resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Just the Facts: Opinion vs. Data in the Therapeutic Relationship
In today's society, people experiencing pain or discomfort can look to countless different sources for help and advice. Often, when clients come to us, they've already received a lot of information from physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, or other practitioners — not to mention their friends, the Internet, and the evening news. Much of this information comes in the form of opinions, the personal viewpoints of specific individuals. Invariably, different individuals have different viewpoints, so a client who consults several sources is likely to hear several conflicting opinions.
Here are just a couple of examples:
No wonder so many people get confused and frustrated when exploring their health care options. How can they know which source to believe? Should they trust the person they like the most? The one who has the most letters after their name? Or the one who seems most confident? There's no easy answer. And how can we, as massage therapists, share what we know without becoming just another voice in a cacophony of opinions?
One solution is to give fewer opinions and more data. In contrast to opinions, pieces of data (i.e. facts) are either true or false. For example, if I say, "I treated Mr. Burke every week for six months," that's a data-based statement. Either I treated Mr. Burke for that period of time or I didn't. However, if I say, "Those treatments helped him a lot." Or, "He should have kept coming for a little while longer," I'm giving an opinion. Someone else might agree or disagree with my opinions, but they are neither accurate nor inaccurate. Compare this with data-based statements about the client's progress: "Mr. Burke reported that his back pain decreased from a level 10 to a level three over a six-month period. If he continued improving at the same rate, he would have been pain-free within another three months of treatment."
Not all data pertains to observable events in the outside world. Information about a person that is known only to that person also counts as data. If I say, "I'm tired," or "I'm frustrated," or "I just love Swiss cheese," those statements can't be verified by anyone else, but they are still either true or false (either I love Swiss cheese or I don't).
You can think of opinions as giving personal information, as well. For example, the opinion, "Kate is a fantastic therapist," can be rephrased as, "I think Kate is a fantastic therapist." Notice that this is a statement about the speaker — what's on the speaker's mind, what the speaker thinks — and not about Kate. No matter what Kate's work is like, it can still be either true or false that the speaker thinks she's fantastic.
Realizing that our opinions say something about us, not about the outside world, can save us a lot of frustration. If I want someone else to understand why I think Kate is a good therapist, I need to give information about her and her work, not just about me. For example, I could say, "Kate has ten years of experience practicing orthopedic massage. I have referred six clients to her in the last year, and five of them reported complete relief from their pain. With the fifth client, Kate realized her form of treatment would not be effective, so she referred him to an osteopath." The same is true when I'm discussing anything else I think is great, or not so great, such as various treatment options or lifestyle choices that my clients are considering.
It's certainly fine to tell clients our opinions, but it's important to back them up with data. This is especially true when our clients are facing major decisions about their health (e.g., deciding whether to begin a long-term treatment program, to have surgery, or to make radical lifestyle changes). Data is empowering. When we give clients the facts about relevant research findings, our own past experiences, and the results of our assessment procedures, they may find this data convincing or they may not. Either way, we're giving them the chance to make up their own minds about what's best for them based on factual information.
Consider These Examples
Opinion: You need to do these exercises every day.
Data: I've worked with dozens of clients with this sort of injury. In my experience, when people do this exercise every day, they heal up to 40% faster, but when they miss one or two days a week their rate of healing remains unaffected.
Opinion: In addition to easing your neck pain, these treatments will improve your circulation dramatically.
Data: In my evaluation, I found that your level of muscle tension was above average throughout your upper body, and chronic tension tends to impair circulation. Dozens of research studies have shown that this type of massage helps to reduce muscle tension and improve circulation.
Opinion: The real cause of your neck pain is your stressful job.
Data: I've noticed that whenever you come here on the weekend or during a vacation week, you report having much less neck pain.
In each case, data provides a deeper, more solid foundation for mutual understanding. All of these examples involve a therapist giving information to clients, but the same is also true for the information clients bring in. When clients tell you their opinions or opinions they've heard from someone else, encourage them to share data with you. You might ask, "Why do you think that?" or "How did he/she come to that conclusion?" Even if you strongly disagree with the opinion, try to be genuinely curious about the data underlying it. Remember that the client has information you don't have. You may be less inclined to ask for data when you hear opinions you like or agree with — e.g., "These treatments are so helpful" — but facts are useful at those times, too. Whenever clients tell me that their condition is improving, I say, "Prove it to me. Tell me what's different now."
In any situation where it's important to separate what you know from what you think, it's to your advantage to bring data into the conversation. Both you and your clients will experience the benefits of increased clarity and understanding.