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The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
February, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 02
Make the Time to Transform Your Practice
By Anita J. Shannon, LMBT
Therapeutic benefits of massage therapies continue to be studied and documented. Recent studies have increased the amount of data supporting benefits beyond the wellness aspects and attention is turning to medical conditions.
A truly interesting scroll down the page "History of Massage" on the MassageNerd website reveals evidence of medical uses of massage from ancient times and states that, "before the 1900's, all massage was medical massage." It seems that a huge scandal in Britain around 1889, eroded the medical profession's confidence in massage as a legitimate medical art and the dark shadow cast on the massage field affected English and North American attitudes for more than a hundred years. Medical spas of the world had begun appearing in North America by the mid-1800s but by the 1940's, "spa as medicine was out, spa as beauty and pampering was in."
Many of us who started practicing back when massage was considered only a personal service, observed the resulting wellness, healthcare and medical benefits. Some of us even got to experience it personally. In 1982, I was told I was permanently disabled from a severe neck injury and it was neuromuscular massage and Iyengar yoga that I worked with to reverse that life sentence. Contemporary American medicine only had pain killers and the advice of, "learn to live with it" to offer me at that time.
For the second year in a row, 75 percent of individuals in the U.S. surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous twelve months was medical (43 percent) and stress (32 percent) related, according to the 17th annual consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association. Medical reasons include pain relief, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines, prevention and general well-being.
Health care providers and doctors are more commonly viewing massage therapy as a legitimate option to address health concerns. Fifty-three percent of respondents in the U.S. said their physician has recommended they get a massage.
Of consumers who discussed massage therapy with their doctors:
In 2011, ninety-six percent of massage therapists received at least one referral every six months from a hospital or medical office.
Industry trends include:
There is no sound statistic yet found for the number of hospitals in the U.S. that offer massage as an adjunct therapy.
Massage therapy is returning to its original place as a sound and viable CAM (Complementary Alternative Medical) treatment. Therapists have grown more sophisticated and knowledgeable through basic and continuing education and so many amazing modalities have come forward to command the respect of our profession and other health care fields by producing remarkable results.
Begin to pick your new tools and techniques by exploring information and articles online or in industry trade magazines. Attend a convention and receive CEs for attending short introductory classes that will give you a good sense of the educators and the techniques and visit the booths to get on the table and really experience it for yourself.
Research the educators and classes and if they list practitioners on their website. Contact a few of them to ask how they are doing with the techniques. One important question is how the tools and/or techniques affect the therapist, since ease of use leads to longevity of practice. Make an appointment with two or more different certified practitioners and get treatments to experience it for yourself. Visiting more than one therapist leads to a truer understanding, since each of us is unique and will adapt tools and techniques to our own style.
Let's be honest, the figure of 14 percent for referrals from physicians is a bit disappointing. There is a big difference between a referral and being "encouraged" to get a massage. The challenge is to find a way to improve that number and transform our practices by attracting a larger volume of medical referrals. Imagine finding a stack of fax referrals from your local physicians waiting for you when you get to your office each morning! All you need to do is call the patient to interview and schedule.
Building a healthy medical referral community requires time, dedication and a passion for helping the doctor's patients. It is also important to have evidence of training or certifications, along with records of past and current client successes. Our skills and successes build as we grow in knowledge and experience. Speaking from that knowledge and presenting sound documentation of our client results can make a meeting with the doctor a lot less intimidating. These meetings are often brief and it is a good idea to offer to bring lunch for the doctor to actually get a few minutes with them. It is even better to ask about their favorite restaurant and what they would like to order.
This is where the documentation comes in. It is easier for the physician to view photos, measurement charts or testimonials while they eat that memorable lunch you brought for them. Leave them a binder with your case studies and any supporting articles or data and ask to demonstrate that your work is essential to their patients with an initial referral of four to six people.
It is so important to reply to the referral by sending a thank you and notification that you received the referral and have scheduled the client for an appointment at your office. Stay in contact with the referring healthcare practitioner by sending updates and SOAP notes for their patient file. If these two steps are not followed, communication breakdown can occur and the medical professional may never know their patient was treated and responded so well. This is the key to continued referrals of both patients and other healthcare professionals.
Transform your practice this year by adding new techniques and tools and then take the steps to interact with the medical community to increase your referrals. There are so many areas of contemporary and traditional medicine that we can participate with including psychiatry and psychology, geriatric care, pediatric care, sports medicine, oncology, gynecology and obstetrics, chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, and the list goes on. You could even choose to specialize in certain conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson's, scoliosis, multiple sclerosis and more.
Anita Shannon is a Licensed Massage Therapist and a licensed Cosmetologist since the 1980's, specializing in skin care, body treatments, clinical aromatherapy and various modalities of massage therapy. She is a national educator since 1990, and the Director of Advanced Continuing Education (ACE), an NCBTMB CE provider established in 2001.
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