resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
July, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 07
Stop the Music
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Many well meaning, concerned people are watching our profession decay from within and are sincerely trying to do something about it. I appreciate that. However, PLEASE STOP with the more hours legislation.STOP with all legislation efforts for just a moment. Unfortunately, this column will probably not get published in time for this year's legislative season. Most state legislatures adjourn for the summer, but they'll be back, so let me explain my plea.
Our problem is not our quantity of entry-level hours. It is the quality of those hours; 600, 650, 680, 750 or 900 poorly taught hours will not make a better entry level therapist than 500 poorly taught hours, and might actually make a worse one. The longer an impressionable student is exposed to ineptness and incompetence, the less chance they probably have of rising above it. There is no verifiable basis for these numbers except for schools to get more Title IV finding. Always follow the money trail. Neither students nor the public are being protected or served by these random hour efforts.
One of the biggest complaints therapists have is lack of portability from one state to another. This is a real problem due to the total mish-mash of licensing laws successfully lobbied for by AMTA with no plan, rhyme or reason to them other than to get something, anything passed. While done with good intentions, the lack of a strong piece of model legislation and guidance from national, coupled with inexperience in legislative processes and statute language by local volunteers, has resulted in too many laws that inhibit the profession instead of enhancing it. AMTA says it supports portability, yet it has made it almost impossible. Passing more arbitrary hours standards and creating more fiefdoms of unique hours and requirements is just making a bigger mess than we already have. STOP IT! You've made a big enough mess that is going to be very difficult to fix as it is. Sit down, back off and let the pros take this over. You mean well, but you know not what you are doing.
The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards is currently working on a piece of model legislation to improve the profession and bring about a well thought-out law that all states can work toward, to bring about portability and standardization of our profession's licensure laws. PLEASE stand down and allow them the time and space to get this document created. Then use your energy, enthusiasm and resources to support them in getting it universally passed and implemented. The result will be a much more beneficial, enabling system of regulation that will actually benefit individual therapists, particularly with scope of practice and portability.
It Can Happen Here, Probably Will
People have lost access to hundreds of over the counter herbal medicines in Jolly 'Ole England recently as European regulations came into force. Sales of all herbal remedies, except for a small number of popular products for "mild" illness such as echinacea for colds and St John's Wort for depression have been banned in the European Union.
For the first time, traditional products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner. The British Government, "wanted to ensure continuing access to unlicensed herbal medicines via a statutory register for practitioners to meet individual patient needs."
However, most remedies were lost as it was only open to those who could afford the licensing process, which costs between #80,000 to #120,000. At least 50 herbs, including horny goat weed (so-called natural Viagra), hawthorn berry, used for angina pain, and wild yam will no longer be allowed to be stocked in health food shops, says the British Herbal Medicine Association.
The United States has signed on to this agreement. It will happen here soon if something is not done. Still think the allopaths support alternatives? We are small potatoes compared to the loss of business herbs and supplements cost them. The medical-pharmaceutical cartel does not make any money off of healthy people. If wellness broke-out it would be an economic disaster. The goal is to keep people ignorant, confused and sick thus dependent on the medical-pharmaceutical-government cartel. Our societal ethic condones justifying human suffering in the name of profit. This must change for us to evolve. The cartel is swatting the biggest losses to their revenue first. They will come after us with the same vengeance eventually. We will either be co-opted by losing our scope through restrictive legislation, as is already happening (P.T's are currently carrying the water on this), or placed under gatekeeper control. If all you do is general, non-specific relaxation massage you probably have nothing to worry about. Just because I am paranoid does not mean they are not out to get me.
A further example of government healthcare in action happened recently, when the Detroit Police Department, at the command of Child Protective Services, unlawfully kicked down the door of a woman's home and kidnapped her 13-year-old child. Her crime? She chose to follow a doctor's recommendation to take her daughter off a pharmaceutical drug treatment prescribed for psychosis that was worsening the child's symptoms, and instead chose to use natural remedies to treat the condition. The child's condition began days after forced vaccinations. The drugs to treat the post-vaccination "psychosis" made the child's condition worse. Stop the drugs, lose your child and go to jail. Still think the United States and our healthcare system have some soft spot for alternative methods? When we impact drug sales, lookout. This impacts women the hardest. The profession of massage/bodywork is 80 percent women. What are you doing about this? This is part of the ongoing encroachment by government agencies on the freedom of choice in healthcare. The survival of the therapeutic (clinical) side of our profession is dependent upon people having the freedom to choose their provider and methods of healthcare. Once lost, it will be very difficult to get it back. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
On A Positive Note: How To Earn More
A great business lesson is this: Generalists get paid, specialist get wealthy. The more specific and precise you work, the better your chances of a successful practice. Invest in continuing education courses that train you to predictably and consistently help people get out of pain and your practice will get busier. I have many testimonials from my students that verify this statement.
Best wishes for a great summer. Hope to see you at a seminar somewhere or back here this fall. Be well!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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