resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
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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