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?
In addition to enhancing general health, immune function and circulation, massage can alleviate 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
- Postural Imbalances (Scoliosis)
- Sciatica and Other Nerve Pain
- Stress (General or Specific)
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Fractures and Dislocations
- Lung Infections (bronchitis/asthma)
- Arthritic Conditions
- Discomforts of Pregnancy
Massage can not only provide relief from ‘dis-ease’ 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?
Dora Jackson was trained in Toronto, Ontario at the Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy. 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.
What happens at my first treatment?
The initial session will begin with a health history form, generalized health questions and an assessment. I will email my online intake form when you make your first appointment but if you don’t receive it, just let me know and I’ll re-send it. You may also choose to arrive 5-10 minutes early in order to fill it out before your session or click on the above link to download it and bring it with you. 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. Keep in mind that we will need at least a few minutes of your first appointment to go over your health history, complete any additional forms and do a brief assessment before we start. The assessment can consist of various postural or orthopedic tests to determine the condition of your muscles and joints.
Since lubricant is required during most Swedish massage techniques, your therapist will need you to undress to your level of comfort prior to massage. 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.
What will my therapist need from me?
On your first visit, please arrive 5-10 minutes early in order to fill out my health history form or click on the link to download it and bring it with you. 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. 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 complete 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 muscles release but this usually lessens quickly. During treatment it is important to let your therapist 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) you may only need a treatment every few months. Most people fall somewhere in between these two realities and generally feel they need a session every 4-6 weeks but it’s really up to you. Experiment a bit and just do what feels right!
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 any surface that cannot be disinfected and/or washed/sanitized
- The removal of non-essential high-contact items (ie. magazines, tea/water station, rugs)
- Increased time between clients to ensure adequate time for disinfection and to prevent cross-contamination
- The 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
- Logging all persons entering my clinic to facilitate contact tracing should the need arise
- 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.