Can I come in when I have a cold, flu, cough, sore throat, stomach bug, shingles, herpes, poison oak, wounds, etc.? Massage is a very close contact endeavor. For this reason my sick policy is firm. Most skin conditions can be avoided by simply pointing out the affected areas, unless you want a full body massage. Most viruses in the early stages and for a few days after feeling better, are still contagious. Please cancel as soon as you feel possible illness coming on to reduce the impact on your therapists' livelihood. Please wait until a few days after all symptoms have subsided to come in. Both I and many of my clients have compromised immune systems. Clients who arrive sick will be asked to go home and may not be allowed to reschedule for the safety of myself and clients. Thank you for respecting my health and my livelihood.
Will this actually help and will I ever get better? Yes, many people get better even when all doors seem closed because other interventions have not worked. How much better depends on the length of time you've had your issue, how old you are physiologically, and how willing your are to participate in your own healing. The people who get better faster from serious conditions are very active participants in the sessions, asking questions, doing self healing in between, making lifestyle changes like I suggest in my blog, and creating a healthcare team to get better.
What's the difference between regular deep tissue massage and orthopedic or structural bodywork? Structural and orthopedic bodywork require much more training, which includes advanced assessment skills and a wide range of techniques to resolve challenging cases. This level of training and experience means you will likely receive more benefit from one session than from many regular deep tissue massages where the therapist may treat without assessment or specific techniques to address your condition, maybe not even in the correct problem areas. Most people are happy to realize that they will need fewer sessions when we find the root of your problems. It can be dangerous for someone untrained in injury massage to address injuries, potentially causing more harm than good.
What's the difference between orthopedic and structural bodywork? Orthopedic bodywork focuses on areas of complaint or specific injuries. Structural integration focuses on overall posture. There is a lot of overlap. It's more about your goals.
How many sessions will I need and how far apart should they be? It depends on: your goals (progress or maintenance), how long have you had the condition, how advanced or complicated or serious, how much are you willing to change your habits and do self healing on your own, and how many bodywork sessions can you do closely together, and how much discomfort can you tolerate in one session to work out areas of significant adhesion, spasm or neurological holding? I generally recommend a series of 3-4 sessions close together to start so that the progress really sticks. When sessions are spread over more than a month, we tend to keep the condition from worsening rather than making progress. The closer the sessions are together, the more benefit you receive from each one. That is the cumulative benefit goes up. For structural integration sessions, anywhere from twice a week to once a month is okay, though once a week or every other week is the norm.
I just injured myself, can I come in? Yes, for mild injuries you can come in right away. If you are concerned about a sprained ligament, whiplash, broken bone, head/abdominal trauma or injured vertebral disc, consider going to see a doctor and getting imaging and/or orthopedic tests done. I also recommend going to a doctor or ER if the trauma was significant. If not, waiting a day to see how the symptoms progress. If you have signs of swelling, loss of muscle or joint function, intense radiating pain or numbness that are moderate to severe, please check with your doctor or urgent care as soon as possible. Once you have been cleared by doctor to know manual therapy will not aggravate your injury, coming in as soon as possible is better. Occasionally, I will need to give much more gentle, supportive treatment at first due to the recent injury. For sprains, strains and tears, see the American College of Sports Medicine's guidelines. For disc injury, you can check the Mayo Clinic's spinal injuryguide and my upcoming article on back pain. For whiplash, see my article on whiplash. For intense headaches, see my upcoming article on headaches.
Can I workout soon after? Yes, its good to keep moving and exploring your new range of motion but don't do anything very strenuous. An analogy would be not running a marathon just after you bought new running shoes.
What can I do in between sessions to accelerate my healing? Please see my page on "Resources" for self healing. The short answer is move in as many ways as possible, as often as possible.
Do you take credit cards? Yes and I take HSA/FSA cards, but I don't take checks.
Do you offer discounted sessions? I am not offering sliding scale at this time due to an increase in personal costs and a decrease in available hours. If you need lower cost massage, there are not many options due to the physical strain placed on the body of a massage therapist. Consider that my prices are well below market for orthopedic massage and structural integration. Further, because of my experience and training level, you will likely require many fewer massages to achieve relief. Therefore, it will actually cost you much less overall. Often people feel significant or full relief with one session, depending on the severity and complexity of the condition.
Can I use my Health Savings Account for bodywork? Yes, you can get a big discount by paying pretax. It depends on your HSA administrator how strict they are about documentation, but as long as you get a prescription that states a need, frequency and number of sessions, you can use your HSA for bodywork for anything from stress to mental health issues, and of course any kind of physical issue that can benefit from the work: headaches, pain, limited mobility, injury recovery, swelling, repetitive stress, chronic tension and more. You are responsible for meeting your HSA requirements. If you need a more detailed receipt, I can provide one via email but you must let me know ahead of time or immediately after the session. I will not provide retroactive receipts or notes.
Do you take insurance? I am no longer directly billing insurance due to consistent nonpayment by health insurance companies, patients claiming they have insurance and do not, and changes in Oregon law that restrict payments. You are welcome to submit a receipt that I create in order to get reimbursed. Please let me know if you need to do this in advance. Before you come in for an auto accident, please read this page. If you need to submit reimbursement for insurance or for HSAs or tax deduction purposes, please review these forms to reference what you need for a doctors prescription to be accepted.
Is your bodywork style painful or relaxing? It depends on what you, the client, want to achieve. Relaxation and tension relief are very valid goals in themselves. Pain depends on your goals, what shape your body is in, and your individual pain sensitivity. If your goal is relaxation, then that is what I will give you. If your goal is long lasting pain relief, then often some of the techniques I will use will be painful in order to achieve your desired results. Even then, you call the shots. You can say, “go lighter” or “stop, let’s do something else.” Most people want some relaxation with some therapeutic massage and I am very good at striking that balance, but it will be a compromise between two results: deep relaxation and effective therapy, and not perfect at either. With deeper work, you may experience some soreness for a few days. Please ask if you would like suggestions for reducing soreness and we can adjust our work to go slower if you have low pain tolerance.
What should I wear to a session and do you offer draping options? Orthopedic and structural integration sessions may be easier if you wear underwear, shorts or yoga pants, a tank top or bra, because you will need to move around and be put in unusual positions, including seated. I like you to feel comfortable and have access to skin. It is possible but harder to perform techniques through any clothing. A more relaxation oriented session will usually be unclothed and fully draped, but you can keep your underwear on if you feel more comfortable. I follow Oregon state law which requires draping with sheets at all times if the session is performed unclothed. Any sexual advances during a session will be immediately reported and I will not hesitate to file charges for a sex offense. I have a zero tolerance policy for intentional harassment. Normal, unintentional bodily reactions are a completely different story. And yes, I can tell the difference.
Centered Bodywork 6637 SE Milwaukie Ave, Suite 202, Portland, OR 97202 415-410-4622