resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
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.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
Connections Worth Making
"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons. Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected.
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.
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?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
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.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
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!
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
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.
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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