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Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Change is the Only Constant
The Federation of State massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), still refuses to provide necessary information and support materials on its MBLEx licensing exam to applicants and schools while sitting on a cash reserve of more than $5 million and awarding its executive director an average pay raise of 18%. (For more details on this, see my previous column in the September 2015 issue.) If that weren't bad enough, FSMTB is now considering taking over the continuing education market and requiring licensees to take their CE Hours through its own "Regulatory Education and Competence Hub – or REACH." They will be announcing the details on this program later this Fall. Stand by – Massage Today will keep you informed on the latest.
Major shake-ups have gone on in the education sector of massage of late which could have profound implications for the profession at large. With the change of Department of Education rules regarding student aid and crackdowns on unscrupulous marketing tactics by State Attorney Generals, lots of massage schools have closed suddenly. While some questionable players have been eliminated (good riddance), it comes at a time when the demand for therapists is up and the number of students in school nationally is down.
Suppose there is some Karma operating here? Too many schools marketed dishonestly, misrepresenting the realities of the profession for too long. Further, they chose to market to the lower academic and economic strata of high schools, offering "free school" via loans, unrealistic compensation for a quick and easy training, and not screening for applicants' abilities to do the work, mentally or physically. The word is out and the honest reality of our profession, which is rapidly becoming a trade, is not all that attractive: $15,000 in debt to make $12 per hour isn't very lucrative. Who should we be recruiting and what should we be promising? I don't think we can continue to lure young people with the promises of easy, big bucks and then place them as slave labor employees much longer. Our profession could face a traumatic downsizing. We are already way short of filling the demand for therapists. On the plus side, such a supply and demand difference could bring up pay scales, especially for those more accomplished therapists who invest in advanced skills through continuing education.
We will never be honest in advertising quality education until we establish standards for massage instructors. The days of Master Therapists becoming instructors are over. There just are not enough of them to staff all our schools. Further, a great mechanic does not necessarily make a good shop foreman and likewise, a great therapist does not necessarily make a good instructor. Excellent teacher standards have been developed and published by the AFMTE. This is the time to adopt and implement them.
In Steps the IRS
New rulings from the IRS have changed the guidelines to determine the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. This is going to shake up a lot of therapists' work arrangements. The new rulings make it very difficult to be an independent contractor. If that is your declared status, you'd better check with your accountant or attorney. You might not be in much trouble, but the "employer/contractor" can be in deep do-do if all, or even part, of their staff - who they thought to be working as independent contractors - are suddenly declared "employees" and the business now declared "employer." The business owner will suddenly owe however many years of back employment withholdings, workman's comp, social security, etc., plus fines and interest. Don't mess with the IRS; be sure you have your "ducks in a row." Get professional advice.
Along comes the NLRB
In a very recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the parent company of a franchise can now be considered the employer of the people working at an individual, independent franchise. This totally shakes up the franchise model. If this ruling stands (it will likely be appealed and wind up in the courts, tying it up for years, but it might not be appealed), it means that the "Mother Company" of a franchise - the "Corporate Office" - is now the employer of the staff working at each independently owned and operated franchise location. This is a huge game changer in the franchise world and it will be interesting to see the outcome. It was lobbied for by Labor Unions who hope it aids them in unionizing franchises. While it could be good for unions, it also could be the death knell to franchise operations. Franchising allows independent business people to open a brand-recognized business and operate it independently within a set of guidelines defined by the parent company. The local owner determines employment decisions, staffing, wages, etc. This ruling will take away much of the local owners ability to make staffing decisions and shift a lot of potential liability to the parent company. This will mess with the profitability of franchise operations. Of course, the smaller franchises will be harmed most. It could make franchising no longer a feasible or profitable business model.
Point being, we have lots of therapists working in franchises and lots of the public being provided massage through this business model. It will be interesting to see how this ruling will affect our profession. It appears that everyone working at a franchise will become an employee. Independent contracting for a franchise will likely be disallowed. Your employer or franchise may not stay in business. Some analysts are predicting the end of the franchise business model if this ruling is enforced and upheld in courts. Only change is constant.
Don't forget the pork. Actually the hamstrings - a little food humor there. Got your attention though, didn't it? In my work with Neural Reset Therapy (NRT), I have gained a new appreciation as to just how important the hamstring muscles are to a variety of pain syndromes. Now that I can normalize hamstring tonus and hip flexion in two or three minutes with NRT, I do so on almost every patient and find it speeds and improves the results I get for most posterior complaints. Even if you do not yet know NRT, spend some time on the hamstrings, even though they might not be the patient's area of complaint, and see if you then get improved results with the main complaint.
Happy Holidaze to everyone! Remember there is a reason for this season besides gift certificates. Try to catch some of the Spirit and share It. Thanks for reading Massage Today and my bi-monthly columns. I am so grateful for your support. See you back here in January to kick off the New Year!