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News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
August, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 08
Protect Your Business: Certification & Permits
By Michael R. W. Houston, Esq.
The trend is clear — as massage therapy becomes more popular with consumers and health care professionals, more and more states are regulating massage therapy. Currently, legislation requiring massage therapy licensing or certification has been adopted or is pending in 43 states and the District of Columbia.1 Nearly two years ago, California adopted legislation providing for the voluntary certification of massage practitioners and massage therapists by the non-profit California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC).Designed to enable consumers to easily identify credible massage therapists and ensure that certified massage therapists have sufficient training from approved schools, California's statewide standards and certification program has been a success, with more than 22,000 applications received and nearly 16,000 certifications approved by the CAMTC as of October 2010.2 For therapists, perhaps the most significant aspect of California's legislation is that it limits the type of restrictions that cities and counties can impose on certified therapists — a significant help to your business.
As a massage therapist or practitioner, you may have already received your state-level certification; a vote of confidence in your training, expertise and professionalism. However you might be unaware that many cities and counties also have laws affecting massage businesses that must be complied with, in addition to state requirements. For instance, you also must confirm that your preferred location is actually zoned for the use, and you might need to obtain a local business license and potentially, a use permit . Local zoning and permitting requirements should not be overlooked, because operating without proper local permits could lead to closure, assessment of fines and even criminal penalties. A business proceeds at its peril if it operates without first determining what local permits are required.
State And Local Regulations
Regulations for therapists vary by state, ranging from licensure to certification or registration. States also usually allow for local regulation of massage businesses. (In California, cities and counties may regulate massage businesses under California Government Code 51030. However, as discussed below, Senate Bill 731 limits the type of regulations that cities and counties can place on certified therapists.) Cities frequently handle business permits differently, creating unique local requirements under which owners of massage therapy businesses must operate.
Cities have broad power to restrict most types of businesses and might even entirely prohibit certain types of businesses. Historically, cities can heavily regulate businesses that have a tendency for criminal activity or social ills, such as bars, gaming establishments and "massage parlors." While licensed and certified massage businesses are usually good corporate citizens, cities usually have common (and often legitimate) concerns with respect to massage businesses (as they do for any other type of business), including:
Understand Permit Requirements
With that in mind, massage therapy businesses must adhere to local zoning and business licensing laws, while ensuring that a city does not take advantage by regulating them too strictly.
Therefore, as a business owner, you need to:
Do Your Homework — Investigate what city permits are needed before signing a lease or buying property. Importantly, don't take a city employee's word about local restrictions. Do the research yourself.
Get Your Permits — Obtain proper approvals before operating. In California, having state certification will facilitate this process. If you need help navigating the myriad of regulations, consider hiring an attorney. Look for a lawyer who specializes in land use and one who is familiar with both state and local requirements.
Know Your State Laws — Don't let the city "over-regulate" your business by making you get unnecessary permits. For example, in California, Senate Bill 731 (adopted in 2008) establishes a state massage therapist certification that, if obtained, protects business owners by prohibiting cities from imposing unique permit requirements on the practice of massage by certificate holders.3 (Cities can still heavily regulate non-certified businesses.) This means that if a massage therapy business is composed of fully certified massage therapists, California cities cannot impose additional permit requirements just because the business provides massage therapy.
Despite your rights in a state like California, prepare for the city to "push back" (either due to ignorance of state law or in hopes that you are ignorant of state law). Consider retaining legal counsel to help educate city officials about state law. A small investment on the front end may save you thousands of dollars on the back end by avoiding delays in opening your business.
Know Your Rights — Know how to respond if a city tries to close you down once you have opened the doors. A permit is a "property right" that a city cannot take from you without following certain rules.
More and more states are passing massage license or certification laws. Generally, such laws help legitimize massage therapy businesses by giving them credibility both with consumers and cities. However, it is unwise to overlook local business licensing and zoning laws. It is imperative that you research local massage therapy and business permit requirements. With the proper paperwork in place, you will be able to focus on your customers and your business.
Additional information can be found at:
Michael R.W. Houston is a partner at Cummins & White, LLP, a business and insurance law firm based in Newport Beach, Calif. Mr. Houston has a practice that involves advising private parties and public agencies on the nuances of developing property in California's complex regulatory environment. He has served as counsel to numerous public agencies and private parties in connection with processing permits for various types of businesses and projects.
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