Your Questions Answered

If you don’t find what you’re looking for below, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

What is massage therapy?

 

Massage Therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, which include muscles, fascia, connective tissue, ligaments and tendons. Massage is a safe, alternative therapeutic health choice for people of all ages looking for relaxation, maintenance or relief from chronic or acute pain or tension in a supportive and caring atmosphere.

What conditions can massage help?

 

Massage can alleviate and support many problem conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Chronic & Acute Pain
  • Headaches (Tension & Migraine)
  • Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue
  • Overuse/Repetitive Strain Syndromes
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Muscle Strains/Sprains/Spasms
  • Structural Imbalances (Scoliosis)
  • Sciatica, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Other Nerve Pain
  • Stress (General or Specific)
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Fractures and Dislocations
  • Lung Infections (bronchitis/asthma)
  • Arthritic Conditions
  • Discomforts of Pregnancy

Massage can not only provide pain relief but it can also lead to a greater level of health through body awareness, deep relaxation and education on how to deal with the stresses of daily life.

What training does a therapist receive?

 

In Ontario, massage therapy is regulated by the CMTO (College of Massage Therapists of Ontario). The CMTO grants qualified therapists the designation of R.M.T. (Registered Massage Therapist) or M.T. (Massage Therapist).

In order to achieve this, candidates must undergo 2200 hours of theoretical and practical training over two or three years at an approved school. The curriculum includes extensive anatomy, physiology, neurology and pathology to ensure the safest and most effective massage. Each therapist may also choose to specialize in certain areas (eg. pregnancy, sports, etc) and be able to offer a uniquely structured treatment.

I was trained in Toronto, Ontario at the Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy  graduating in 2002. Over the last 20 years, I’ve taken numerous courses including thai massage, acupressure, shiatsu, reflexology and indie scalp massage. I’ve also completed dedicated training in pregnancy and infant massage.

Which treatment should I choose?

 

The specific treatment you choose really doesn’t matter because I can make adjustments to how I work and what I do at a moment’s notice. The options available are really just to let you know of the possibilities that are open to you.

That being said, for your first session, I always recommend booking at least 60 minutes no matter which treatment you choose. This is so that we’ll have time to review your health history, fill out additional forms and perform an assessment before the session if needed.

What happens at my first treatment?

 

The initial session will begin with are review of your health history form  and generalized health questions. I will also do a brief onsite Covid screening when you arrive. I ask that you bring a list of any current medications as well as the results of any imaging relating to your condition, if you have them.

Keep in mind that we will need at least a few minutes of EVERY appointment to discuss your health issue, complete any additional forms, review your goals and possibly do a brief assessment before we start the treatment. I always try to maximize hands-on time but it’s rarely the full length of the appointment.

Since lubricant is required during most Swedish massage techniques, I will ask you to undress to your level of comfort prior to massage but I can happily work through any clothing you’d prefer to keep on. You will be left in privacy to undress and be covered during treatment except for the area being worked on. The exception to this is Thai Massage, where the client is always fully dressed for treatment.

Techniques and pressure will vary depending on your treatment choice, assessment, symptoms, goals and preferences. Your privacy will always be respected and you may withdraw your consent for treatment at any time.

After we’re done, I may suggest some self-care strategies, activity modifications, stretches and exercises that I think may help you. I have a dedicated program that I use to send my recommendations to you so you don’t have to worry about remembering it.

What will my therapist need from me?

 

Before your first visit, you’ll receive my online health history form and Covid screening form via email. Please return them promptly after receiving them. I also ask that you bring a list of any current medications as well as the results of any imaging relating to your condition, if you have them.

Refrain from taking painkillers before your session if at all possible. This is because they dull your senses and will prevent your from accurately assessing whether the massage is causing harm.

Punctuality, cleanliness and arriving with a well-fitted mask are greatly appreciated but I always have hot towels and extra masks available if needed.

Beyond that, honesty and clarity are first and foremost as there are some conditions where massage is not always appropriate. As your treatment plan progresses, even minor changes in your status may affect any given session. Rest assured that any information you provide will be held in the strictest confidence and always kept safe.

Will the massage be painful?

 

Massage on healthy tissue is usually very pleasant and relaxing. Depending on your specific areas of tension, there may be some discomfort as the muscle tension eases but this usually lessens quickly.

During treatment it is important to let me know if you experience any discomfort or pain so that adjustments can be made to suit you. The most effective massage works with your body’s responses, not against them. And remember, you can stop the treatment any time if it becomes too uncomfortable.

What should I do afterwards?

 

Massage can be deeply relaxing so take a few minutes to reorient yourself before getting up. If possible, try to schedule your treatment for a time when you don’t have to rush off.   Your body may need some time to adjust and recover, depending on the techniques used that day, so maybe postpone that heavy workout or reschedule that big meeting to another time.

Post treatment suggestions/recommendations are usually self-care techniques to minimize soreness and prolong the effects of the the session. These can include stretches, strength exercises, hydrotherapy, breathing and lifestyle changes to keep your pain from returning. Effects can be felt immediately or take a day or so to be fully realized, depending on the person.

How often should I get a treatment?

 

Frequency of treatment varies greatly from person to person. I usually recommend that if you have a particular concern with acute or persistent pain then regular treatments, perhaps even once per week, might be better. If, on the other hand, you’re very aware of your body and do plenty of your own self-care (ie. stretching, strength training, hydrotherapy) I may only see you every few months. Most people fall somewhere in between these two realities and generally come in every 4-6 weeks but it’s really up to you. Experiment a bit and just do what feels right!

If I’m doing my job, the issue that brought you to my door will resolve and you’ll learn how to manage any future issues without my help.  My ultimate goal is that you come in to see me because you want to, not because you feel you need to.

Do you treat children?

 

Absolutely! I’ve treated many children from toddlers to teenagers. Parents are welcome to come into the treatment room if their child is apprehensive or needs support. I’ve also had specialized training in infant massage, however, I encourage parents to learn these techniques themselves rather than rely on me. For more details, click here.

Is your clinic accessible?

 

No. There are numerous steps leading to my door as well as steps into my clinic.

Do you accept tips?

 

Not usually.

Most RMT’s generally discourage tipping because it puts our skills on par with the service industry as opposed to the health care industry. Would you tip your dentist or your doctor? Likely not.

If a patient insists on tippping me, I won’t be rude and say no but it’s really not necessary. I love what I do and I charge what I feel is fair. 

Also, there are other ways to show your appreciation besides monetary ones. Taking the time to leave a great review on my website, Facebook or Google is a great option. And the referral of friends and family members are the greatest compliments I can receive.

What massage oil do you use?

 

I use organic coconut oil. I also have unscented massage lotion and jojoba oil on hand for anyone who needs an alternative.

Do you charge for extras like aromatherapy or deeper pressure?

 

Absolutely not! My fees are consistent across all treatment options. I don’t charge anything extra for deeper pressure, essential oils or hot towels. It’s all part of the care I provide every day.

Is massage therapy covered by insurance?

 

YES!  Most Extended Health Care Benefit Plans and Insurance Companies do cover massage. You should check with your insurer to see if you qualify and the extent of the coverage you are entitled to. A physician’s referral may be necessary.

Do you offer direct billing to my insurance company?

 

NO. Full payment is required at the time of service. An insurance receipt will always be provided which can be submitted for reimbursement.

How have you changed your day-to-day operations in response to COVID-19?

 

Although I have always done my best to provide the safest environment and most effective treatments for my patients, the Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated an even greater level of care and meticulous attention to detail in order to reopen.  Your safety, as well as mine, are my top priority and I have implemented many changes in order to ensure this, which include:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols with Health Canada approved products
  • The removal of non-essential, high-contact items that cannot be disinfected easily (ie. magazines, tea station)
  • Longer gaps between patients to ensure adequate time for disinfection and to prevent patient interaction
  • Contactless payment options and electronic receipts
  • The continual procurement of personal protective equipment for both myself and my patients
  • Active and passive screening of every patient
  • Instructional/educational signage in every room and point of entry
  • Getting myself tested on a regular basis as a precaution

For more information on my pandemic response please visit my COVID-19 page and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Will you need to close if another lockdown happens in response to Covid-19?

 

Unlikely.

In Ontario, Registered Massage Therapists are regulated health care professionals under the RHPA as are physicians, nurses, denstists, chiropractors and physiotherapists, among others. All Regulated Health Care Professionals, including RMT’s, follow strict safety protocols and are considered an essential service.

That being said, the Ministry of Health will continue to assess the public health risk and act accordingly should the pandemic situation deteriorate. Although it is impossible to predict the specifics of how the pandemic will evolve, the tightening and loosening of restrictions that occur as we move from one wave to another are unlikely to affect the ability of RMT’s to practice.