resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
July, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 07
Marching Toward Therapeutic Irrelevance
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Editor's Note: To read Ralph's previous articles, go to: www.massagetoday.com/columnists/stephens.
From previous articles, I have been accused of being irrational and needing to do more homework. Seems I pushed too firmly on a few buttons. Homework will be forthcoming along with a softer touch. Once again, I will state that my purpose here is to provoke thought and constructive debate. I am not being critical of anyone or anything just for the sake of "stirring the pot." It is not my intention to be negative or to create fear. I am sharing my view, in hopes of having a positive effect. Sadly, even the most constructive criticism or observation can be perceived as threatening to the "leadership," who I know really do mean well. I know them. I love them. I am just questioning the outcomes that I see resulting from their actions that I feel are detrimental to those of us who take the word "therapy" seriously, or should I say, "to a deeper level."
Actions and outcomes are much more meaningful to me than intentions and words. I am trying to defend and protect the rights of massage therapists and bodyworkers to practice clinical, therapeutic massage and bodywork.
I stand in the river shouting for the sake of suffering humanity that desperately needs the benefits of skilled, specific, therapeutic touch from well-trained professionals with tears in my eyes as I believe the scope of practice, the necessary level of education and thus, the public's access to the care they need and seek is being washed away.
In every state that has gained massage licensure, a sudden explosion in the number of schools has occurred. There has not been an adequate supply of trained massage teachers with years of successful practice experience, so these schools recruit needy therapists with minimal experience off the street, and put them into classrooms in many cases with little or no preparation. In many schools, one instructor is burdened with teaching an entire massage curriculum. There are few, if any requirements for instructors in massage schools to be trained and proficient in the core competencies of teaching.
The competency of the profession is eroding as a result. The national average pass rates have been dropping on the NCE over the past decade (down to 61 percent at last report). Is this the way to improve our image with either the public or the medical professions?
Research Without Education
I love research. Nothing wrong with better understanding what we do. "Evidence-based massage" is a new mantra. Like evidence-based medicine this will support orthodoxy, stifle innovation, and force providers to treat conditions, not people. We are counting on research to be our key to acceptance by the "integrative medicine" community. Yet there is no guarantee that when we have every single aspect of massage documented and validated by research, that they will embrace us. Especially when our entry-level of education and competency is laughable to them. It is not what we say we are, but what we can actually deliver, consistently, to the public that will put massage on the map as a profession.
The Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge (MTBOK) project had potential to be a positive force in our professional development. Instead it has become an instrument to effectively suppress clinical massage. Any therapeutic scope of practice that is left in our massage laws is being defined out of our scope by MTBOK. You can see this document at: www.mtbok.org. You can get more of my take on this project on my blog at: http://ralphstephens.tumblr.com.
Losing the Future
The less we can do, the less valuable we will become in the health care system of the future. If we legislate and educate ourselves into therapeutic irrelevance, we will not have time to resurrect the full potential of massage therapy and will be passed by.
My colleagues, what do you want for your profession? Or do you care? If you do, make yourselves heard. I am trying to preserve our right to perform "therapy." Where are my fellow educators? PC got your tongues?
See you in September when I will begin a series of historical columns to show the lessons our profession failed to learn and appears to be repeating. Be Well.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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