resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
Massage in Decline
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB
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, NCBTMB.
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