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If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
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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