"The physican must be experienced in many things, but assuredly also in rubbing." - Hippocrates
Do I need to remove my clothing? For most types of massage therapy, the answer is usually "yes". with Shiatsu and Craniosacral Therapy being the most common exceptions to this rule. However, the amount of clothing you need to remove depends on your personal preferences and largely on the extent of the treatment you are receiving. For full body treatments, some clients choose to remove all of their clothes, however... in my office, proper draping techniques are required. You will be covered with a large towel, so that only the areas being treated are the ones which will be exposed. This helps to keep you warm and relaxed.
What is the best frequency of treatment?
This will vary, but there are some standard guidelines. If you are seeking massage treatment for remediation from a recent injury, it is usually recommended that the first two or three treatments be spaced every three to four days or weekly, depending on the severity of the pain or dysfunction. This schedule can vary as to frequency in certain instances such as injuries sustained through automobile accidents. Each person and situation is different. For long term dysfunction (arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc;) treatment guidelines will be determined in a case by case evaluation, via continual dialogues between patient and therapist to affect the best possible outcome. For therapeutic or prophylactic treatments, most people find that once or twice a month suits their needs, although some clients come more frequently.
How do I choose a therapist?
Many people find a therapist through internet searches or by a friend or family member's referral; however a good many other people find them through search engines like GOOGLE or the yellow pages. This is most common if you are unfamiliar with an area, have no referral bases, are new to an area or else your first time having a massage or treatment. Having a therapist is a very personal choice, and it is my belief that a therapist you might be considering should have NO objections to having you come to their office to meet them in person FIRST, or for you being able to ask them about their education and specialties (how long have they been a therapist, have they treated your particular problem before and with what kind of success, etc; etc.).... or in other words.... a consultation.
REMEMBER: You should feel comfortable in the therapist's presence, in the place you would be treated, and confident in the therapist's ability to relate and listen to your personal needs and be able to respond to your questions in such a way that makes you feel as if you have made the right choice. Having a good therapist is a blessing indeed and should be thought of with the same importance that you would give to choosing an attorney, a doctor, dentist or financial advisor. After all, it's your health and your money! Be an informed consumer. Ask questions.
What is a treatment like?
As with any therapeutic protocol, care and communication should be the operational bywords. Be open and let the therapist know how you are feeling during your treatment and your session will be a lot more enjoyable and productive for you. The old adage, "no pain, no gain" is not relative to massage therapy treatments you receive. Remember that it is your physical condition or dysfunction that is painful; not the treatment itself. You should always feel better at the end of each treatment and you will find yourself looking forward to the blissful relaxation you experience as your condition improves. After your first session you may experience some mild muscle soreness for a day or two as a result of having tight, restricted areas "released", however this is a positive sign that tells you that your body is healing.
As soon as those areas of concern resolve however, you will find that your sessions become increasingly more pleasurable and productive in regard to having greater mobility and enjoyment in your daily activities as you move through life with an ease you might have previously thought impossible.
Does massage help to reduce stress levels?
According to studies, anything that can help you relax will reduce your stress levels and massage is one of the most relaxing therapies you can receive. Many people regularly turn to massage to more effectively manage their daily stress.
Massage therapy treats the problem holistically. Without using supression chemicals to slow you down, massage therapists treat the whole person and help to assist your body to regain homeostasis, achieving a balance between the various systems of your body and allowing natural healing to occur.
Do Massage Therapists have a code of ethics?
As a Licensed Massage Therapist, I promise to:
- provide you with the very best professional care to the very best of my ability.
- accept all clients without discrimination.
- acknowledge the confidential nature of the professional relationship with a client and respect each client's right to privacy.
- practice only the modalities in which I have been professionally trained and certified.
-in no way participate, initiate or engage in any type of sexual activities with my clients.
Ethics have always held a position of paramount importance with me and over the years I have given this issue my highest priority, making every effort to insure that my patients have always been well-treated, respected, listened to and safe.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes. In cases of automobile accidents or Worker's Compensation claims, please know that I will take care of all of your billing and records pertaining to your therapy as well as any correspondance or communications with your attorneys, if required. Over my many years in practice, I have come to realize that there is some confusion regarding charges for insurance billing versus charges for standard office visits, therefore I have decided to provide an answer which will address these concerns. Rates for billing in cases of auto accidents which go forward into lawsuits and extended mediation are, typically, significantly higher than normal office visits and there is a simple explanation for this. Beyond and separate from the actual physical treatment which you receive in my office (the standard charge) there are also PIP reductions taken on the amount billed, as well as additional work involved which includes your billing, record keeping and the time spent in travelling to your attorneys at their place of business to personally deliver your records and have them signed for (and YES...I do this for you instead of taking the less reliable route of mailing them). This process translates into extra time that I spend working on your case for you, and I'm certain that we all understand that everyone should be compensated for work which we do. It's a simple fact of life.
However, this is always explained to you before arrangements enter the "post" PIP phase when benefits become exhausted from medical visits, examinations and treatments pertaining to the accident. Rates for both "pre" and "post" PIP exhaustion should be the same or nearly the same, barring any unusual circumstances to avoid misunderstandings of changes. Now, should you decide at this point to proceed with a lawsuit for physical injury, it is critically important that you both realize and accept your financial responsibility for eventual payment of services, should you decide to engage the services of an attorney or attorneys working on your behalf, and to understand the possible consequences for you, should those efforts fail to yield enough money from the settlement to cover bills and/or charges submitted from my office for services rendered. It is for this reason that I always request an L.O.P. (letter of protection) from your legal representative in addition to an agreement from my office which addresses your responsibilities, in order to insure that a proper dialogue takes place between you and counsel and that you are made aware of what may or may not occur as a final outcome. It is also important to discuss with your attorney whether or not they feel as if your particular case has enough merit for a satisfactory outcome, and only your personal injury representative can make that judgment based on available information from your health providers who have documented your injuries. Pursuing a personal injury path is something that should never be taken lightly (even though many people are severely impaired from these accidents resulting in "soft tissue" injuries and other serious complications), and it is important that you are always well informed. My clients, of course, do have the option of paying "out of pocket" for their treatments at the time of service at the regular standard office rate, and this will, by virtue of my not having to wait until your case settles to be paid, obviate the additional charges; translating into a better final financial settlement for you. If you decide to choose this route, I will still take care of all of the information as described for your attorneys as before. It simply makes things easier and eliminates the potential uncertainties that can exist in any legal action. I am willing to extend this offer to you out of professional respect and with an understanding on both of our parts regarding the long and often complicated settlement process. Additionally, any cash payments made to me (and documented as such) are quite likely to be able to be recovered from the other party or parties involved in the accident upon finalization of your case with a favorable ruling. So, you can see that paying for services at the time they are rendered has very distinct and valuable advantages to a client choosing to pursue legal avenues. Although I fully understand that it is not always financially feasible to go this route, it can make final negotiations in any settlement much easier on all parties concerned. Just something to think about....
It is my pleasure and purpose in life to help you. I will always do my very best to help you regain your natural state of well-being following an automobile accident and I am always open and willing to discuss with you the ramifications of different ways for taking care of your end of the financial responsibilities.
As for "discounted plans" which are a part of major medical policies, I no longer accept those companies' discounts which are a part of their "coverage" for Massage Therapy services. My reasoning for this is explained more fully by the following:
Medical Doctors, (M.D.'s), Osteopathic Physicians (D.O.'s), Chiropractic Physicians (D.C.'s), Physical Therapists (P.T.'s) and other such related disciplines ALL have the ability to "bill" the insurance companies for services.....but Licensed Massage Therapists do NOT have similar rights and access to bill (except of course, for certain circumstances, as mentioned above). To me....this represents a flagrant and abhorent discrimination in regard to recognition of professional standards. Physicians, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors AND Massage Therapists all have to go through training specified by state requirements, take state exams for certification, complete continuing education requirements and pay state and local licensing fees to retain their status as recognized and legal health providers. The fact that MASSAGE THERAPISTS are not accorded the same rights as other disciplines, while similarly complying with state requirements, is both unconscionable and discrimatory.
I encourage ALL of my patients, as well as any other person reading this to contact their major medical insurance companies and register their complaints that services by Massage Therapists should be recognized for their right to bill for services rendered under any situation prescribed by a physician (and yes,even in situations when a patient requests massage as a "prophylactic" measure for improving their health and/or a specific health condition), and that you (the insured client) should not have to pay a "discounted rate", out-of-pocket, for services which are covered by other licensed medical professionals (without exception and/or codicils), but rather in the same manner of "co-pay" fees and those remaining charges which ARE covered under your policies. This would provide an opportunity for all insured people to have the benefits of massage therapy and the improvements in wellness which it provides without causing additional financial responsibilities. (A far better explanation of how this could be done is provided in the section called ON INSURANCE which is located on the page titled LOOKING AHEAD). It's a rather long read....but well worth your valuable time.
And finally....it is only through the efforts by professional lobbying organizations, such as the A.M.T.A. ....AND the concerted efforts of people like yourselves that YOUR rights as far as coverage for both "traditional" AND "non-traditional" methods of treatment will be recognized AND covered, without regulatory discrimination, under the umbrella of the policies which you pay so dearly for.
People go through their whole lives chasing everything in the material world,
and they fail to discover the greatest treasure of all, which is within them.
Shut your eyes to the outside world. Direct your thoughts and words to the
inside of you. The Physician within you is the key to all the treasures in the world.