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In the Unlikely Event of an FDA Recall ... No News Has Been Good News
East Asian herb product manufacturers have practiced impeccable diligence by complying with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and providing the practitioner community certificates of analyses that detail laboratory testing results for things like heavy metals and toxic elements.
Safety First, Protecting the Patient: A Herbal Certification Program by the NCCAOM
The acceptance of acupuncture and Oriental (East Asian) medicine in the U.S. has made tremendous strides over the last 30-plus years. AOM/TCM is no longer "alternative or complementary" medicine. Yet, as acupuncture has become more mainstream, acceptance of herbal medicine has lagged behind.
The Opioid Crisis: "Let's Roll!"
Sept. 11, 2018 will mark the 17th anniversary of the horrific terroristic attack on the U.S. Whenever I think about that day, I am reminded of the heroes on Flight 93 who took action to keep the airliner away from Washington, D.C., by making it crash into the ground near Shanksville, Pa.
A Functional Approach to Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is recognized as one of the top chronic illnesses plaguing our society today. Here are some quick statistics on the prevalence of both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes:
News in Brief
Chiropractic Takes Leap Forward in France; New ACA President Named; Sherman College Responds To "Choosing Wisely" Recommendations; R.I. DCs Speak at Medical CE Event.
The Veteran's Choice Program & Your Claims
Q: I have recently begun treating veterans under the Veteran's Choice program. I am getting paid just fine for acupuncture codes and evaluation and management services but have been denied all physical medicine codes including infra-red heat 97026, massage 97124 and manual therapy 97140.
Preparing for the Opioid Patient: The Future of the Acupuncture Profession
In the future there will be many more clients with opioid addictions in acupuncture practices. Acupuncture is being promoted as an excellent resource to help with recovery from opioid addiction.
Fixing a Major Practice Hurdle in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed Assembly Bill 834, legislation repealing the requirement that DCs wishing to practice in Wisconsin score higher on Part III and Part IV of the NBCE examination than is required in most other states.
Lancet LBP Series: Relevance to the Chiropractic Profession
The Lancet Low Back Pain Working Group consists of a team of leading international experts on back pain from different professional backgrounds and from countries around the globe. The group published a series of three papers in The Lancet on March 21, 2018, and have subsequently received significant media attention. Here is a summary of the relevant data from these three important papers.
The Pain of Chemotherapy: A Case Study
The primary reason for presenting this case study and patient is to review the pain relief response she experienced from micro-current electro-acupuncture for taxane induced neuropathy.
Standard Process Unveils Nutrition Innovation Center
The North Carolina Research Campus, a 350-acre research center in Kannapolis, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte, is a research collaborative that includes university, corporate and community partners.
Renew Your Passion: The National
It's another August day in Florida with temperatures reaching almost 90 degrees. The sun is shining through the tall windows of the Hyatt Regency Orlando on all the attendees at The National by the Florida Chiropractic Association.
Corporate Chiropractic (Pt. 2): The Dark Side
In a previous DC article (May issue), I tried to make the case that the trend of corporations and franchises delivering chiropractic care might actually be positive.
Practicing Tai Chi Between the Seasons: Balancing the External and Internal Environments
Each morning for the past week, I have found myself to be a bit more tired than usual. There were nights when I went to bed a little late and nights I went to bed early, but it didn't make a difference.
The Spirit of the Points: The Pericardium Meridian (Part 2)
As indicated in part one of this series, the vast majority of our patients, regardless of the presence of physical symptoms, are also imbalanced at the levels of mind and spirit. The ancient Chinese knew that to treat the whole person, all levels must be taken into account so that complete balance and harmony can be achieved.
Leave Acupuncture to Acupuncturists
Colorado acupuncturists are desperately fighting to reverse a recent decision — the passing of HB18-1155 — that adds dry needling to physical therapists' scope of practice. You can support Colorado acupuncturists by signing their Change.org petition here.
Mineral Nutrition for Athletic Performance and Recovery
Research on sports, exercise, and mineral nutrition has been ongoing for decades. It is widely held that strenuous exercise can increase the need for minerals.
VA and Medicare Billing: Case of the Missing Modifier
Indeed, the Veterans Administration is paying directly to chiropractors for care under the VA Choice or PC3 Program. There are currently two administrators for this program: Health Net for the northeast and TriWest for the southwest (approximate geographic regions).
Text Neck: Assess and Adjust
A common presentation in a chiropractic clinical practice is the patient with neck pain and stiffness. Patients usually report limited range of motion on rotation of the head and neck.
Legos Lead to New Patients
It's time to examine a different way of envisioning the marketing and promotional flows in your office. This 10,000-foot perspective I like to call your practice's "marketing Legos." Much like the Legos we all played with as kids – now you get to sort them out in practice!
A Report From the 3rd Annual ASA Council Congress
This past March the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) was proud to hold its third annual ASA Council Congress in Denver, Colorado.
The Gut/Brain Relationship: Exploring Brain Diseases
Several thousand years ago ancient Chinese doctors stressed the importance of a healthy diet, and leading a healthy lifestyle as the primary ingredient to maintaining health.
Art of the Associateship: Success Is in the Finances
Finances are an important part of any business relationship. Money serves as the fuel for all business operations and ultimately the long-term success of owners, employees and customers. This is especially true in the world of health care.
Give Obesity the Attention It Deserves: Practice Pointers
During my earlier years in practice, I first became aware of the obesity problem in New Mexico because of an offer to star in a movie.
Low Back Rehab: Hip Mobility
The strength of chiropractic physical rehabilitation is first and foremost CMT, closely followed by our appreciation of a whole-body approach to balancing the entire kinetic chain.
K2: The Supplement for Your Anti-Aging Treatments
While aging as a whole is inevitable, some aspects of aging may actually be caused by a simple vitamin deficiency. That's right – wrinkles, stiff muscles and decreased athletic performance can all be symptoms of just one micronutrient deficiency: vitamin K2.
NIH Agenda: How Will More Drugs Help?
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins announced in April that his agency will be partnering with drug manufacturers to address the opioid and pain crisis. The project is known as the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative.
A Five-Step Plan for Marketing the Sale of Your Practice
We spend so much time and energy educating ourselves to be successful practitioners that many of us never stop to consider what comes next. What happens if you have a great practice but you need to move, are getting burned out, or are simply ready to retire and try something else?
A Model for Integrative Health in the U.S.
This past March I met Dr. Benjamin Kligler, national director for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center of the Veterans Administration (VA), at an Integrative Health and Wellness Congressional Caucus briefing, where he presented on the VA health care system.
December, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 12
NCBTMB Explains Changes, Plans for Future
By Leena S. Guptha, DO, MBA, BCTMB, Chair of the NCBTMB Board of Directors
To move forward as a profession, is important to ensure we understand our past, our present and our priorities for the future. We did not make it to this point alone. We have dedicated so much of our time, energy and resources to an advanced credential, Board Certification, and an evolving Approved Provider Program — reminding all massage therapists and the public that credentials matter.Our work matters. And for those that choose to go beyond entry level, you deserve to be recognized. But, how did we get here?
Recognizing Our Past
Here are some highlights of our history all massage therapists should know to gain context into the recent decisions we have made.
1988: AMTA Board members, along with several of our esteemed authors, massage therapists, school owners and leaders of the profession, began to brainstorm the needs of our profession. At this time, only a handful of states regulated massage therapy — which meant that in several states, someone could dream about becoming a massage therapist and decide the next day to open a business. Despite their good intentions, these therapists did not have the necessary training to help the public heal.
1990: The AMTA Board of Directors invited a handful of massage therapy professionals to create a test that would help with reciprocity throughout states. With this test, massage therapists would prove they had graduated from a formalized massage therapy program. Most importantly, the test would be accepted in the few states that regulated massage therapy. Successfully passing this test would show a higher understanding of massage therapy, as well as how to work with the body.
Mid-1990: Soon after, this same group contacted NOCCA to follow proper certification guidelines — and even hired a Psychometrician to ensure the test would be measured properly. The NCETMB was the first psychometric test for the massage therapy profession.
1992: The first test was delivered by pen and paper in 40 different locations. More than 5,000 massage therapists took the first test — proof that this test was something worth fighting for.
Mid-1992: The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork is founded and National Certification credential created. The main purpose of creating this credential was to create reciprocity throughout the United States.
2005: State board members from 22 states come together to talk about aligning the profession and creating standard licensure requirements. This organization, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), creates an entry level licensure examination to create reciprocity throughout the country, the MBLEx.
2013: NCBTMB introduces the Board Certification credential, the highest voluntary credential in the massage therapy profession.
2014: NCBTMB agrees to no longer offer licensing examinations to the public, focusing exclusively on Board Certification, Approved Providers and Assigned Schools.
Throughout the years following 1992, states began regulating massage therapy and many utilized NCBTMB's test as one of their entry level requirements for obtaining a state license. Over time, it seemed that within massage therapy the boundaries and functions of the two credentials (licensure and certification) were blended together and the value of the certification credential was slowly diluted. When compared to healthcare and other medical arenas, however, certification is typically regarded as a higher voluntary credential beyond entry level licensure. These professions are not satisfied with only entry level requirements. In fact, many healthcare professions embrace various higher level certifications — why should massage therapy be any different?
Licensure and Certification
Licensure and certification are not the same. We hope to clarify the distinct definitions here and now and encourage you to spread the word to your fellow massage therapists.
Licensure is a mandatory, entry level credential that allows a massage therapist to practice legally within his/her state.
Board Certification is a voluntary, higher level credential that extends beyond the basic entry level requirements. It shows a deeper commitment to both the profession and the public, including more education, hands-on experience and requires a background check.
If you are licensed, it does not necessarily mean you are certified. You must meet the minimum requirements for Board Certification, as well as pass the Board Certification exam, to become Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and hold the credentials BCTMB.
If you are currently Nationally Certified, you may transition into Board Certification without taking the exam as long as your National Certification is current, you meet the minimum requirements for Board Certification and you complete the "Transition to Board Certification" application on the NCBTMB website. Remember, National Certification will officially expire as of December 31, 2016.
For more information on Board Certification, please visit www.ncbtmb.org/board-certification/board-certification.
On October 3, 2014, NCBTMB and FSMTB signed a collaborative agreement, marking the beginning of what we believe will provide greater licensure portability for massage therapists. This agreement stated that, as of November 1, 2014, NCBTMB would no longer offer its NCETM and NCETMB licensure exams to the public. Moving forward, NCBTMB supports FSMTB's MBLEx as the country's entry level licensure examination.
How does this affect you? If you are Nationally or Board Certified, our agreement with FSMTB has not and will not affect current National or Board Certified massage therapists, Approved Providers or Assigned Schools.
This agreement does, however, affect new graduates who need to pass a licensure exam as part of their state licensure requirements. Please be sure to check with your state (and any state in which you wish to practice) to verify licensure requirements.
If you were previously licensed through an NCBTMB Exam, NCBTMB will gladly send score reports to any state(s) to show proof of your credentials as long as the state(s) previously accepted NCBTMB exams. Generally speaking, most states who have previously accepted an NCBTMB exam will likely accept score reports from us. Both NCBTMB and FSMTB want this transition to be a smooth process for all of our current and future therapists. Most importantly, we would like to emphasize that you have not lost your credentials as a result of NCBTMB no longer offering licensure exams.
If you are licensed, along with these recent changes, it's important to note that NCBTMB's decision to no longer offer licensing examinations does not mean you no longer need to maintain your state license. NCBTMB is not a licensing entity, but we do strongly encourage and require each massage therapist to adhere to their state licensure requirements before seeking out Board Certification.
This change also does not mean that you have to take the MBLEx. You are already licensed and do not need to take an additional test for entry level licensure.
By exiting the licensure realm and instead supporting FSMTB's MBLEx as the country's entry level licensure examination, NCBTMB's leadership will focus on doing what's best for our profession and following our mission statement to, "Define and Advance the Highest Standards in the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Profession" with a renewed focus on Board Certification, our Assigned School code program, and strengthening and evolving our Approved Provider Program. In doing so, we simultaneously are furthering our commitment to collaborating with profession-leading peer organizations and our massage therapists to continue improving our programs and processes and create a profession that we can all be proud of.
With our decision to exit licensure, NCBTMB will now exclusively focus on Board Certification, our Assigned School Code program and an evolving Approved Provider program. This change and renewed focus on certification and continuing education empowers us to elevate our profession by mirroring other medical professions that have previously conquered the challenges that lay before us.
Moving forward, another major emphasis for NCBTMB is to work with each individual state on its continuing education requisites to ensure massage therapists continuously seek out and participate in courses that satisfy each state's requirements.
In short, Board Certification was created to mirror other healthcare and medical professions and to tier the massage therapy profession. With this credential, NCBTMB Certificants can be proud of achieving higher credentials than an entry level massage therapist. For some, Board Certification also presents the opportunity to seek out and embrace stronger, more rewarding positions within the medical profession and high-end spas.
Simply put, certificants who have obtained Board Certification can proudly state and prove that they have obtained the highest, voluntary credential within the massage therapy profession. Even more, certificants who commit to and achieve Board Certification understand the progression within our profession and have made the choice to strengthen our profession for our future massage therapists.
Just like in other allied health and medical professions, a new graduate takes a licensing exam and then gathers greater training and experience, all of which actively advances one to become "board eligible." In medicine, once a physician is considered board eligible, he/she may so choose to become Board Certified with a specific focus, such as Internal Medicine. After further fellowship and professional development, he/she also has the option to sit for a specialty board certification. We believe massage therapy should be no different. As a profession, we have hopes and dreams to move in this direction together, but we need the complete support of the profession at large.
Earlier this year, we organized a volunteer-based Think Tank to better advise NCBTMB on continuing education categories represented throughout the profession today. With our new collaborative culture at the forefront, we plan to put this volunteer work out to you, the profession, for your comments and input. We want to be sure we see the full landscape of our evolving profession, which means actively listening to the profession and continuing to make knowledge-based decisions.
We believe that through education and experience, we can work side-by-side with you to integrate with other medical professionals in an allied healthcare setting. Most of all, we believe we will reach the goals that our profession has for so long requested: a single entity licensure examination organization (FSMTB) and a single entity certification and continuing education approval organization (NCBTMB).
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