How long for my first massage therapy visit? (Simple vs. Complex)
- Intake Paperwork (5mins-30mins)
- Consultation (5mins-30mins)
- Session (25mins-55mins)
What do I wear to get a massage?
- Loose fitting clothing (t-shirt, tank-top, shorts, sweats, etc.) or
- Draping will be provided and/or
- Medical Gown may be provided
- Modestly WILL be maintained at ALL times
What does a “licensed” Massage Therapist mean?
- All massage therapists must meet the minimum requirements by the Oregon State Board of Massage Therapy and pass a written and practical exam with at least 70% in order to obtain their state license. It is ILLEGAL to practice massage therapy without a license in the State of Oregon.
- All massage therapists must renew their licenses every two years and meet the minimum requirements for continuing education.
- Each massage therapist may choose to obtain extra training in order to specialize in a particular field of massage.
Why should you choose a Massage Therapy Specialist?
While all licensed therapists must meet the minimum standards in education and pass the Oregon State board exam, every therapist must choose which direction to take in their careers through the courses chosen in their college of massage. Some may choose relaxation/spa massage while others may choose to increase their education levels to work with injury recovery. The latter group spend years accumulating experience in the varying types of modalities.
Some therapists may excel in giving a relaxing Swedish massage, yet they may lack the experience and confidence needed to assess the needs of a client who is suffering from an acute injury sustained from a high velocity car accident. The danger involved in choosing a massage therapist that does not have the proper training is the likelihood of increased recovery time and even the possibility of unnecessary pain and making the injury worse.
Will Exercises and Stretching Help?
Some professionals will tell you that all you need to recover from an injury is exercise and stretch. But natural instinct tells us that right after we hurt ourselves we need to rest the injured area. While exercising and stretching are key factors in a complete recovery they should only come after the affected area is healed. Then exercising to restore strength and stretching to restore flexibility would be indicated.
Which is better to use, hot or cold packs after a Massage?
This has been a question that many healthcare providers have vacillated on. In past 10 years or more there has been a change from using varying hot and cold packs every 24 hours. Now the understanding is that heat should be used for chronic muscle stiffness and ice should be used for acute muscle pain. To understand how and when to use these modalities we need to understand the basic functions of hot and cold on the human body. Cold constricts while heat inflames. When considering an injury we first and foremost need to control the inflammatory response. Using ice for 10-15 minutes will decrease the inflammation and decrease the pain response. Using ice for more than 15 minutes increases the chance for frostbite and will also trigger the body’s natural protective response to sustained cold by increasing blood flow to the affected area. This increased blood flow will undue the positive affects by again increasing inflammation. Heat should only be used with a chronic problem area in order to temporarily increase blood flow. For example, before stretching or exercising. As a rule of thumb, never use heat after any activities since the body temperature and ensuing inflammatory response is already heightened.
How long after my massage will it take before I feel better?
This is one of the most frequently asked and difficult questions to answer. In short… it depends on you. Since everyone’s injury is unique, along with their individual body’s natural ability to heal, the length can vary greatly. Commonly, those who were more active before the injury occurred seem to heal more rapidly due to their better overall health. Considering they refrain from activity during the healing process. That being said, even the healthiest amongst us will need ample time to heal from an accident with a lot of velocity. The key to a rapid recovery starts with getting treatment as soon as possible after the injury. The body’s amazing ability to heal and adjust can be both a blessing and a curse. If left on its own, without proper guidance, the body may mask over the pain and immobilize the affected area with scar tissue. At times this happens without notice since our body will naturally adapt to its new circumstances. If left for too long, these adaptations may become permanent. The sooner we can get the body healing itself correctly the sooner you can return to your normal way of life.
Will massage therapy hurt?
While there is some truth to the old adage, “no pain, no gain”, there needs to be a balance struck. This is where an experience massage therapist is absolutely essential. There are times when treatment might produce discomfort at the moment and then quickly vanish afterwards and/or be completely pain free and noticed the next few days. This is the body’s natural process to alert you that there is an injury that needs to be addressed. While some discomfort is unavoidable there should always be proper and immediate communication between client and therapist as to how the treatment is going. The therapist is able to feel the muscle tissue, but is unable to determine how this touch translates into the mind of the client. No professional therapist should take any offense to a client’s concern nor to a request to stop immediately.
Why do some massage therapists have a different price for billing insurance and paying cash? Isn’t this fraudulent?
If a massage therapist is providing the “exact” same service to a client they can not then “up-charge” an insurance company double than what they would normally charge someone if they paid cash. This would be considered insurance fraud. We first need to determine if we are comparing the same services. For example, we would not expect a mechanic to charge the same price to replace brake pads as they would charge to replace an engine. The later requires more skill and time. So when does the service change when it comes to massage therapy?
- When someone goes to a massage therapist for a relaxation massage:
- Minimal, if any, intake paperwork
- Client in charge of their own options
- Client pays at time of service
- No paperwork made after session
- No support given after session
- Minimal education level needed to provide a relaxation massage
- When someone goes to a massage therapist for treatment from a car accident:
- Lengthy intake paperwork
- In depth consultation and assessment of injury
- Understanding and ability to follow closely the treating Doctor’s prescription
- Constant contact with referring physician’s office
- Treatment or “SOAP notes” made after every treatment session to include Subjective and Objective findings along with Assessment and Plan of action
- Billing is filed and sent to insurance company
- Continual contact with insurance company for reimbursement (3-4 month process)
- Support given to any legal services rendered
- In depth knowledge of human body in the recovery process
- Understanding of medical and insurance terminologies