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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.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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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