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Congratulations on broadening your horizons and trying something new!
The first time you come in, you will need to fill out some paperwork and we will chat about your goals and what you want and need from your treatment.
Each time you come in you will begin by telling your therapist why you have come for a massage treatment. Your therapist will ask you some questions to determine the onset of your issue(s) whether it is something acute and new, maybe you tweaked your back while helping a friend move, or if you have a chronic issue that has plagued you for a long time. Either way, we will discuss your current condition and what your goals are each time you come in. That way, you can inform your therapist of anything new or ongoing, and discuss your progress or any developments. We also record each session in your chart to track your progress.
Some techniques are performed easily over clothing, like Chair Massage. Chair massage is a good technique to treat the upper body including the head and neck, arms, shoulders and upper back, but is often not adequate when treating conditions such as chronic low back pain or sciatica.
Other techniques such as Swedish and Deep Tissue require oil, lotion or cream to be applied directly to the skin hence, less clothing is worn according to your comfort level. If you, as a patient, are comfortable without clothing that is perfectly fine. If you prefer to keep your undergarments on, that is also perfectly fine. Either way, standard draping techniques are used so that only the area being treated is uncovered and then covered up again to treat a different area. For example, if we are treating the back and legs in one session, only one leg will be uncovered at a time while the rest of the body is covered. Conversely, the legs will be covered when the back is being treated. This draping not only serves to preserve your modesty, it also helps to keep you warm and comfortable during your treatment.
The same standard draping will be used when performing myofascial, neuromuscular, and or lymphatic techniques (even though little to no oil/cream is used) when less clothing is worn. Let your therapist know what level of clothing on or off you are comfortalbe with and your therapist should be able to accomodate it while ensuring an effective treatment and maintaining your comfort.
As far as positioning on the table, there are several options. You can be face up (supine), face down
(prone), or laying on your side with extra cushioning if necessary. If you are pregnant, laying on your side might be your best option. Be sure to tell your therapist if there is a position that you prefer or if you are uncomfortable or incapable of being in any particular position. Your therapist will discuss the treatment plan prior to treatment so that you know what to expect and you can make them aware of any particular position modifications you may need.
These days, more and more insurance companies are seeing the value in massage therapy as a means to treat chronic pain and/or to take a preventative approach to health and wellness. The best way to find out if your insurance company and plan covers massage therapy is to call the phone number on the back of your insurance card. Some companies and plans will cover a certain number of massage therapy sessions on a yearly basis, while others will require you to get a referral or prescription before your first massage.
Getting a referral or a prescription can often be as simple as calling your primary care physician since he or she may already know of your diagnosis or condition. However, if your pain, injury, or condition is new, they may want you to see them prior to writing a referral or a prescription. Even though massage therapy is covered by many insurance companies, it is up to the massage practitioner as to whether or not they will accept the additional challenge and administrative work that goes along with billing insurance companies, any massage practitioners and therapists do not. Read more information about referrals, prescriptions and how to communicate with your doctor and insurance companies below.
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