resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Natural Cancer Prevention: Pomegranate for the Prostate
In recent years, the ingestion of pure pomegranate juice (8 ounces per day) has been shown in clinical studies with human subjects to slow, and to some degree, reverse, the progression of prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North American men.
Going Beyond Just Feeling Good
We all know that most patients come to us for some pain complaint: neck pain, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc. We also all know that acupuncture is a great first-line care for these issues, as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Pediatric Footwear: Function Over Fashion
As practitioners, it is not uncommon for parents to bring us their children to treat or ask us questions related to the pediatric population. Children's feet tend to be a perplexing region for parents and practitioners alike.
ITB Syndrome: Treat the Tensor Fascia Latae
Iliotibial band syndrome is usually the result of repetitive knee flexion, such as in runners or cyclists. Pain may be experienced in the knee and/or the hip. The patient may express a sense of the hip dislocating, popping or snapping.
Getting Paid by Medicare Is Getting a Major Adjustment
The 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law to implement a new approach to clinician payments and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
Integrative Cancer Care: Chiropractic for Chemotherapy-Induced Hiccups
Hiccups (singultus) are a frequent occurrence during cancer treatment. The cause of the hiccups may be the chemotherapy drug itself, such as Cisplatin; or the prophylactic use of corticosteroids such as Decadron, which is used to prevent nausea and/or vomiting.
Using the Lens of Chinese Medicine
One of the most common medications I see in clinical practice on a daily basis is fluoxetine or Prozac. Consequently, I hear many complaints concerning the side effects of this medication and am frequently asked by patients to help manage these side effects with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Pediatric Asthma: A Case Study
I have had very good success with pediatric asthma, combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal products. Treatment is given over four to eight months, twice monthly, with herbal formulas rotated every month.
Treatment Success at the Won Institute
According to the World Health Organization's 2003 report titled, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials," acupuncture has been shown to improve many physical, emotional, and mental conditions.
Six Things Every DC Should Know About the Zika Virus
The Zika outbreak continues to spread across the continental United States and U.S. territories. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing doctor of chiropractic.
Dysautonomia: The Medical Condition You May Already Be Treating
TCM practitioners have spent thousands of years healing patients without knowing or needing the names of their diseases as defined by allopathic medicine. We have syndrome names that are both poetic and efficient.
Upgrade to "Parker 2.0" in Las Vegas
Continuing your education and refining your practice: two key elements of a successful chiropractic career. Parker Seminars promises both as it celebrates its 65th anniversary in Las Vegas next February, according to Parker University President, Dr. William Morgan, and seminar consultant Dr. Mark Sanna.
First Annual ICD-10 Updates Take Effect
Yes, there was an update to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1. It was a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and will take place every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy: Multi-Faceted Approach Including Laser Therapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States1 and nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Many suffer from the disorder without ever identifying the cause.
Workers' Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution
You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.
Power to the Patient
Against a backdrop of splintered political parties, polarizations within nations, civil unrest, and distrust of established government (such as the growing anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment) comes the not-so-surprising finding that health care authorities and practitioners (with perhaps the exception of insurers) are turning over more and more powers to the individual patient.
Update from the International AIDS Conference
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, brought together more than 15,000 of the world's leading scientists, activists, funders, policy makers, and consumers from 153 countries.
Four Ways to Attract Patients
Acupuncturist A has been in practice for six years and has struggled since day one. She spends as much time and money on marketing as she can, but since her practice is slow, her budget isn't that big.
National Board Apologizes for Testing Issues
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has issued a formal apology following a series of computer-based testing malfunctions that impacted two separate examinations (March and June 2016) and caused "widespread confusion and frustration" to the nearly 1,500 examinees taking the tests.
Decoding the Mystery of Medical Insurance Acceptance
In the constantly evolving profession of acupuncture, one of the least understood areas is medical insurance acceptance. The profession is filled with controversy surrounding this topic: Is it ethical?
Paying It Forward
The Touch of Kindness Fund for Oncology Massage
Once you aim your life toward doing what you love, how do you both make a living and serve those in need who cannot afford your services? Megan Belanger, LMT, CLT, a specialist in oncology massage and manual lymph drainage who practices in Westborough Mass., created Touch of Kindness, a monetary fund available to anyone seeking oncology massage care. She hopes to inspire more therapists to find a way to pay it forward.
Tracy Walton: Tell us how you got into the massage therapy field in the first place.
Megan Belanger: I used to be in the corporate world of book publishing for 13 years. In my last position as an acquisitions editor, it was fun and glamorous negotiating contracts and signing authors. As mergers happened and I had less face time with people, I had what I called an "early midlife crisis" and found myself asking, at the end of the day, how am I making a difference in the world?
I had been getting semi-regular massage for a long time, from different therapists, in different spas. When I asked them about their jobs, they absolutely loved them, and most of them said they had come to massage after a career change. Ultimately, I joined them! I've now been in practice for five years and can say I found the answer to my midlife crisis; at the end of each day, I know I am making a difference.
MB: During my training, my naturally light touch was seen as a weakness by some of my instructors, but I knew I didn't want to do deep work. I had earlier read about oncology massage and loved the idea of giving nurturing touch. After graduation, I immediately trained in oncology massage; it provided me with the background I needed to feel secure in my work and addressed the more emotional issues around bringing my heart and soul into my practice.
I also became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in 2012, which was another way to work with light but effective touch. From the beginning of my private practice, I have focused on serving this population, and now about 70% of my clients have cancer or a history of cancer.
MB: I began to get a lot of calls in my practice from people going through cancer treatment, or from their families, who wanted the support of oncology massage but who were in hard financial straits. These folks struggle with huge medical bills and loss of income at the very time they most need support. My work is not covered by insurance and so these people were often simply unable to pay for treatment. I knew I had to support my own family and could not give work away for free to all the clients who were in need. But I absolutely hated, hated having to turn people away for financial reasons.
One night at home, I was sitting with my husband and expressing my frustration and despair over the situation and he told me about something he'd seen on The Ellen DeGeneres Show: a pizza parlor that offers a pay-it-forward option. People can come into Rosa's Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia and, in addition to buying their own pizza, they can also buy a slice for a person in need. They're given a pen and a sticky note so they can write a message and stick it to the wall. Then anyone in the community can come in, take the sticky note from the wall, present it to the cashier, and get a pre-paid piece of pizza, no questions asked. "It's a great idea," my husband said, "helping people both give and receive; is there any way you can do the same for massage?" That was the light bulb moment. Modeling the pizza shop's idea, I created the Touch of Kindness Fund as a way for people to contribute money that can be used toward a session with me by clients who have lymphedema, cancer, or a history of cancer. I was surprised at how easy it was to set up.
TW: How did you get the word out to clients?
MB: To let people know about the fund, I created a video about it. I started a Facebook page for Touch of Kindness (https://www.facebook.com/search/676904875748080/local_search?surface=tyah) and posted the video there and on my website, www.meganbelanger.com/kindness/. I made flyers and placed them on the reception desk at my office and gave them out like candy. I don't take gratuities, so I suggest to clients who might want to give me a tip that they can contribute toward Touch of Kindness instead.
TW: Have there been any changes in how the fund is used since its beginning?
MB: One interesting problem has been that I was getting donations to the fund but not very many people were taking money out. Existing clients don't seem to want to use the fund, so it's mostly new clients who use it. I get a lot of new clients through Google, and when they visit my webpage, they see Touch of Kindness on every page, with the amount currently available in the fund on display. In fact, some new full-pay clients have told me they chose my practice because they saw Touch of Kindness on my website, so it has been an unexpected marketing tool in that way.
I'm currently doing outreach to social workers, nurse practitioners, and other professionals who help people with a cancer diagnosis navigate the system. They're the ones who can tell potential clients that both massage and the Touch of Kindness fund are available to them.
TW: How are you getting the message out to other MTs who might want to start a similar fund?
MB: The Board of the Society for Oncology Massage invited me to present a poster about Touch of Kindness at their 2016 summit in Minneapolis. So, I went to the summit with my splashy pink and purple poster describing how Touch of Kindness came to be and how others could create something similar in their practices. The response was great, and I've found out through emails and calls that other therapists are doing this, and more and more people are getting massage because of it.
TW: Can you share any of the financial implications of setting up Touch of Kindness?
MB: I got advice from my accountant on all aspects of it. I set up a separate bank account for Touch of Kindness and a PayPal account that people can use to make donations. I was advised that I did not need to create a non-profit, 501(c)3 corporation because we are not dealing with a large amount of money, and again, I'm copying off of the pizza shop's model. For some months now, we've maintained around $650 to $750 in the fund.
My accountant told me to designate the donated money as gift certificate income. I'm monitoring the patterns, when people donate and when people use the fund, and subsequently thinking of ways to adjust my marketing to help keep the incoming and outgoing funds even.
TW: Any other suggestions to help others pay it forward in their own practices?
MB: I am no expert, as Touch of Kindness is a new and experimental venture, and what I hope to do is encourage conversation. Let's create a community and have a conversation about how others are doing this, about what works and what doesn't. It's all about getting more massage to more people in need.