the park." Instead, the proponents of a California anti-prostitution law that targeted massage therapists found themselves trying to retreat out of a political minefield wondering how it all went so wrong.
As of press time, Assembly Bill 1822 is still under review by the state legislature. But, thanks to massive protest by the massage community and missteps by its backers, the bill has been radically altered and essentially defanged of the original structure that subjected massage therapists to unnecessary scrutiny by local law enforcement.
Introduced in February 2010, the original version of AB 1822 restored the authority of local police departments to issue work permits for massage therapists. That authority had been wrestled from the cops under a 2008 law that placed this power into the hands of the state massage organization, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC).
The CAMTC was formed specifically to end a situation where massage therapists would undergo police checks in every jurisdiction they had clients. Under current law, a statewide certificate is issued by the CAMTC after it conducts criminal background checks and verifies the qualifications of those seeking permission to work legally. Once certified, a therapist no longer has to go from jurisdiction to jurisdiction seeking permission to work.
While opposition was apparent at the bill's introduction, the political firestorm that ensued began after a critical piece of data surfaced.
In a Feb. 21, 2010 letter to the bill's author, Assembly Member Sandre Swanson (D-Alameda), California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) President Susan Manheimer wrote: "We recently did a random/regional sample of CAMTC applicants and found that 57% were known prostitutes, 32% were of unknown legitimacy and required further inquiry, and only 11% were legitimate operators."
The CPCA data never addressed the question of whether the massage council has actually certified unqualified people. Even so, the police group said that it was "completely unrealistic" to think that CAMTC could properly handle a massive volume of applications and instead called for local police screening.
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 (Senate Bill 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 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."
Mike Schroeder, a CAMTC board member who has been a major force in opposing the bill added: "It is patently obvious that there is no data, no research or anything resembling either.
"The CPCA continues to hide behind a facade; they obviously never expected anyone to challenge their blatant slander of the massage therapy profession."
Proponents Back Down & Scurry
As the details of AB 1822 became known, massive opposition began to build from the massage community through e-mails, letters, and published articles. Behind the scenes, Netanel and Schroeder lobbied key state legislators to change the bill. Eventually, both the public protests and private lobbying caused lawmakers to stop in their tracks and seek solutions from their opponents. As one opponent of the bill told Massage Today, "they expected a walk in the park, it turned out quite differently."
For a sense of the type of united front that came from the massage community, Massage Today posted a "Vote NO on AB 1822" e-mail form addressed to a state assembly committee voting on the bill along with the bill's author. Within days of posting the e-mail form, more than 1,500 e-mails were sent, catching the attention of the committee members and proponents of the bill.
Assemblyman Swanson and Chief Manheimer sat down with opponents of the bill including the CAMTC and the American Massage Therapy Association California chapter to begin discussions of amendments. After these discussions, the proponents backed down on its most controversial aspect: local police certification for work permits.
Amanda Whitehead of AMTA-CA thanked the massage community for their overwhelming support in influencing proponents of the bill. "Please know that your letters, e-mails, Internet postings and publicity have both influenced lawmakers and inspired those of us whose job it is to deal directly with the legislature," said Whitehead.
After the massage community's backlash and the bill's apparent unraveling, proponents quickly began to scurry out of the spotlight. And the once crucial element of the bill's urgency, the survey data, became the red-headed stepchild that no one wanted to claim, including the author of the bill, Assemblyman Swanson. In fact, various sources have reported that Swanson is deeply embarrassed by the bill along with the data that caused the uproar.
In an interview with Massage Today, he apologized to the massage profession for Manheimer's data.
"I apologize frankly for any misunderstanding," said Swanson. "I have received some personal e-mails from massage therapists who I've answered personally, clarifying any misunderstanding that this was an assault on the profession."
He also stated that he would question the data: "I would question it (the data) ... In terms of the legitimate massage therapists that I'm familiar with, they have pride in their profession. They have years of training and they ought to be respected."
And in response to our questions regarding the data, Manheimer claimed that a lobbyist was responsible for the calculations: "The CAMTC sent to one of our police agencies the list of applicants from the zip codes within that agency's jurisdiction and just outside the agency's jurisdiction. After reviewing the names, our lobbyist found that 57% were known prostitutes, 32% did not have enough information to make a determination, and 11% were known massage practitioners."
No additional detail was provided, including whether or not those applicants were ultimately certified by CAMTC to get work authorization.
Further, Manheimer's statement that the organization's lobbyist, John Lovell, compiled the data somewhat contradicts what Lovell said in an interview with Massage Today. While Manheimer states that Lovell calculated the percentages, Lovell stated that he believed the police chiefs association calculated the percentages.
In the April interview, Lovell said that he was uncertain but he "imagined" that the police group simply compiled the data into three piles: known prostitutes, unknown legitimacy and legitimate operators.
While the bill's language regarding local certification of individual massage therapists was removed, some are still concerned about the remaining language.
"CAMTC is adamantly opposed to AB 1822," Netanel said in an interview with Massage Today. "However, we are pleased with the direction it has taken."
The bill keeps language that adds two law enforcement members to the CAMTC including a Police Chiefs Association position and a Sheriffs Association position.
Another amendment includes an added section to strengthen enforcement against illegal operators of massage businesses. Section 4612.5 of the Business and Professions Code reads: "Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any city, county, or city and county may require any person who administers massage for compensation, or who owns a massage establishment or business, to also hold a business license or a massage establishment permit or both."
As of press time, the bill is still under review by the legislature. Massage Today will continue to follow this story with up-to-date information regarding the bill's standing.
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