resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
Massage in Decline
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The universe being in a constant state of change drags the massage therapy profession along with it. As much as we love to hang onto the past, we have to accept the reality of now, or go neurotic. Too many people chose the later. I do not mind change, but I prefer it to be for the better. Change in and of itself is not always a positive.
My previous column struck an emotional chord with many of you. Thanks for taking the tine to write in and share your experiences and feelings. Your feedback is always appreciated.
By the way - I am not retired yet, but thanks for the happy retirement wishes. I am working a very full schedule this year. Next year I will become scarce and 2013 seldom seen. So come out and share the fun, excitement and education while it lasts.
One theme that stood out in your responses was the disappointment of experienced therapists (over 10 years in practice) with our declining levels of professionalism. This is not a positive trend and is no a way to build a healthcare profession that is based on customer satisfaction. Most massage is still paid for out-of-pocket. That means our profession is competing for ever dwindling discretionary dollars. Consumers are being more selective with their purchases. Massage can be one of the most cost effective forms of healthcare available and can help prevent or manage many conditions. However, it has to be preformed professionally and competently to do so. My personal experience and the reports from reader responses indicate it is becoming less common to find massage therapists who are as good as the quality of the office decor.
Some interesting trends are forming in our profession. As I have been predicting for some time, the public is finally backing away from massage. The latest AMTA survey (2010) indicated that the usage of massage has dropped off for both men (-5%) and women (-1%). One can blame the economy - it is the scapegoat for everything these days - but is that really the cause or just a catalyst? Is the public backing away from massage because they are tired of paying outrageous fees for a rubdown that is little, if any, better than what they could receive from their unskilled but caring mate? Suppose people are giving up on getting massages in four and five star spas for $125 or more that do not include the abdomen and buttocks? Do you think maybe people are tired of having the therapist show up at the office after they, the patient, is already there, then set-up the room and short the patient time? A colleague who travels regularly and gets massage wherever possible confided that she now considers a good massage one where she did not get injured. Think the public that hears about all the wonderful thing massage can do, but when they bring their complaint to a massage therapist they get the same routine done on them as every other person the therapist sees is going to continue with massage? Who can afford that, or will even if they can?
As consumer dollars become scarce, our profession must deliver better value and higher quality. Are we achieving that? Are we even trying? Do you believe the competency of the average entry level therapist today is as good, better or worse than the average graduate of 20 years ago? How about 10 years ago? Is our level of professionalism rising or falling? I would love to have your opinion and your experience on this.
It seems to me that the emphasis of our professional associations has been on gaining acceptance for massage from the medical and scientific communities. Actually, the biggest push is probably to gain acceptance from the insurance industry. I have always felt this was totally mis-guided. Who do we serve? We serve the public. I have always felt massage was an alternative to the existing medical-insurance cartel. I believe our profession should be directing its outreach to the public. If we gain the public's acceptance, their demand will force insurance and medical acceptance.
How can we earn the public's acceptance? Do you really think the way to promote our profession is to recruit new therapists with unrealistic promises of easy work and high pay? Do unskilled teachers, who may be good therapists but are unskilled as teachers train better and better practitioners? Do instructors who cannot make a living in the profession doing the work as therapists so they teach, turn out improved therapists? You know these things, while not universal, are quite common. As we try to reach the public and the medical community, an effort that should require ever increasing competence and professionalism, we seem to be going backwards. Our entry-level screening instruments are lowest common denominator devices that only test recognition of intellectual knowledge, not recall or hands-on skills. As our entry-level gene pool has become less literate and experienced in life, have we compensated for this in our educational programs?
Do you really believe the economy is going to get better any time soon? Let me know how that hope works out for you. Everything points to a worsening economy for some time. Historically, there is a blip up for presidential elections. What a coincidence. Let's hope that pattern continues. In the meantime, as the competition for healthcare dollars intensifies, what is the profession of massage/bodywork doing to become more competitive? It is something we had better start considering. 5% down a year doesn't leave much after 5 - 10 years, a relatively short time.
Round-Up's Times Up
A top soil and plant researcher is pleading with the Obama administration to stop the approval of any more Genetically Modified Organisms, specifically GMO plants that are Round-Up Resistant as it appears Round-Up is associated with a new micro-fungus that has the potential to destroy U.S. agriculture and possibly humanity. It causes diseases in plants and abortions and sterility in mammals. (People are mammals - YOU are a mammal!) Do you realize what this means? A potential end of humanity.
Environmentalist are probably delighted as getting rid of man - the scourge of the planet - could bring back the garden of Eden; Once Wall-E cleans up man's mess. (Of course man's, women don't make messes, do they?) Oh lighten up. This is so serious it needs a bit of levity. If you care, and you should, check this out and get involved. Help stop GMOs before they kill us. See my blog for more on this. This link has the complete letter to Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22625.cfm
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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