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Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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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