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Do you practice massage or osteopathy?

I am licensed as both in Osteopathic Manual Practice and Massage Therapy. Much of osteopathy is about the philosophy of treatment and how the practitioner views the body and its expressions of pain and dysfunction. This means that when I assess and treat, I am considering all of the interrelationships within the physiology, which will guide how I use my techniques, whether massage or osteopathy. 

What length treatment should I book?

I recommend a 75 minute treatment for your first visit. This will offer the opportunity for you to share details of your health history that will help guide the assessment and subsequent treatment, so that your concerns may be more effectively addressed. This session usually consists of about 15-20 minutes health history interview, 15-20 minutes of assessment, and the remainder dedicated to initial treatment.

For subsequent treatments, your therapist will recommend a treatment length and frequency based on your treatment plan, which may be altered based on your response to treatment. For acute conditions more frequent, shorter treatments are often recommended. For chronic conditions, it may depend on the nature of your condition, and expected outcomes. Maintenance treatments may be longer per session, but less frequent.

Will my insurance cover treatment?
MSI does not cover massage therapy. Most private health care plans have some coverage for massage therapy. The amount of this coverage varies greatly and it is recommended to contact your insurer before treatment to determine the amount of coverage, whether or not you require a physician referral, and if you may use direct billing by your provider.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral for Massage Therapy, unless required by your private health insurance provider.
How do I know if I need massage, physiotherapy or another modality?
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine which healthcare provider to see first. Please feel free to call and discuss this if you are not sure. I will sometimes recommend an assessment by a chiropractor or physiotherapist first, or I will recommend massage for a few treatments before beginning your rehabilitation with a physiotherapist or seeing a chiropractor for an adjustment. In most cases, massage is not likely to aggravate a condition, but I will let you know at your initial assessment if you would be best to see another practitioner first. I am a big fan of a “circle of care” and will often suggest patients broaden their circle to include other health professionals for a full-person approach to wellness.
What should I wear to my appointment?
Comfortable shorts and a tank top or sport bra make a physical assessment much easier, so please bring them if you can. If you forget, it is ok, I have extras on hand. Usually massage therapy is performed directly on the skin, with the use of sheets and blankets to drape the body for modesty. However, there is a great deal that can be done over the clothes if that is your preference. Massage Therapy is a hands-on therapy, so it will involve your therapist touching your body, but always with your consent as to where and how.
I have heard massage therapy can hurt, is “no pain no gain” true for all treatments?
Absolutely not. It is my experience that eliciting a pain response is generally not helpful for healing. It is true that your massage therapist will often find areas that you did not realize were sore until they pressed on them, and that sometimes there will be some pain in treatment. But any technique that elicits pain must be done within your pain tolerance, and must be done with your consent. If your nervous system has a stress reaction to the treatment (increased heart rate, shallow fast breathing, sweating etc), the techniques will be modified to reduce this response. I like to say that it is possible to work deeply without working aggressively. Having said that, sometimes the body does not need the “deep tissue” work and treatments will feel gentle and soothing.