Will my insurance cover therapeutic massage sessions?
Calling your insurance company to determine what your specific plan will cover is the best way to answer this question. Some health insurers will reimburse members for “massage when performed by a physical therapist”. Since Andrea is a physical therapist who does massage, some clients have been successfully reimbursed for their sessions with her. Check whether a doctor’s referral is necessary, if the PT can be an out-of-network provider, or if there is a limit to the number of reimbursable visits.
Andrea does not bill insurance companies directly, but can provide receipts for submission for health insurance reimbursement or for Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts. If an injury is the result of an auto accident or work-related accident, most auto insurers and workman’s compensation companies will reimburse for therapeutic massage and physical therapy by an out-of-network provider.
Do I have to remove all my clothing for a massage?
Undress to your own level of comfort. A sheet or towel will be used to cover you, and only the area being worked on will be uncovered or “draped”. If you are not comfortable with removing clothing such as underwear, that is perfectly acceptable. Some massage and bodywork techniques can also be performed directly through clothing. For massage of just a specific treatment area, only access to that area may be required (i.e. calf muscles). If you are new to massage and have any concerns, contact the therapist for further information.
Does deep tissue massage just mean the therapist pushes harder on my muscles – and does it have to hurt?
Deep tissue massage does not necessarily mean that the therapist is applying more force to your muscles. Andrea skillfully uses just the right amount of pressure by sensing feedback from the tissue. Too much force applied too quickly can cause reflexive muscle tightening that is counter-productive. (Conversely, too little pressure might not have sufficient therapeutic result.) During deep tissue massage, the client typically experiences “the good hurt” – not outright pain. Andrea’s extensive anatomy and physiology knowledge is key in her identification and localized treatment of superficial to deep structures such as tendons, ligaments, and fascia.
Why do I have so many knots in my muscles?
In a nutshell, factors such as an illness or an injury, repetitive motions, poor posture, too little or too much activity can all play a role in the formation of knots which are localized areas of excessive tension (hypertonicity). Whether painful or not, muscle knots interfere with optimal muscle length and function. By having knots worked out during a massage, you can help prevent dysfunction before it creates a cascade of problems. Most people have knots “brewing” that they are totally unaware of until they manifest during a massage. It is of great benefit to become aware of small “issues in your tissues” before they become big ones!
Can massage reduce the appearance of cellulite?
Yes! Up until recently, most massage techniques were rather limited in their effect on cellulite. An innovative massage tool called the FasciaBlaster®, created by Ashley Black, has now been clinically proven to break up cellulite (i.e. connective tissue restrictions) and is available at Complements For Health! See our services listing for info on both the FasciaBlaster® Full Body Massage and the targeted Cellulite Massage with the FasciaBlaster® for specific problem areas. Also, be sure to check out www.fasciablaster.com for incredible testimonials, before/after pics, and to learn more about the science behind it.
What kind of results can I expect and how often should a get a massage?
It depends on your particular situation and your goals but, in general, you should experience greater muscle and joint flexibility (range of motion), less pain and stiffness, improved function, and greater relaxation. It is reasonable to expect that someone who comes in with tension headaches should get fewer headaches and of less intensity. To achieve optimal level of function, a series of sessions may be needed to get to the root of the problem. Overall, acute conditions such as muscle spasms can resolve after just one visit but chronic conditions can be very stubborn. After Andrea evaluates you during your first session, she will make recommendations on any subsequent sessions and frequency – and even self-care you can do at home to help. Don’t forget that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”! Like regular exercise, the greatest results (and benefits of massage) occur with regular, consistent massage sessions. The typical “body maintenance” schedule is a full-body massage once per month.
Why should I drink water after a massage?
The mechanical action of massage can release a lot of metabolic wastes, such as lactic acid, that build up in tight muscle tissue. Hydrating well after a massage helps to dilute the junk that can cause soreness and discomfort and move it through the circulatory system to be eliminated. You should also make sure you are well-hydrated even before your massage! It is not uncommon for clients to use the restroom both before and after their massage.
How does Massage coordinate with other types of treatments like Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and regular Physical Therapy?
Massage is typically the perfect complement to other types of treatments. Since massage focuses on the soft tissues of the body, it can really enhance chiropractic care (which focuses on the bones) by dealing with the tight muscles which frequently pull bones out of their proper alignment. Most people find that their bones are easier to adjust and their adjustments “hold” longer when incorporating massage, (so they may need less chiropractic visits). There are both benefits to receiving massage before chiropractic care as well as after but your chiropractor may have a preference or recommendation for your particular situation. Massage therapy also coordinates well with acupuncture, herbal remedies, energy medicine and many other traditional and alternative health systems. Consult with your physician regarding massage following cancer treatments, immediately post-surgical, or when major health issues are present. Massage is generally avoided within 24 hrs of chemotherapy and the area near an injection site is always avoided until healed. Andrea’s massage/manual therapy can be an excellent adjunct to ‘regular’ physical therapy which emphasizes therapeutic exercise as the primary treatment and tends to be less hands-on. Many clients utilize Andrea’s services as post-rehab rehab to take them to the next level.
What type of products do you use for the massage?
Your skin is actually the body’s largest organ and absorbs what is applied to the skin. For the types of massage that require lubrication, food-grade oils are used which include primarily Organic Extra-Virgin Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil, but also safflower, sunflower, and grapeseed oils. A high-quality, hypoallergenic lotion is used on the face (and the body if requested) and with certain types of techniques that demand less glide. Oils and lotions may be scented with pure, concentrated essential oils (the essences of plants) to create an Aromatherapy Massage that has additional benefits depending on the properties of the essential oils chosen. Be sure to mention any preferences, allergies, or sensitivities at the time of your massage.