1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Money (There's the Rub): Florida's PIP Reform Drives Away Massage Therapy and Other CAM?

Word is out. Change is afoot for massage therapy in Florida. One has to wonder who or what, besides Governor Rick Scott, is the force behind PIP reform in Florida, that may be driving massage and other CAM (complementary alternative medicine) therapies right off the road and out of town. In an effort to curb fraud, lawmakers in Florida recently passed legislation that puts the brakes on a law instituted in 1972 to protect people injured in automobile accidents. That law was a good idea at the time, helping people who might not otherwise have access to health insurance, but let's be realistic. A lot of stuff has happened in the last 40 years, and not all of it has been good.

Granted, there has been a feeding frenzy in the lawyer-infested waters of insurance claims, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. There's nothing wrong with trying to reform legislation in order to prevent unlawful activity. It's not right, though, to potentially stigmatize massage therapy any more than it already is. Licensed practitioners in Florida and elsewhere have worked diligently for many years to overcome certain preconceived notions about the profession. Thanks to movies like At First Sight, people tend to get the wrong idea with regard to therapists' ethics and integrity. Please understand, licensed massage therapists (not masseurs and masseuses, thank you very much) are not looking for love in all the wrong places when they lay their hands on you--at least the ones I know aren't.

Now that the PIP reform legislation has passed, this therapist wonders what the future holds for massage therapy and other types of CAM, which are still paddling along outside of the medical mainstream. My daughter, also a licensed therapist, works for a clinic that provides massage therapy and other treatments for people injured in automobile accidents. She has told me that many of the patients she encounters have never had massage therapy before their visit to the clinic. They can't afford to go to a spa, and if they have health insurance at all, it normally doesn't pay for massage. Why doesn't it? Massage therapy has a proven track record for helping the body heal (click this link to the Touch Research Institute's website). And not suprisingly, more hospitals than ever before are recognizing the benefits of CAM, not only for the patients but also for the bottom line.

As Hamlet might say, there's the rub. Money is once again at the root of it--the initial PIP, the push for reform, and the ultimate change in policy. It seems that the medical mainstream wants to get its hands back in the pie. Yes, hospitals used to offer massage on a regular basis once upon a time. It was a routine part of nursing care. I'm not sure why it went away. Was the pharmaceutical industry to blame? Or did too many Hollywood movies cast it in a bad light? Whatever the reason, word needs to get out about the many benefits of massage therapy, and I'm not referring to the ones related to money. So, here goes... Word.


  1. I just went for a massage today. I don't feel like I can go enough! After several months without one, I really start to feel muscle strain in my back just from normal everyday use. After the massage I feel like a new person! I haven't researched the benefits of massage, but just from my own experience, I have no doubt that it helps in healing (and in turn, decreasing the time spent recovering from an accident--which is also more cost-effective). Unfortunately, a lot of lawmakers aren't interested in research and are only concerned with their own motives!

  2. Hey, CM, glad to see you commening here again. It's nice to know that at least one medical professional appreciates therapeutic massage. Just kidding! I know, there are many more out there. I wish they would speak up about it more, though. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next several months now that this bill has passed.

  3. Well, I can tell you what happened to the bedtime backrubs, once performed by nurses and nurses aides years was a money issue...over worked and understaffed...just getting worse and time to give the backrubs anymore!!!

    I know this as I have lived through it as an RN the past 32 years!

    Soon there will be no nurses to take care of all the baby boomers, and I can only imagine the lack of most other health practitioners (including massage therapists) as the money gets tighter and tighter.

    I think I will tell my hospitals for me...just let me stay home and die. It will probably be like this for most of us over 50.

    Hows that for a sad comment?

    Love ya...Julie

  4. I'm confused - is this good news for you?

  5. I've never had a rub down - too many back injuries make me afeared of what might occur. I admit I am surprised that most people prefer a tablet.

  6. In my place (kerala), the age old traditional medicinal system called Ayurveda has certain massage therapies in its treatment methods. Hope you have heard about it..

  7. Dear Walk2Write,
    it would be a sad thing to ban massage from therapy! Here in Germany we wonder too what happens: doctors don't prescribe it very often any more - and one suspects that the reason is money.
    That would be a bad thing: popping in another pill instead of trying to unblock muscles - quick, quick, cheap, cheap - doctors with very little time to listen, and very little knowledge about things that work (of course there are exceptions).

  8. I wonder what's the ground for eliminating massage therapy and acupuncture from PIP benefits. I had never taken a massage therapy except some aesthetic one but when I got a serious strained backache, acupuncture really worked. Though such alternative therapies are usually not covered by the health insurance here.

  9. Hey stranger!

    I see you're dealing with issues, and like most things it's not that easy to nip it in the bud. Not even for a gardener massage therapist who has lots of experience nipping buds.

  10. Has anything new happened? After re-reading your post, I see that your career is in jeopardy. That's what I get for reading blogs early in the morning before I fully awaken, or late at night when my brain just wants to sleep! Do keep us posted!!

  11. Julie, it's always about the money, isn't it? Well, healing is still an art, no matter what the experts and number crunchers might claim. Love ya too!

    Karen (KaHolly), it isn't bad news for me, except for the fact that I'll be competing against many newly unemployed LMTs for business once this law takes effect. Guess I just have to find my niche.

    IG, you don't know what you're missing. You just need to find the right therapist. He/she can work wonders, with no drugs required, believe me.

    Tomz, yes I have heard about Ayurvedic medicine and learned something about it in school. I would like to study it in more detail.

    Britta, it makes me sad that what has worked for thousands of years is sneered at by most modern medical professionals. Someday they will have to answer for their arrogance and greed. Small consolation, eh?

    Cosmos, I thought for sure that in Japan acupuncture would be covered by insurance. It's so sad that the modern and traditional techniques can't coexist.

    TC, I guess I need to sharpen my garden snips. Speaking of gardening, I'm back in the swing of things in that department and will be posting about it soon. Is it weird to get excited about such things?

  12. I think I've mentioned before, W2W, that my son-in-law is a licensed massage therapist. Before they moved to Texas this winter, he had a very famous client with Parkinson's who swore by the benefits of Mike's massages. Too bad the politicians have gotten involved in this--as you say, they always seem to "throw out the baby with the bathwater."

  13. I don't remember you mentioning that your SIL is an LMT, Rose. Does he have his own practice now? It would be great if famous people would speak up more about the benefits of massage. Then maybe the politicians would listen and change their opinions about it.