Massage Therapy Frequently Asked Questions
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Massage therapy is the assessment and physical manipulation of the soft tissues and joints of the body. These include skin, muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and joint capsules. The treatment is a combination of Swedish massage and other massage modalities, hydrotherapy and remedial exercises that are appropriate to the client and their condition. Massage therapy is a regulated profession in Ontario and we have only Registered Massage Therapists in our clinic.
Massage therapists are regulated healthcare providers who are registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. They have completed the 2200 hour curriculum, which includes theoretical and practical training in anatomy, pathology and physiology, as well as massage modalities and techniques. Registered massage therapists also continue to expand their knowledge and skills through continuing education.
Massage can help with the relief from many specific problems, including the following:
- Migraine and tension Headaches
- Neck and shoulder tension
- Low back pain
- Muscle spasm
- Post-injury rehabilitation
- Whiplash/Motor Vehicle injuries
- Frozen shoulder
- Carpal tunnel/Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Tendinitis/bursitis/repetitive strain injuries
- Sports injuries
- Pregnancy related discomforts
- Lymph drainage conditions (Sarah Podolsky only)
Massage can benefit people of all ages and conditions - babies, children, pregnant woman, the elderly, those in chronic care and those who need palliative considerations. Massage affects all systems of the body: circulatory, muscular, nervous and fascial. It has been effective in the control of pain (acute and chronic), in decreasing stress levels and in helping create a sense of relaxation and wellbeing. Massage, as a part of a health maintenance program, is a safe and effective way to manage stress.
Your massage therapist will greet you and take you to one of our comfortable massage therapy rooms. They will review the intake for that you filled in electronically prior to your appointment with you. Your massage therapist needs to be aware of any medical conditions or medications you may be taking so that, if necessary, they can modify their treatment to ensure a safe and appropriate massage. The massage therapist will develop a treatment plan with you to determine the frequency and type of treatment required to aid you to return to you activities of daily living.
At ROC, your comfort level is most important. During your massage, you are covered at all times by a sheet, except for the part being worked on. For example, if we were treating your legs, we would undrape one leg, massage, and then re-drape the first leg before undraping your second leg. Massage can also be performed through the sheets and/or with the patient fully clothed.
There are times when a massage can be uncomfortable but not harmful. It is important that you communicate with your massage therapist if the pressure of the massage is too heavy (or too light). You should find that the pressure is tolerable and comfortable for you. That being said, there are times when deeper techniques such as frictioning or muscle stripping may be used. With these techniques, you and your therapist will often work within a pain scale to make sure that the massage is within your tolerance.
Sometimes you may experience stiffness/soreness or a temporary aggravation in your symptoms after your massage (usually self-limiting to 24-48 hours). This is more likely to occur with first time patients, motor vehicular accident patients, or anyone receiving deep tissue work. Your massage therapist will advise you on possible side effects of the treatment and recommend self-care after the massage to help prevent or reduce the likelihood of discomfort you may feel. Self-care may include the use of hydrotherapy (cold, heat, contrast, and Epsom salt baths) and remedial exercises (stretching or strengthening).
Massage therapy sessions can be 30 min, 45 min, 1 hour or 90 min in length. They can be general relaxation treatments or a specifically focused treatment (i.e. whiplash).
The frequency of massage treatments depends on the condition presenting. Some conditions resolve with one or two treatments, others require several months of treatment. Generally, if your body is feeling good, 4-6 weeks is recommended between treatments to maintain optimal tissue health.
While OHIP does not currently cover Massage Therapy, most extended health plans do cover some or all of the cost of a massage with a "Registered" massage therapist. All of the Massage Therapists at River Oaks Chiropractic & Wellness Centre are Registered health professionals. Check with your extended Healthcare provider for your coverage details, including whether you need a Medical Doctor's prescription.