Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
It depends on several things. First of all, what is it that the person needs to increase their body’s functionality and feel good? Some people are stuck at desks all day long and don’t get to move their body much during the week. These folks may need to come in every three or four weeks to get a good work-over to ensure they are able to move their heads and necks and backs freely. Other people may need to come in more frequently because they are hardcore exercisers. Or we are working through an injury or specific concern. Many of my clients with these restrictions come in at least one time a week for a time and then back down to once every three to four weeks.
In general, massage increases the flow of blood through muscles. This blood flow can pick up metabolic debris that has been left in the muscle and surrounding tissues from contracture or overstretching of the muscle. Some therapists may refer to this as “toxins” for the sake of simplicity. I don’t love that word as it seems a bit permanent to me. But yes, there is metabolic waste that is not wanted within the body that does start to circulate again once it has been released from what was holding it. The best way to remove it is to drink plenty, plus more, water and release it out of the body through urination.
Fantastic question. Fascia is the magnificent structure that holds the body together, completely. Let me backup a second. Fascia is like a netting material with a lubricant that surrounds all the tissues in your body. EVERYTHING in your body is connected and held together with fascia. Let’s think about it this way. Each muscle fiber is surrounded by fascia and that makes a muscle group. That group is then surrounded by fascia and connected to its neighbor. When they say “everything is connected,” they are not speaking in hyperbole, they are in fact speaking literally. But the joy and excitement over fascia doesn’t stop there. There are lines that run the body of the thickened fascia that are there specifically for human body functionality, like bending, squatting, twisting, jumping, dancing, you know, functioning!
Now let’s talk about fascial restrictions. What happens here? Many times, due to continued habitual use, the fascia does what it’s supposed to do and makes functioning more efficient. Ok, think of a professional golfer. That person needs to have a great swing to get that ball as far down the fairway as possible, right? So they practice and practice for many years. What happens over those years is the fascial line that runs across the chest from shoulder to opposite hip, becomes thickened and shorter. This increases the efficiency of strength that the golfer has in their swing. This is the cool way the body works to increase efficiency. Sometimes it can have a problematic effect, by restricting other movements. Also, when fascia loses its slip, from the thickening of the lubrication due to dehydration, the fibers can become somewhat stuck to another layer of fascia. These areas of being stuck are what we call fascial restrictions. For a home experiment, take two pieces of plastic cling wrap and lay one across the other. Press down. Now separate them again. It’s much more difficult, isn’t it? That’s a very basic example of how fascial restrictions work. Part of my job is to help release these, carefully. Sometimes there may be pain, tingling, tickling, or it may feel like ants crawling under the skin. Once the work is done, many times movement is again free.
Some therapists consider “deep tissue” a massage technique that is more pressure than what would be used while giving a Swedish massage, which is very mild to moderate pressure. Others consider “deep tissue” to be deep enough to be pain inducing to the client. If I were to do a deep tissue massage, it would be the latter. But I am not a person that likes pain and I do not believe the old adage that “no pain means no gain.” I can show many examples of when using less pressure, more pulling has helped a client with much, much less physical pain. This is why many times, when clients have asked me for a deep tissue massage, I suggest we start out slow and they let me know when enough pressure is enough. Most of the time, these clients will not end up paying for a deep tissue massage. As a matter of fact, I have removed the distinction from my services list and now only charge by the time, not the style or pressure of massage.
Medical massage is what is referred to as massage for a specific condition and has to be prescribed by a doctor. For example, massage for a patient who has suffered a stroke, cancer, or an orthopedic injury in which the massage is geared ONLY toward helping the specific issue, is considered medical massage. Many insurance companies and health savings account managers will cover “medical massage” if a doctor has prescribed it or has written a letter of medical necessity. Medicare does not recognize Medical Massage and thus will not cover any massage as therapy for patients. General relaxation massages are not considered medical massage.
Some do. Many don’t. Check with your insurance company what the regulations are for them and what they would need to cover massage. For many, a letter of medical necessity or a prescription, both by a physician are the minimum they require. Also check with your insurance to see how much they reimburse of the cost of a unit of massage (15 minutes). Many don’t reimburse much of the cost. It may not be worth your time to try to be reimbursed post-massage.
**NOTE: I do not file insurance claims. However, I can provide a valid receipt for you to submit to your insurance company.
Absolutely! Please verify with your HSA prior to your appointment with me, to see if you need to have a letter of medical necessity from your physician for reimbursement.