resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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.
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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 Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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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