Here is a list of some Frequently Asked Questions:
What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage Therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage therapy helps alleviate the soft tissue discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions. If employed early enough after accidents involving trauma and injury, massage therapy can greatly reduce the development of painful muscular patterning.
Can Anyone Receive Massage Therapy?
People of all ages and conditions can benefit from massage therapy as it is widely used to treat many conditions including:
- Musculoskeletal conditions e.g. muscle spasms, tendonitis, sprains and strains
- Repetitive strain injuries e.g. rotator cuff tendonitis
- Low back pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Neck and shoulder tension and pain
- Whiplash/motor vehicle accidents
- Respiratory problems e.g. asthma
- Poor circulation
- High blood pressure
- Adhesive capsulitis (a.k.a. frozen shoulder)
- Joint pain, arthritic conditions
- Neurological deficits and pain e.g. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Digestive problems
- Jaw pain eg. TMJ Dysfunction
- Prenatal / post-partum conditions
- Palliative conditions e.g. cancer, ALS
- Chronic conditions e.g. chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis
How Often Will I need Treatments?
Massage therapy is most beneficial in acute conditions when used over a series of treatments and then followed up with maintenance or preventive treatments.
Through mutual discussion, your Massage Therapist can help you establish a program which fits your physical needs and lifestyle. Your Massage Therapist is most interested in your recovery and in the maintenance of your health. Any recommendation for further treatment is being made by a qualified health professional and is made with your utmost care in mind.
What Should I Expect On My First Visit?
On the first visit you will complete a confidential health history form as part of your assessment. (Please be 10-15 minutes early for your appointment so that filling out this form does not take away from your treatment time). The Massage Therapist will listen to your concerns, assess your individual needs as well as other factors that may be contributing to your injury, and then develop a treatment plan that will help you return, as much as possible, to your normal activities.
When Should I Not Get A Massage?
There are several contraindications for receiving a massage. If you have any of the following conditions, you should not get a massage:
- Any type of infectious disease
- Systemic infections
- Severe cold
- Fracture, bleeding, burns or other acute injury
- Liver and kidney diseases
- Pregnancy-induced diabetes, toxemia, preeclampsia/eclampsia
- High blood pressure (unless under control with medication)
- Heart disease
- Open skin lesions or sores (therapist may work around them if localized)
If you’re unsure about whether a minor condition should prohibit you from getting a massage, call your therapist before your appointment. If you have a chronic medical condition, check with your doctor before proceeding on a course of massage therapy.
Will I Experience Muscle Soreness After A Treatment?
Massage therapy isn’t intended to be a painful experience however some techniques such as: kneading, squeezing, stretching and moving certain areas may stimulate muscles and nerves in a way they haven’t been before. The deeper a massage, the more likely it may cause soreness.
If your massage is too painful or you’re uncomfortable during treatment, let your Therapist know so they can adjust the pressure. Keep in mind that it’s your treatment, each session is intended to cater to your specific needs.
What Are The Benefits Of Massage Therapy?
- Reducing or eliminating pain
- Improving joint mobility
- Improving circulation
- Improving immune system functioning
- Increasing lymphatic drainage
- Reducing depression and anxiety
- Reducing tension within muscles
- Increasing body awareness
What Are The Different Types Of Massage Therapy?
In our stressful lives, we all deserve–and need–to relax. This massage is just the right technique for that. It will relax your mind and body. The length of the massage depends on you. Most relaxation massages are between an hour and two hours. Massages are suitable to people of all ages.
Relaxation massage involves a smooth, flowing style that improves circulation and relieves muscular tension. Relaxation is very beneficial for our overall health.
Sports massage covers pre-event, post-event and intramural massage. There is also sports related massage where, depending on the sport, particular muscle groups are targeted.
Sports massage is great for prevention of injury as well as recovery from high performance activity. Techniques used are effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, “kneading”, “squeezing”, “wringing”, cross fiber frictions, trigger point therapy and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (which is an active/passive stretching technique).
Therapeutic Massage Therapy is the mobilization of soft tissue (such as muscle, fascia and body fluids) to restore normal systemic and biomechanical/functional use. It can be used to assist in the treatment of most musculo-skeletal and associated problems, and regular Therapeutic Massage Therapy results in improved circulatory, lymphatic and neurological functioning.
What are the education requirements of a Registered Massage Therapist?
Currently Massage Therapy is not regulated in Alberta, like other Canadian provinces. As of this year the Insurance companies are requiring that massage therapists have 2200 hours of education or equivalent for their clients to be able to submit their receipts for reimbursement. Most companies are changing to this policy by September 2013.
What qualifications should I look for in a Registered Massage Therapist?
Every massage therapist has a different specialty or touch, not every therapist is for every client. Find a therapist who meets your specific needs or requirements. Keep in mind that every treatment allows the therapist to know your body better.
Is massage therapy covered by health benefits?
Most progressive extended health insurance plans cover massage therapy treatments when provided by a Registered Massage Therapist. The covered individual will pay for the treatment and submit the receipt the Therapist gives them to submit for reimbursement. Contact your employer for more information.
Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?
The safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment have been studied in-depth and very carefully. Studies have found chiropractic to be extremely safe (low risk) and most effective in alleviating back pain, neck pain, headaches and many other musculoskeletal conditions. If you are diagnosed with a condition more appropriately treated by another health care professional, we will make that referral.
How Much Will Chiropractic Services Cost?
Costs vary and generally depend on the number of treatments required to effectively treat your condition. A number of studies have shown that chiropractic care is extremely cost effective when compared to other “medical” forms of care for similar conditions.
According to the 1993 Manga Report:
“There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors. Users of chiropractic care have substantially lower health care costs, especially inpatient costs, than those who use medical care only.”
How Long Will a Chiropractic Session Take?
While treatment lengths vary somewhat from person to person and from condition to condition, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow.
First, newer injuries, if treated appropriately and immediately, tend to respond to fewer visits assuming that major tissue injury has not occurred. Many of these first time injuries can be effectively managed in as little as 3 to 4 visits. Conditions that have been present for greater than 3 months and recurring conditions are generally more stubborn and difficult to manage. Resolution may require 12 visits or more.
The only sure way to determine how long your treatment will take is to schedule a consultation and/or examination. For those of you who believe in just waiting for the problem to “go away” on its own – understand that the longer your condition has been around, the more treatments it will eventually require to resolve.
Isn’t Some Back Pain Normal?
Pain of any kind, at any age, is a sign that something isn’t right. Pain is the way your body signals that a limit has been reached or a problem has developed. Since we can adapt, minor aches and pains are often shrugged off. While they may go away, if the underlying problem remains unattended, the problem can slowly worsen until it becomes more difficult and expensive to resolve.