resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
June, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 06
In the Shadows: Human Trafficking, Fraud and the Cost to the Massage Profession
By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor
For decades, the massage profession has battled the stereotype that it is a front for prostitution. While the occasional bad apple can still be found in the bunch, the profession has made significant strides in recent years to combat this false belief.Hospitals and health care centers nationwide have begun to embrace massage as a compliment to their traditional medical practices and most states have established licensing criteria for professionals who have the proper education and skills to become legitimate practitioners.
Nevertheless, criminals have continued to sully the profession's good name and in California an investigation by the state's certification board has unconvered their latest tactic: phony massage school transcripts.
Amazingly, prior to the investigation by California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC), it was legal to sell a fake transcript in the state. Transcripts - along with criminal history records - are key credentials in the state's massage therapist certification system that allows therapists to practice legally.
The investigation began when the CAMTC discovered patterns in which certain "schools" seemed to have large numbers of graduating student with prostitution arrest records. Armed this and information from other sources, the CAMTC brought in an undercover investigator who would discover that these "graduates," mostly women of South Asian and South American descent, were part of a vast network of human traffickers profiting from prostitution.
The undercover investigator found that human traffickers were selling phony massage school transcripts so prostitutes could pose as legitimate therapists and work or operate massage parlors that are nothing more than fronts. The investigator told Massage Today that these suspected bogus "schools" were targeted based on tips, police information and an analysis of data collected by the CAMTC.
"Police departments who work with us, gave us every prostitution arrest along with the name of the schools they claimed they had gone to," said the investigator. Information was also obtained from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, as well as states like Texas that maintain close records of prostitution arrests.
Visit To a "School"
At a visit to one of these "schools," the investigator was taken to the back to meet with the Assistant School Director. "This one in particular looked nothing like a school. It was an ordinary house. Not to be stereotyping, but she looked like a madam with very provocative clothing and makeup. I told her I was interested in (buying a transcript) and she said 'yes, no problem' and asked me to come back in a few days with a check," said the investigator. "Some operated that way, at others, I was in and out with a transcript in two hours."
On another occasion, the investigator met with the director of a school whose ramshackle "office" was cluttered with what were clearly transcript templates and "stacks and stacks of photos of girls."
The investigator told Massage Today that in one waiting room, there were "many young women of Asian descent dressed provocatively." The investigator also said several of the bogus schools that came under scrutiny were also clearly houses of prostitution. "At this one place, it was pretty obvious they were conducting prostitution on the premises. The men who ran the place were lecherous and disgusting and had no qualms about commenting on my appearance," the investigator said.
"In one of the schools, I was in an office with a sliding door to the exterior. Men kept coming in that way saying they were there for massage appointments, but they looked and acted like johns," the investigator said.
Many of these "schools" not only created fake paperwork, but took fingerprints and included a photo of the "student" which the school then sent directly to the CAMTC for certification. Transcripts cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on the "school."
The CAMTC was established by the legislature in 2008 to provide a voluntary certification process for therapists. To obtain legal certification from the CAMTC as a Certified Massage Therapist in California, a person must prove they have 500 hours in classroom training from an accredited school and have a clean criminal record. They must also provide fingerprints and a photo as part of the application process. There are additional means of obtaining CAMTC certification. For a full explanation go to the to CAMTC website.
The Profession Acts
Urged on by the CAMTC and with major support from the Orange County (CA) District Attorney's Office, California State Senator Lou Correa has introduced legislation that would make providing fraudulent transcripts a misdemeanor subject to specific penalties. Meanwhile, the CAMTC is now refusing to accept transcripts from schools identified in the investigation as nothing more than diploma mills.
As introduced, Correa's Senate Bill 285 states: "This bill would provide that a person who provides a certificate, transcript, diploma or other document, or otherwise affirms that a person has received instruction in massage therapy knowing that the person has not received massage therapy instruction consistent with that documentation or affirmation is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to specified penalties. By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program."
"The bill would require a law enforcement agency, for any person that is criminally prosecuted for a violation of law in connection with massage therapy, to provide to the Massage Therapy Organization information concerning the massage therapy instruction received by the person prosecuted."
SB 285 was referred to the Senate Committee on Public Safety and was scheduled for a hearing just as this issue went to press. Massage Today will continue to follow SB 285 as it makes its way through the legislative process.
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