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Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
October, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 10
What Does the Massage Therapy Foundation Do For You?
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
If you are like me, at some point in your massage school career you heard something like, "Cancer contraindicates massage because increased blood and lymph flow will speed metastasis. Your client will die sooner, and it will be your fault." And then later, you were introduced to the idea of oncology massage for cancer patients.Did you ever stop to question how this came about? Who determined that massage was dangerous in the first place? And who was brave enough to challenge that conventional wisdom?
Occasionally I have the opportunity to meet massage therapists outside the context of conferences or trade shows. When I do, I usually ask them if they've ever heard of the Massage Therapy Foundation. The response is almost always the same: "The what?" This answer causes me a little frustration and a lot of optimism, because it points to a huge untapped resource of people who don't yet know what the Massage Therapy Foundation is doing for them, and I know they're going to be excited about it when they find out.
Working for You
For those who don't know — and you're the ones I really want to talk to — the Massage Therapy Foundation is working for you. We were formed by the AMTA in 1991 with the mission of advancing the massage therapy profession through supporting scientific research, education and community service. We do this by raising money that we invest in programs to serve our vision: the practice of massage therapy is informed by evidence and is accessible to everyone.
The Foundation can only fund relatively small-scale research studies, but some of them have had huge impact. In the early 1990's, we funded some of the first research to challenge the "cancer contraindicates massage" shibboleth. The consequence: today massage therapists are able to offer safe, appropriate and welcomed touch to cancer patients. That work continues. In 2011, we funded a study on the use of massage for patients who had become addicted to opioids because of chronic pain. The 2012 grants will study massage along with exercise for weight management, and using massage to help treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. You can find a whole list of the studies in which the Foundation has invested a total of about $750,000 here: http://bit.ly/TI7iEn.
The more than $370,000 that we have given to community service grants since 1993 have had local and international impact, delivering massage to under served populations including homeless people in the U.S., Indians working in the fields in central Mexico and orphans in Japan and Uzbekistan. A full history of our community service grants can be found here: http://bit.ly/SrZG6t.
It's fun to talk about our research grants and our community service grants, because these can make every donor to the Foundation feel proud that their money is being used for such a good cause. But the work of the Foundation goes far beyond these programs.
It is important for you to know that the Massage Therapy Foundation is working –every single day– for you. Since its inception, the Foundation has been building and nurturing relationships within the research community. We have worked closely with the leading massage therapy researchers in this country and around the world. We don't just fund small-scale projects. We also help to sponsor international meetings, we offer consultation on NIH-funded research, we recruit experts to help with our own programs and we serve as a conduit for researchers with similar interests to find each other. The net result is that when a research project comes to fruition, the Massage Therapy Foundation often had something to do with it.
What does this do for you? It drives business to your door. Research that demonstrates the benefits of massage regularly makes headlines in major media outlets. This year alone massage research was featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, NPR, and many other outlets. Having an evidence base that demonstrates the benefits of massage helps YOUR bottom line. The days when we had to make hyperbolic claims about what massage could do, or "best guesses" about whether massage works are over, and solid information — in scientifically rigorous, credible forms — is now available for you to use to build your practice.
Research and community service grants are the tangible outputs of the Massage Therapy Foundation's mission. Education is third part of its job, and in many ways it is the focus that is closest to my heart. I am not an academic or a researcher, but I am a curious person. I believe that every massage therapist has the capacity — and even an obligation — to be curious. The Foundation gives you the tools to turn that curiosity into better outcomes for your clients. After all, if another massage therapist has already documented success in similar circumstances, why reinvent the wheel?
Here are some of those tools:
A lot of people feel intimidated by scientific articles because they are uncomfortable with that language. The Foundation's Basics of Research Literacy course is an online, self-paced interactive learning project that will help you move toward a more effective evidence-informed practice: www.BasicsOfResearchLiteracy.org.
The Foundation's Case Report Contests for students and practitioners provide an opportunity for you to tell your stories about your work with clients in a way that every other massage therapist can benefit. Case reports add important data to our profession's evidence base. How can we grow this without your input: http://bit.ly/GH93IK?
Maybe it would help if you had access to a peer-reviewed scientific journal dedicated to massage research. The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is a rigorous academic publication that is open-sourced and available without subscription: www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/education/ijtmb/.
For even more information, check out the research column that is published in every issue of Massage Today: it is a recap of an important research article, put into lay-person's terms by Foundation volunteers, so that every massage therapist can make use of the research being conducted today: http://bit.ly/wAIWvd.
Are you a teacher, wanting to bring some research literacy skills into your classroom? Watch for Teaching Research Literacy, a free 1-day workshop hosted by ABMP's Instructors on the Front Lines program: http://bit.ly/GEuGhP.
Maybe you learn best by being in direct contact with others. Wouldn't it be inspiring to spend three days with massage therapy researchers, learning about their work and making suggestions for future studies? Make plans now to attend the International Massage Therapy Research Conference, presented by the Massage Therapy Foundation April 25-27, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts: www.IMTRC.org.
Looking for some instant gratification? (Aren't we all?) Download our Education Toolbar. In about five minutes you'll have a bar on your internet browser that will give you instant access to Pubmed.gov (the world's largest database of science journals), Google Scholar, the Cochrane Library, and several other search engines. It has links to educational tools, the Foundation's blog pages, and much more: http://bit.ly/GR6jea.
This is just a short list of assets and services the Massage Therapy Foundation provides for you today, but these services are expanding all the time. In the works at this minute: an e-book on how to use research to build partnerships with physicians in your area; a webinar series on writing excellent case reports; and an updated Massage Therapy Research Agenda.
So, in a nutshell, that's what the Massage Therapy Foundation does for you. Our call to action is to USE these resources. Sign up for our monthly newsletter that will alert you to the latest Foundation projects. Download the Education Toolbar. Read the Massage Today research column. Participate in the Case Report Contest. Come to the Research Conference. Read the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
The Foundation's revenue comes from the AMTA (our largest donor), other industry supporters and a small amount comes from individual donors. These supporters allow us to invest about $200,000 each year in our granting and educational programs that help you — whether you're a donor or not. If every massage therapist reading this article gave the value of one massage per year to the Massage Therapy Foundation, we could invest over $2 million in research, education and community service. Do you want to be a part of that? It's easy: click on the "Donate Now" button at www.massagetherapyfoundation.org to join in our vision that the practice of massage therapy is informed by evidence, and accessible to everyone.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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