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Trouble Down Under: San Zhen Therapy for Lower Jiao Issues
In the last several columns, I have discussed many clinical options for utilizing San Zhen or Three Needle Therapy. In this installment, I will continue this trend and discuss several foundational patterns which can be found in several very common clinical presentations.
News in Brief
While indignation may be your immediate reaction to H.R. 5780, the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act of 2014, the American Chiropractic Association suggests the legislation is just what the chiropractic profession needs.
Happy New Year 2015 Gong Hoy Fat Choi
Welcome to the year of the sheep! We begin a new year guided by the sign of a quietly and creatively organized animal.
Movement Assessments: The DC's Sphygmomanometer
I think back to when I was going through chiropractic school outpatient clinic. I was embarrassed to have my family and friends come in for treatment because initial evaluations took three hours to complete.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing: Importance of Opening the Sensory Portals in Classical Chinese Medicine
The Chinese medical classics are not just clinical guides. They give advice; ways we can awaken more fully into conscious awareness.
I Felt it in My Fingers First
I'm not afraid to say it. Massage therapists make better acupuncturists. I'll tell you how I know, but first I have a question: What do a microcurrent device, a laser and a hippie massage therapist have in common?
Right Back Where We Started?
More than 25 years after Judge Susan Getzendanner issued her historic opinion in the Wilk v AMA anti-trust case, evidence suggests that despite increasing collaboration between doctors of chiropractic and their allopathic medical counterparts, when it comes to organized medicine, we may be right back where we started.
The App Advantage: Get More for Less
You may have noticed the list of "app-exclusive" articles in the directory on the front page of the print issue and in the Table of Contents on page 4. You can't find these articles in print or even in our online archives.
Show Up and Show Respect
I was recently asked about my chiropractic philosophy. My answer surprised my questioner.
The Static Postural Pelvic Exam
I include a static postural analysis in my evaluation routine whether you are a patient in pain or an elite-sport athlete in training. In my day-to-day practice, I require patients to stand still while I "just look" at them.
Fight Colorectal Cancer With Folic Acid
CRC is the second most common cause of cancer mortality in the U.S. and Canada. Although genetic susceptibility plays a role in the etiology of CRC, dietary factors, including certain vitamins, have also been shown to influence the development of the disease in various studies.
AWB Makes a Difference in the Yucatan
We are in the sleepy town of Izamal, located about an hour from the Merida airport where our group arrived last night. Later that morning, on a bus winding through the dusty roads of the Yucatan, fourteen acupuncturists, two facilitators from AWB and two tour guides make their way to the small rustic town of Popola.
Animal Acupuncture Gaining in Popularity
We have just finished the year of the fire hoarse and now it is time to spend some time alone, daydreaming and thinking outside the box in terms of where our profession is headed. The sheep person is well organized and creative so this should not be difficult to do.
Environmental Toxins: Cause of Modern Illness, Part 2
In Part I of this article, we detailed the variety of environmental toxins assaulting our bodies. These include pesticides and herbicides; plastics; preservatives; cosmetics; gasoline additives, solvents and glues; and heavy metals.
Ringing in the Billing New Year
What are the new modifiers that replace modifier 59? Will they allow doctors of chiropractic to be paid for 97140, manual therapy, when done with chiropractic manipulation?
How to Use Online Video as a Tool to Market Your Practice
Health care practitioners, including chiropractors, should consider online videos as a key element of their Internet marketing strategy. In the next three years, videos are expected to account for nearly 70 percent of all consumer online traffic, according to Cisco.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Occupational LBP in Primary- and High-School Teachers; Treating MVA Complications With Chiropractic Care; Neck Pain: Immediate Effects of Active Scapular Correction; Taping Benefits Stride, Step Length in Fatigued Runners.
Acupuncture and its Place in the Integrative Healthcare Practice: The Need to Move from Modality to Profession
Acupuncture and oriental medicine (AOM) has grown and flourished from its inception thousands of years ago in China. In surrounding regions of Asia, AOM developed as a response to differing cultural, pathological, health and wellness care needs.
Helping to Create the Healthiest Generation
The imperative to create the "Healthiest Generation by 2030," envisioned by the American Public Health Association (APHA), was in full force at the APHA's 142nd Annual Meeting held in New Orleans from November 15-19, 2014.
Two for One: The Cervical Distraction Test
In today's healthcare system, diagnoses and treatment plans follow a western medical model - especially if you work with attorneys or insurance companies.
The Way of Zen Performance Enhancement
Working with elite athletes and implementing various techniques to keep athletes focused and at their optimal performance for a sustained period of time includes incorporating various meditation techniques that counterbalance their sport-specific physical and mental demands, which is an important element of success throughout the years.
Professionalism and Evidence-Based Health Care
Today's chiropractors are facing a conundrum with the Affordable Care Act and its health care reform requirements, including evidence-based practice and health technology assessment.
Taking the Freeze Out of Adhesive Capsulitis
Adhesive capsulitis or "frozen shoulder" is a relatively common condition resulting in severe shoulder pain and global loss of glenohumeral joint range of motion. Incidence of the condition is approximately 3 percent in the general population.
We Get Letters & Email
Rethinking Our Approach to Immunization; Coming Together for the Good of Our Patients.
Age and Fertility: Why We Should Worry Less About Age and More About Overall Health
Recently, on one of the acupuncture alumni forums, the topic of age and fertility came up when a practitioner posted a question regarding a patient that was about to turn 40-years-old.
For-Profit Chain Schools Find Themselves Under the Gun
Corinthian Colleges, Inc., and Anthem Education Group have been major players in the massage education sector over the past decade. Operating under the Everest brand, 50 of Corinthian's 120 campuses offered entry-level programs and were enrolling 5000 massage students a year at its peak.
Previously, 19 of Anthem's 34 campuses ran massage programs. Both corporations are now facing bankruptcy because of questionable business practices and failure to comply with the regulations of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).
The demise of these two entities may help clean up the landscape, but what will happen to the students who invested their time and money to receive training at these career colleges? Some may be able to transfer to other schools to complete their training under approved "teach-out" plans, while others may be left holding student loans with no diploma to show for their investment. The other pressing question is what effect these career colleges have had on the massage therapy profession. To date, there has been no critical analysis of this issue. Given the constraints of this column, I will give you a little background and highlight some key points.
In a 15-year span beginning around 1995, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of states with laws for the regulation of massage therapy. Enacted by legislatures to "protect the public health, safety and welfare," these statutes caused a three-fold increase to the number of institutions offering entry-level massage training programs. It's the Law of Supply and Demand. As each state gained licensure, new players entered the massage education landscape to take advantage of the opportunities. The two largest of these groups were publicly-funded community colleges and for-profit career colleges owned by publicly-traded corporations (such as Corinthian and Anthem).
Even though community colleges operate as non-profit entities, they share one important characteristic with for-profit career colleges: a relentless need to put butts in seats. In this world, massage is no different from welding or computer repair. It doesn't matter to these institutions what kind of program gets students through the front door, as long as there are warm gluteals in place when the bell rings. State funding for community colleges is based on student enrollment, and the corporations that own the chains of career colleges are constantly under pressure to deliver maximum profits for executives and shareholders.
Nearly 90% of the revenue stream for career colleges comes from Federal Student Aid, which means it is taxpayer money that has fueled the rapid growth of this sector. Much like the subprime mortgage mess, the massive amount of federal funds going to career colleges has led to chronic and widespread abuses of the financial aid system. If you've been following the news over the past several years, you'll know that these unethical business practices have been under intense scrutiny from the USDE, along with both houses of Congress and state governments.
As a result of these abuses, lawsuits have been filed against a number of these corporations by state Attorney Generals and the USDE made sweeping changes to its regulations governing all for-profit schools that administer Federal Student Aid. These new regs, which went into effect midway through 2011, have radically altered the landscape. In addition to the pending failure of Corinthian and Anthem, there has been an overall reduction in the number of massage programs at career colleges, with some companies choosing to get out of massage education altogether. This is a much-needed correction that will benefit our field.
Instead of asking, "What have career colleges done for the massage therapy profession?" a more appropriate question is, "What have career colleges done TO our profession?" In my August 2012 Massage Today column, I put forth The Seven Deadly Sins of Massage Education, which are commonly found at both career colleges and community colleges. From admitting unqualified students, to employing under-resourced and untrained teachers, delivering a disjointed modular curriculum and graduating people who can't give a decent massage – the net effect of career colleges has been a substantial decline in the quality and integrity of massage education and practice.
If this is the case, then where is the outcry? Our major stakeholder organizations have stood by the gates, smiling and welcoming in these new institutions over the past 15 years because they meant more members... more certificants... more licensees. These increased numbers also meant more revenue and more power, particularly for ABMP, AMTA and FSMTB. All the while, the baseline level of massage services delivered daily to the public has eroded, and what once was considered a sacred healing art is now just another consumer commodity – to be counted like widgets.
Instead of addressing these problems head-on, these organizations have banded together to pursue standard-setting projects that sound good, but fail to remedy the chronic and ongoing shortcomings that keep massage a low-wage, low-esteem occupation. The Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge, and the recent Entry-Level Analysis Project cannot be implemented in the face of the existing hodgepodge of massage schools and inconsistent state regulations. The forthcoming Model Practice Act, courtesy of FSMTB, will not put a dent in this. Without a central organization to hold and enforce entry-level massage education standards, we'll keep getting more of the same random outcomes.
That's why I've focused on the potential role of COMTA to serve the profession in a more expanded way. This option was explored in detail in my Massage Today columns published in November 2013, February 2014 and April 2014. As the only accreditation agency dedicated to massage education, COMTA is well-positioned to carry out these essential functions and help bring greater consistency to massage training and practice.
In many ways, we've lost control of our own field. Instead of being able to count on our professional associations to take the high road and set policy that will lead us to a brighter future, they have allowed outside influences to come in and compromise what is most important to us. Remember, they are in the membership business, not the massage business. They only make money from dues, well, except when they are competing with their own members by providing massage and education. We, as practicing massage professionals must keep our eyes and ears open to what is happening around us and advocate for our individual and professional interests. Doing so is the best way to protect and serve the public that needs the full potential massage therapy has to offer.