resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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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