How does a mask affect my massage session?
As of 7/25/20, masks are required in all medical spaces, including my massage room. Most clients, after about 20 minutes, are relaxed enough to not notice their masks. However, when it's time to roll over onto your stomach, the mask may not be comfortable. So, I've altered how I lay the pillowcase across my face cradle so that it creates a big "bubble" for your nose and mouth. That should allow you to slip your mask down or off to the side, yet, will keep your nose and mouth covered. In addition, when you're laying face down, your exhalation will be aimed at my floor; my air-purifier pulls in air at floor level.
Will insurance pay for my massage?
Each client is expected to pay the day of their session. If you have a medical referral, you might be eligible for reimbursement, depending upon your plan. Personal injury claims (such as auto) will often reimburse you for your sessions. I can provide you with a statement, copy of your notes, and a HCFA form which should help you receive reimbursement. As of 1/1/14, I will no longer send bills directly to insurance companies.
What if I have a health-care provider's referral?
A written referral from a doctor, therapist, chiropractor, etc. will convert the legal status of your session into a medically prescribed service. You will be exempt from paying sales tax on your service. You may qualify to use pre-tax dollars for your service (if you have a "cafeteria plan", HSA, or medical savings account). You will be able to count your massage sessions as part of your medical expenses on your taxes. So, it pays to get a referral!
Are there other ways to reduce the cost of my massage?
There are a few, easy ways to make your session more affordable:
1) Get a health-care provider's referral (see above) to make you sales tax exempt and income tax exempt for your session.
2) Bring in a competitor's coupon - I'll honor it's value (and any restrictions).
3) If you're really in a bind, click here: sliding fee scale.
4) If you're in the armed forces, you are eligible for a 25% discount (unless eligible for a larger discount through the sliding fee scale (see above). Good on 60 or 75 minute sessions only. May not be combined with any other discounts or coupons.
5) "Starving college students" can have a 25% discount. Just show your current college ID. Good on 60 or 75 minute sessions only. May not be combined with any other discounts or coupons.
Do I need to take my clothes off?
Not always. Although it is often easier to work directly on skin, the amount of clothing you need to remove depends largely on the extent and type of work you are receiving. I will discuss with you prior to your session if I will need to work directly on skin, or if you want to bring shorts, if you can stay fully clothed, etc. Men who have been referred by their health-care professional for work in the pelvic area may also wear an athletic cup supporter for modesty. You are covered the entire time by sheets; generally only the areas being worked are modestly uncovered at the time. This helps you to relax and helps to keep you warm. The table can also be heated on request to help keep you warm.
What is the best frequency of treatment?
This will vary, but here are some guidelines. If you are seeking massage treatment for remediation from a recent injury, I usually see you once or twice a week, depending on the severity of the pain or dysfunction. If we are doing a series of Connective Tissue Massage sessions, it is easiest to make changes with 4 weekly sessions. Visceral and Neural Manipulation (tissue specific fascial release) works best if scheduled once every 2 to 3 weeks. For stress management, most people find that once a month suits their needs, but some come more frequently, especially if they are under a lot of stress.
Will therapy hurt?
If at any time the treatment you are receiving is causing you too much discomfort, ask me to stop or ease off for a few seconds. Be open and let me know how you are feeling and your session will be a lot more enjoyable and productive. The old adage "no pain no gain" is not relevant to massage therapy sessions you receive. Usually it is your physical condition or dysfunction (and not the massage) that is painful. You should feel better at the end of each session and the sessions will become more comfortable as your dysfunctions improve. After a session, you may feel some mild discomfort or muscle soreness for a few days until your body readjusts and heals itself. Drinking additional water to help flush tissues afterwards will help with the discomfort. You should call me if you have soreness that lasts for more than two days.
I have a cold - can I come in?
Because a COVID infection can mimic a cold these days, the best course may be to stay home. If you really need your massage today, the next best course is to do a rapid test less than 2 hours before your session. If it's positive, stay home for at least 5 days. If it's negative, you're welcome to come in as long as you wear an N95 or a snugly fitting KN95 throughout your session.
Is it safe to receive massage during pregnancy?
Not only is it safe, it is also very beneficial and comforting. Massage therapy can be received throughout the entire nine month pregnancy term. If you are experiencing complications during pregnancy, discuss your condition with your doctor or midwife first. I have special pads for my massage table that accommodate an extremely comfortable side-lying position.
Is it safe to receive massage during cancer treatment?
Current studies are showing much benefit to receiving massage during most cancer treatments. One study equated massage to a "respite from cancer care" without pokes from needles or pain. In general, massage is to be considered like light exercise; if your doctor has given you exercise restrictions, we will enforce similar restrictions during your massage session. If nothing else, we can do gentle acupressure and some energy work to help ease some discomfort. If you are in the middle of certain chemotherapy sessions, I (the practitioner) may need to wear gloves while working on your skin. Before receiving massage, you will need to get permission (and any restrictions) from your doctor. You may also want to print out a copy of this newsletter for yourself and your doctor - click HERE for "Massage = Cancer Respite".
How much of my body will be massaged?
When the client is seeking treatment for a specific injury or condition, the entire session may focus on only a couple of areas. There may also be a need to work areas that are adversely affected by injuries, such as when a sprained ankle causes the opposite leg to bear all the body's weight and stress of walking. For relaxation massages, we will discuss and agree upon the areas to be massaged. A "full body massage" usually includes the head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, buttocks/hips and back. Some of the specialty techniques I do will work the chest, abdomen, or pelvis, which I often work while the area remains covered with clothing or the sheets. If being massaged in certain areas causes you to feel uncomfortable, you should inform me and I will adjust the massage accordingly. You should never accept a touch that feels wrong in any way or feel pressured to offer an explanation for such sensitivity.
Where can I get copies of your relaxing music?
You can order many of them below by clicking here, or go to www.stevencmusic.com. He often has little parlor concerts, and these are often posted on his website.
Can I bring someone along?
As of June 2020, only parents of minors and/or people to assist a client directly will be allowed as guests in the clinic. Please contact me in advance to let me know if you need to bring an extra person.
Can massage help reduce stress levels?
According to medical 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 turn to massage to manage day to day stress. Massage therapy helps the problem naturally. Without using suppression chemicals to slow you down, massage therapists attempt to work with the whole person and try to help your body regain homeostasis, achieving a balance between the various systems of your body to allow natural healing to occur.
Do massage therapists have a Code of Ethics?
Yes, massage therapists adhere to the following code:
-We provide the best quality care to any one that seeks our professional help.
-We accept all clients without discrimination.
-We acknowledge the confidential nature of the professional relationship with a client and respect each client's right to privacy.
-We practice only the modalities in which we have been professionally trained and/or certified.
-We in no way participate or engage in any type of sexual activities with our client.
-We maintain a safe, clean and professional environment.
Are there different techniques in massage?
Yes, there are many different types of massage techniques. Swedish massage is the technique most widely known by massage therapists, but others are also trained in sports massage, aromatherapy massage, shiatsu, deep tissue massage, Thai massage or techniques named for their developer such as Upledger, Heller Work and Feldenkrais. I am trained in a variety of techniques which are outlined above.
What studies have been done on massage therapy?
Massage has been studied for its use with premature infants, adults who have recently experienced a heart attack or stroke, athletes who desire to increase their athletic performance and shorten recuperation time, victims of sexual abuse, grieving patients and those who have lost limbs or experience unusual pains. For some of the more recent studies involving massage, you can click HERE.