State by State: Chiropractic Leads Changes in Health Care
Monumental legislative bills in support of the chiropractic profession were passed recently in Washington, West Virginia and Oregon. Here is a review of this important legislation, state by state...
TCM Codes for the World
I just received an email concerning the ICD-TM11 codes. The World Health Organization (WHO) will be presenting the new ICD-11 codes to World Health Assembly very soon.
Multi-Dimensional Acupuncture: 3D, 4D & 5D
Maggie is an intuitive healer and workshop leader who I met on a recent hike. While we were talking she told me how she had to take it easy because of her knees. She said that her doctor told her that she has the early signs of arthritis.
Reducing Allostatic Load & Stress Through Heightened Awareness
Your contemporary mental health and psychotherapy colleagues may often approach the treatment of allostatic load as a mental health condition and use prescription psycho-pharmaceutical medicine to affect general and specific central nervous system (CNS) pathways and brain neuro-chemistry medicine to alleviate the associated symptoms.
Official NCCAOM Practice Tests
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is excited to announce the launch of the new NCCAOM Exam Preparation Center.
Bastyr University: On the Front Lines of the Pain Epidemic
At University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center, the Seattle region's only Level I Trauma and Burn Center, the demands for in-patient care are dramatically different from a private clinic environment.
It's Time for a Functional Approach to Chronic Illness
It seems one of the more modern buzzwords is chronic, referring to diseases – that is to say, "ongoing and incurable." However, we can take a different perspective and recognize that, although the body may have been traumatized and injured, healing should always be viewed in the realm of possibility.
Catch the Workplace Wellness Wave
Do you offer workplace wellness services to local businesses? If not, you might want to consider this lucrative channel for expanding your practice. Workplace wellness programs and wellness-related benefits have grown in popularity over the past several decades.
Practice Pearls: There's More to ROM Than Meets the Eye
As part of my neuromusculoskeletal examination, I perform range-of-motion (ROM) evaluations. I can "eyeball" the range and measure, I can use a goniometer and measure, I can use my phone app and measure, or I can use various other instruments to help determine degrees of motion.
Paving the Way to Integrative Health & Wellness
Jared Polis (D-Colorado) and Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) launched the integrative health and wellness (IHW) caucus in October, 2018.
First World Spine Care Graduate: Hildah Molate
Hildah Molate, the first World Spine Care (WSC) scholarship student, graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic earlier this year and is now working at the WSC community spine clinic in Shoshong, Botswana.
News in Brief
Parker University Launches New Open-Access Research Journal for Chiropractic; Western States, Cleveland-KC Name New Deans of Chiropractic Colleges; Sherman College Goes Tobacco-Free; Life University Wins 11 Awards.
Better With Chiropractic
While chiropractic care is receiving high levels of exposure these days, most pain patients who consult with a health provider still do so with their primary-care MD. And of course, that means in most cases, they're receiving standard medical care, not chiropractic.
Dropping Insurance: 4 Steps
My office manager just got off the phone with the secretary of a long-standing patient. I have treated this woman and 10 members of her family for more than a decade. She has, as have all of my patients, paid my fee at the time of service since I dropped insurance in 1997.
Chiropractic's Next Frontier: Adjusting the Microbiome
Restoring a healthy microbiome to help treat disease may be the next frontier in chiropractic offices around the country.
NBCE to Reinstitute Computer-Based Exams
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has announced it will reinstate computer-based testing in January 2019 courtesy of a partnership with testing and assessment solutions provider Prometric.
Is Primary Spine Care the Answer for Chiropractic?
Recently, we sat down with Mark Studin, DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP, to discuss the state of chiropractic and why primary spine care may hold the key to chiropractic's future. Read what he had to share in this exclusive interview.
The Acupuncturist and the Opioid Crisis: Conquering Pain & Addiction in the U.S.
The current opioid epidemic dominates the discussion among national health leaders, recovery advocates and families nationwide. Opioids include heroin as well as prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others.
Missed Causes of LBP: It's the Syndrome, Not the Subluxation
When I read the chart notes of other chiropractors, I am usually disappointed. They list what vertebrae are fixated or misaligned. They may describe the involved fascia and muscles.
A Novel Way to Prevent Elderly Falls: Toe Strength
In any given year, nearly 40 percent of senior citizens ages 70 and older will fall at least once. Each fall significantly increases the risk of not only sprains, strains and contusions, but also fractures.
Spring Allergies & The Spleen: Looking at Pattern Differentiation
As the season of Spring fades away and we shift into the warm summer months, many patients suffer from chronic allergies. This is by far one of the most common issues I see in the clinic as well as often mistreated and misdiagnosed.
Old Trend, New Risks: Heavy Weight Training
With more opportunities to exercise than ever, a greater selection of exercise options, and the subsequent opinions supporting and challenging their merits, it's easy to be confused as to which approach is best.
Regenerative Medicine: How to Do It by the Books
The "lay of the land" for regenerative therapies, including but certainly not limited to adult stem-cell treatments, seems to change almost daily.
Prevention: Stop Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
The recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of those nuisance conditions that can play havoc with quality of life, and this particular infection is much more common than most people realize.
Diagnosing & Treating Aggressive Energy
Recently, there has been an article, and subsequent discussion, about the subject of Aggressive Energy (AKA "AE"), including ways to detect its presence and an alternative method of treating it.
Cyber Threat Checklist: Defend Your Business With These 10 Steps
Living in an internet connected society brings many conveniences and benefits. The power of the internet to connect us with customers, store data, and find information has opened the door for many small business owners to grow and flourish.
Acupuncture's Standard of Care
Both a concern and critique of acupuncture, frequently espoused by the bio-medical community is, "there is no standard of care in acupuncture." The following is why I believe this statement is disingenuous at best.
New Opportunities for DCs
For decades, the model chiropractic practice has been the single-doctor practice. Recent surveys have found that approximately two-thirds of U.S. doctors of chiropractic still practice this way, with another 20 percent practicing in multiple-chiropractor practices.
Transforming Exam Delivery
The NBCE Board of Directors has never wavered on its promise to deliver an excellent, on-campus computerized testing experience to students. Likewise, there has never been a compromise to the delivery of fair, valid and legally defensible exams.
April, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 04
Become Prepared for the Path to Healthcare Integration
By Eric Polgar, AFMTE Board of Director and Stan Dawson, AFMTE Board of Director
Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Blindly continuing to follow the current healthcare system is insane based on the mediocre outcomes and high costs of health care in the U.S. The current American health system does not actually create the health and wellness Americans deserve.
Growing numbers of healthcare leaders and legislators recognize the need for change. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has set forth a solution that affects almost every American. Under the ACA, the massage therapy profession is positioned to make a major difference in the health and wellness of all Americans.
Health care costs represent an economic challenge to this nation that rivals the overall national debt and annual deficits. Health care in the U.S. costs twice as much per person as health care in Japan, England, or Canada. According to the U.S. budget, America spent 18% of its GDP on health care in 2010, while the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported the second largest spender (France) spent 11%.
For all this spending, one would think health outcomes in the U.S. would be the best in the world. This is not the case. In 2010, the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. 37th out of 191 nations. Although the U.S. was in the top 20%, it is actually near the bottom of the list for developed nations. Americans are not getting the results they are paying for. What accounts for the discrepancy between cost and outcomes?
Common sense says the healthcare system should be more focused on prevention, wellness and better health outcomes, and using safe, low-cost options for treatment first and riskier more expensive options for treatment later, unless a compelling medical emergency exists. Greater emphasis should be placed on listening to the client/patient and managing the quality of their overall experience.
What Massage Therapists Can Do
Massage therapists already focus on prevention and wellness. They provide safe, low-cost care, and create a person-centered therapeutic relationship. Philosophically, clinically, and economically, massage therapists are well positioned to make a difference in the cost of health care, health outcomes, and patient experience. New generations of massage therapists need to be able to work in teams with conventional health care practitioners, as well as other CAM practitioners. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act calls for a focus on wellness and prevention. The non-discrimination clause in the ACA calls for equal acceptance of all licensed healthcare professionals acting within their scope of practice.
With the right strategy, the massage profession can not only make a major contribution, but a growing contribution to the future management of U.S. healthcare costs, health outcomes and the quality of the experience of healthcare consumers. The ACA has placed a new emphasis on prevention, wellness, and rehabilitation which makes massage just what the doctor ordered. Licensed massage and bodywork professionals have a tremendous opportunity.
Looking at the landscape, massage is an emerging healthcare profession, poised to support and promote the health and wellness of all Americans. In 2013, massage therapy was estimated to be an $8 billion per year industry, but only 16% of the adult population received a massage. With more than 250,000 providers in the United States, massage can hold tremendous influence on health outcomes and health policy. To meet the needs of more than 16% of the public, massage probably needs more numbers of full-time practitioners.
The Recent Past
Massage has gained acceptance from both policy makers and healthcare professionals. In 2002, The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy found that massage was one of the most popular CAM practices in cancer care, insomnia, depression and anxiety. The National Institute of Health released statistics on CAM use for 2007 and massage was still one of the most utilized practitioner based CAM services.
While some wonder whether massage is truly a healthcare profession, a vast majority of consumers and practitioners believe massage is health care and some states have classified massage, in law, as a healthcare profession. Massage has gained acceptance and is used in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, chiropractic offices, VA centers, training rooms, gyms and spas. In short, massage is maturing as a healthcare profession and has established a basis for a bright future.
Recently, the massage profession has been refining its infrastructure by creating a Model Practice Act, a set of entry-level standards (ELAP), the unification of the licensing exams, and the Core Competencies for Massage Therapy Teachers. Many emerging healthcare fields are envious of what has been accomplished in massage therapy. Successful collaboration has occurred on a national level, even while organizations pursue their own agendas. Yes, the future looks bright, but are we ready?
In order to be ready for the emerging opportunity, changes need to be made to the current massage education system. Massage needs better educational standards, opportunities for schools to be recognized for excellence in addition to full accreditation that creates more consistency in massage education, qualified instructors, and a better post-graduate educational program, including speciality certifications.
According to Martha Menard Brown, seventy-five percent of massage educators stated the current quality of massage education is inconsistent, with only 10% of massage educators agreeing that current educational quality is adequate. Massage therapists need to be taught a variety of techniques and methods to treat clients, which is health care regardless of where the treatment is delivered. Education is the foundation of every healthcare profession. One certainty is the massage profession needs to continue focusing on ethics, professionalism, and needs to include the delivery of integrative healthcare in entry-level programs. The massage and bodywork education sector needs refinement in order to prepare future generations of massage therapists to work in the emerging healthcare system.
The main challenge to the advancement of the massage profession is the perception of massage by the public and by other healthcare providers. Critics of massage currently perceive the profession as lacking unity, high educational standards, and scientifically rigorous research to support the work. Critics also point to the spiritual and energetic components of massage, saying there is no place for these concepts in health care. With a different perception, massage would be better utilized by the public and better integrated with other healthcare providers. The question becomes: How do we change perceptions?
The Alliance Board of Directors thinks there are three pillars to support a new perception of massage: quality massage education; a sound research and evidence base showing cost effectiveness, improved health outcomes, and better patient experience; and a broad national marketing campaign focused on the health benefits of massage.
With good planning and smart choices, massage therapists have the opportunity to help millions of people manage stress, prevent illness, and rehabilitate from disease and injury, thereby improving day to day function and participation in life activities. Each stakeholder group is already engaged in refining the profession. Parallel to these ongoing projects, the profession as a whole must also focus on the three pillars.
The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education has an ongoing National Teacher Education Standards Project to identify competency standards for teachers. In the next couple of years, the Alliance will complete a curriculum for training massage therapy and bodywork educators. This will lead to a certification program for massage educators. Quality teachers and the education and experience they pass on will benefit the entire industry, as well as massage and bodywork consumers.
Massage has already been shown to substantially help four of the ten essential health benefits specified in the ACA, including services in:
Future research in the massage profession should focus on the triple aim goals, as well as identifying the underlying processes that create the benefits of massage. To encourage the development of new perceptions of massage therapy by the public and other healthcare providers, the professional groups, corporate partners, and private practitioners will need to work together to effectively market the benefits of massage to consumers, healthcare providers, and policy makers.
In 2015, The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) and The Commission for Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) will co-host the 2015 Educational Congress (July 21-28 in Minneapolis) where several professional groups including the ABMP, MTF, FSMTB, NCBTMB, AMTA, AOBTA, and S4OM, will discuss the future of massage therapy. Expect a lively discussion on the future of massage. If massage is going to have the future described here, the planning starts now.
For more information about the Educational Congress, visit www.afmte.org.
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