resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 02
Encouraging a Call for Cure in the New Year
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
If you are reading this, the world did not come to an end or significantly awaken in December. Sorry about that, but there is still hope, so onward we go into 2013.
Change Continuing Ed
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a continuing education provider. I have been since 1988, way back in the last century when continuing education was not required by any organization. Only a few states had massage licensing laws and not all of them required continuing education for license renewal. In those ancient, more civilized times, therapists took continuing education courses because they knew full well their entry level massage school training was limited and inadequate and they desired to learn more to be able to better help their patients through the power of touch. That is still why therapists should invest in continuing education (CE) - to learn more than they currently know. This enables therapists to help more people and thus make more money. Good CE doesn't cost; it pays. It should be it's own incentive. Sadly, the reason way too many therapists take classes these days is to get CE hours, as quickly and cheaply as possible, because CE hours are required to renew a license. In so doing, many therapists then lack the resources to invest in courses that will truly advance their career. This is another example of the unintended consequence of over-regulation. It is time to end mandatory continuing education requirements for license renewal.
There is nothing to indicate or prove that massage therapists are endangering the public, and if they are, nothing proves that random CE courses provide any protection. Let's get back to encouraging, but not requiring, therapists to take CE courses that they are actually interested in to enhance their practices through more skills to help more patients. CE Hours should only be a means to improve skills, increase income and to be accumulated toward voluntary advanced certification programs or membership in organizations that promote increased and continued learning.
I know all about the argument that our entry-level is so low we need to force therapists to learn more, but are they learning more or just meeting a requirement? If they want to learn, they will invest in courses that attract them. If they do not want to learn more, they just go through the motions, taking the cheapest, quickest or most convenient course available. Some wait until the last minute and then take whatever is being offered that weekend, not caring what it is and just being there. A therapist told me she took an online, 24 CE hour, hands-on modality course that took her four hours to complete and she did not learn a thing. Is this advancing the profession or protecting the public? I think not. What do you think? Let your state board know.
Clinical Talk: Stimulus-Response
Every active movement your body makes utilizes a neurological process called reciprocal inhibition. When you flex a joint, the nervous system "automagically" tells the extensors of that joint to relax and allow themselves to be elongated. This is recognized in one of Dr. Sherrington's laws, The Law of Reciprocal Inhibition. For a brief moment during a movement, the antagonist muscle(s) is "turned off." What if we could utilize this mechanism, but make it last? We can.
Massage as well as stretching, is much more a stimulus-response effect on the body than a mechanical one. We apply a stimulus to the body's nervous system through pressure and movement and hope to elicit a relaxation or parasympathetic response either locally, systemically or both. Each massage stroke provides a different stimulus to the nervous system. Do you know what stimulus is being applied by each stroke you do? If not, you are working blindly and your results will often be unpredictable. How can you expect to create a deep relaxation response if you are applying an invigorating stimulus? The stimulus – response of each massage stroke is seldom taught.
More and more we are learning that massage is affecting the mechanoreceptors of the nervous system. If we cause pain, we activate the nociceptors which, once triggered, fire for some time. This is not desirable if you are attempting to achieve relaxation. We should be trying to only activate mechanoreceptors that cause relaxation of muscles.
What if we could activate mechanoreceptors in such a way that we elicited reciprocal inhibition to a target muscle or muscle group that would last for more than moments and would, in fact, "reset" the target muscle's tonus, allowing it to elongate as well as reducing the painful sensations? That would be pretty slick wouldn't it? I am now learning a new way of applying the law of reciprocal inhibition, which does just that. Called Neural Reset Therapy (NRT) it has been developed by a very accomplished, insightful therapist. NRT is the most amazing, fastest, easiest way of reducing pain and increasing range of motion I have ever experienced. Even more amazingly, he has discovered how to get the same effect on the opposite side of the body you are working on, all done without manipulating the dysfunctional muscle. Six technique applications based on neurological laws and kinesiology are used to stimulate various mechanoreceptors resulting in the "re-set." This is treating cause (dysfunctional tonus) at the brain level, not just the symptom at the segment level. Seminars in NRT begin in 2013. If you are curious, visit the NRT Facebook Page or my website at www.ralphstephens.com.
End Insanity or Ban It?
In 2013, we have experienced multiple events of ultra-violence, each one seemingly more horrific than the last. The allopathic mindset of the day reacts to address the symptoms. We say we abhor death and must eliminate its causes. Sadly, we are very selective in which causes of death and injury we are concerned about. We only address causes that are politically expedient and agenda advancing. Societal violence is a disease. Disease cannot be banned. Its symptoms can be suppressed or it can be cured. When symptoms of disease are suppressed, the condition arises somewhere else, usually with increased severity. We have to change the awareness of society and focus it on healing - treating causes, not symptoms. Awareness and self-love must be taught and nurtured. Compassionate touch is essential in this process. To commit acts of violence against humanity, individually or institutionally (much more horrific but not as noticeable or newsworthy) is committing violence against the Self, as we are all One.
If the massage profession could just elevate itself to its potential, instead of being content just pushing oil around, we could be the premier wellness modality on the planet. The world is waiting for us to get our act together. Will we, or will we sell out to the failed allopathic paradigm, it's brainwashing educational system model, and the myth that research on the treatment of symptoms will improve the care we provide thus gaining us "acceptance?"
If wellness were to break out it would be an economic disaster. Will we help the existing healthcare system prevent this outcome? Will we continue to help society justify human suffering in the name of profit? We have the power to change hearts and minds, to bring about wellness through the power of touch. Will we step up and use that power constructively or hide and suppress it out of our fear of being different? Different is desperately needed unless we want more of the same.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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