resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Peer Points: Stories of Practice Success
When patients go see Arizona-based acupuncturist Jing Liu, it is to get top care from an practitioner well versed in all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
You are What You Eat Part II: Integrative Protocols
In the previous installment of this article I discussed important ideas concerning gastrointestinal health and foundational ideas from TCM, which can provide key insights into creating effective protocols for healing the gut.
Happenings in Our Evolving Profession
Good things seem to be happening for our profession and recent developments show we are all on board. Talking about being on board, this September The Veterans Express-Purple Heart Tour is expected to make its way out of the station.
SOAP Notes: It's Time for a Cleaning
I have been planning for some time to write an article about how traditional SOAP notes do not fit chiropractic practice, and the unfairness of holding DCs to a model clearly created for and primarily applicable to medical physicians.
News in Brief
Controversial Florida PIP Law Under Review; D'Youville Chiro. Students Learning Art of Co-Managing; And the Award Goes To...; F4CP Recognizes Major Contribution by ChiroTouch.
Helping Patients Through Pregnancy Loss
There is a lot of focus in the acupuncture world on fertility and helping women get pregnant. It's exhilarating to hear the news that a patient is expecting a baby. The other side of that is pregnancy loss. That includes abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.
A Building Block of Healthy Aging
Coenzyme Q10 has gained enormous attention in recent years, and with good reason —it's the Energizer Bunny of the cellular world.
Why You Should Get to Know the National Vaccine Information Center
Barbara Loe Fisher has been a diligent advocate for providing parents with the information necessary to make informed decisions regarding the usage of vaccinations for their children.
Herbal Medicine: Go Mainstream
When it comes to practicing herbal medicine in a mainstream setting, there are a number of important points to understand when it comes to prescribing formulas. Some important questions to ask are - what method of prescribing and dispensing is most effective in this setting?
Energy is a hot commodity. Society pays dearly for it and for the expertise of those who know how to cultivate it.
Are They Finally Fixing Medicare Reimbursement?
Even with federal sequestration cuts taking effect in March, including a 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursement to health care providers, hope may be on the horizon in the form of a much-anticipated, perpetually suggested overhaul of Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which serves as the basis for determining physician reimbursement.
Correcting Kid Logic in Health Care and Research Design
A recent broadcast on public radio described a fascinating phenomenon known as kid logic.
Research Abstracts From the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics
Effect of Pain Relief on Lumbar Muscle Function and Activation; Effects of Thrust Amplitude and Duration of HVLA Spinal Manipulation; Immediate Effects of Upper Thoracic Manipulation on Cardiovascular Response.
Medicine Presents: A Great Opportunity
The changing nature of health care presents both opportunities and challenges. While we tend to focus on our profession, we can sometimes forget the impact other health care professions can have on us.
What the Science Says About Magnesium Stearate
It's often been said that scientific studies can be used to support just about anything. But discoveries are never made one study at a time.
Going Shoeless: The Pros & Cons of Barefoot Running
With the subculture of barefoot runners and the products catering to them growing daily, just about every chiropractor has been asked at one point or another about their opinion regarding barefoot running.
Helping Infertility Patients with the Spirit Essence
As many of you know, when it comes to treating infertility, we are dealing with a patient population that is, generally speaking, in emotional turmoil. These patients often experience fear, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, grief and anger.
Side Effects From Big Pharma: Wellbutrin – Dangerous for You and Your Baby
Are some of your pregnant patients taking Wellbutrin? If so, it could be a danger to them and their baby. This drug is extremely popular, but it has a serious history.
What They Don't Say Could Hurt You
I have written previously regarding the difficulties of drawing information from patients who are poor historians, forgetful or just plain uncooperative. The thought to revisit the topic occurred recently during preparation for an upcoming seminar.
Chiropractic: The Right Choice for Relieving LBP
"Low back pain (LBP) is a common threat to medicine and a reasonable threat to all national health care systems. ... Reducing ineffective treatments is necessary to decrease the LBP associated costs."
Let's face it – patient evaluation takes time. Unless you are really into the diagnostic evaluation game, you probably have found the formal exam protocol tedious if not downright annoying.
Have a Heart: Say No to Soda
It's not enough that soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked to cavities and weight gain, among other negative health consequences.
Some Thoughts on the TMJ
The temporomandibular joint is an interesting and dynamic articulation that can cause a lot of problems.
There Are No Secrets: Treating Complicated Conditions with TCM
Including standardized extra points, there are just over 400 acupuncture points on the body. You get 400 and I get 400 - same. Yet, time and time again treatment protocols are coveted as if they were some secret formula only intended for the right and privileged.
The Spirits of the Points: The Gall Bladder Official
The Gall Bladder is known as The Official of Decision Making and Judgment. In any given day, this Official makes countless decisions – conscious and unconscious, which influence every aspect of our being.
Economics of Complementary/Integrative Care
Although this column doesn't usually feature a book review, we're going outside of our usual public health format to discuss a new book written by Patricia Herman ND, PhD.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Patient Perception and the Farce of "Fast Relief"; A Fly in the Ointment; Persecuted for Choosing to Practice Chiropractic.
The Potter's Wheel: Reflections on Practicing in a Technology-Driven World
In my very early years of practice, an older patient named Cora would call me at home, usually late Sunday night after she had consumed an unknown quantity of beer.
March, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 03
The Corruptibility of Facts
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had an interesting prediction where secondary knowledge, which is what we learn from books, the media, what we are told and taught, would replace experience as our basis for judgment.It appears his prediction has come true. Today, most people's opinions and beliefs come from what they are told (in some form), not what they have experienced first hand. Most people act on theoretical knowledge instead of their first-hand experience.
For example, we constantly experience that politicians cannot be trusted to do what they say they are going to do during the campaign. Yet election after election, we vote for candidates whose speeches and writings make us feel good or support the beliefs we have about some aspect of society, regardless of the politicians past actions and record. We vote for the candidate who promises the most from the government trough, find ourselves feeling let down post-election, but repeat the pattern.
When the secondary information we have accumulated contradicts our personal experience, we have been trained to ignore our experience. We decide we must not have complete knowledge of the subject so we should believe what we have been told or we think that our experience must not be typical. For example, the vast majority of people surveyed in the U.S. were very happy with their health care, yet they believed the system was failing most people. A total disconnect.
Sadly, we do not use our experience to judge the validity of facts and figures, which can be rigged to "prove" pretty much anything. Instead, we judge the validity of our own experience by them. It is easy to manufacture information. Research is a classic example of this. Anything can be proven with a research study or a poll. It just takes manipulation of the variables, asking the "right" questions the "right way," or omitting a few things. We all know that some people will do virtually anything to have their way. Yet most of us never make the connection between the corruptibility of man and the corruptibility of facts. It is frightening how well we have been conditioned to accept secondary knowledge unquestioningly. It is how we are controlled and manipulated to do things that are against our own best interests.
Remember, the art of politics is to get people to do what is against their own best interests. Good propaganda is 80 percent truth and only 20 percent lie, thus it is plausible, yet misleading and deceiving. Propaganda (partial truth) is bombarding each of us everyday. We all need to apply more discernment and have more confidence in our "gut" feelings. The massage profession is not isolated from the corruptibility of facts. Our associations tell us how good it is for us to accept and support laws that take away our scope of practice and saddle us with ridiculous, insulting taxes like establishment permits and background checks.
This is not to say we should not learn or trust secondary knowledge at all. Research can be valuable and accurate. We have to learn from books and teachers, as there is not time to learn everything by experiencing it. Unfortunately we live in a very corrupt society that justifies human suffering in the name of profit or power. Whenever either is involved in something, be very wary and skeptical. (Adapted from an article by Michael Masterson.)
A Moment of Opportunity
In 2000, MDs in Israel went on strike. The death rate dropped so dramatically that funeral directors protested the strike. Emergency care and other vital services were maintained during the strike. There were just less visits to outpatient facilities, no elective surgeries and fewer prescriptions written. A similar trend happened quite some time ago in California when doctors went on strike. There has never been another doctor strike in the U.S.
Joseph Mercola, DO, puts it very well in an article he wrote, stating, "There is no question that traditional approaches for acute traumas (heart attack, stroke, accidents, etc.) are valuable and should not be abandoned. However, overall, when drugs and surgery are used to address chronic illness, it is generally a prescription for disaster."
Hospitals and doctors are invaluable for traumatic injuries. But when it comes to maintaining robust health and preventing illness, healthy living and personal responsibility is the key. Both secondary and experiential knowledge demonstrate this to most people. Yet we continue to allow allopathic medicine to dominate our health care system.
The massage profession could be a bright light for the public. We are the perfect profession to demonstrate and teach healthy living and personal responsibility for one's health. This would, of course, include providing the number one wellness modality - massage.
Sadly, we are groveling at the feet of the medical profession and politicians, hoping to be integrated into their sickness paradigm. This is like trying to mix water and oil. Massage is missing its greatest opportunity for success by having a minimal entry-level education requirement, reducing itself to barely a trade, where we are is the ideal profit point for schools and associations, not for therapists and the public good. Massage and health are not equated. Generally, we provide only massage, not health care. That is not to say we should be treating disease or trauma. However, we should be trained in health, not just massage, and our practices should include a broader range of services, education and products that support people in achieving high-level wellness. Of course, we have to live it to promote it, and that is difficult to do as a profession when most therapists are unaware of the concepts of health, wellness and nature cure. There is so much potential for our profession to grow into this field and the new government-run, rationed-care system will create a huge demand for alternatives, assuming it does not outlaw them. Will we rise to this challenge or succumb to the allopathic monopoly?
May the awakening energy of spring and March Madness enliven your days. See you here in May with an interesting personal experience.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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