The first session begins with an interview and health history. You are asked a series of questions and an assessment is performed. Keep in mind that privacy and confidentiality are maintained at all times. During the session, clients are covered and draped with sheets and towels, uncovering only the body part to be worked on. The genitals are never exposed or massaged. Massage sessions may start with the client lying face up or face down, depending on the purpose of the session. If the session focuses on a particular injury, that body part is generally worked on first For a regular stress-reduction session the back and neck are worked on first, followed by the legs, feet and arms. Clients can ask for different parts of the body to be worked on or not worked on, and are encouraged to discuss this with the therapist at the beginning of the session. Some kinds of massage sessions use oil or lotion, and others do not. When Swedish massage is employed, oil/lotion is used. If you have any reactions to oils or lotions it is important to inform you therapist as soon as possible so that adjustments to what is being used can be made. During the session, clients are encouraged to relax, and inform me if anything makes them uncomfortable, either physically or psychologically. Talking may occur during the session, but often I will ask you to talk with me before or after, as the massage session may take a good deal of concentration. If something feels uncomfortable during the session, please speak up immediately. I want to know as soon as possible. The sessions don’t vary much in length. You might be sore after an injury massage session for one to two days. Be sure to tell me if this occurs. If you are sore for longer than two days, the massage therapists needs to know so that the massage can be adjusted to be gentler.
Followup treatments will continue to include questions and assessments previous to the treatment. This is to ensure that you are treated safely. Following the treatment re-assessment and home care are provided. The length of time for these questions ,assessments and home care will vary depending on the nature of the visit.
Each session has a time limit. This includes the assessment. The first appointment, which includes a history and an assessment, lasts approximately 1 hour. If a client is late for a treatment session, the session still falls within the allotted time slot. If I am late, the session lasts the full time booked or the treatment rate is discounted. If you wish to cancel an appointment, you must do so 24 hours in advance, or you are charged for the full amount of the session. I have an answering machine and messages can be left there. Please include the time and date you are booked to ensure cancellation. Emergency cancellations aren’t charged for at the practitioners’ discretion. If I need to cancel an appointment, I will do so within 24 hours whenever possible. I do not do house calls. I see clients from 2:30 – 5:00 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and 2:30 pm – 8:30 pm Wednesday and Thursdays. (Subject to change without notice) I return phone calls in-between appointments when I am working at the clinic.
If during our assessment we determine with reasonable certainty that my work won’t help you, I end the session at that time and you aren’t charged for the initial appointment. Payment is due at the time of service unless other arrangements have been made prior to treatment. I accept, Cash, Cheques, Debit, MasterCard and Visa. I do not bill clients nor provide direct billing for insurance other than Veterans Affairs and RCMP claims. There is a $25.00 NSF fee for any returned cheques. Sometimes private insurance companies reimburse clients for massage therapy services. It is best to get in touch with your insurance company to see if my services are covered by your provider. I provide you with a receipt but can’t guarantee that your visit will be covered by your insurance provider. Fees are generally not raised more than once per year
Our profession ascribes to a code of ethical behavior, which is available upon request. I follow all of the statements in this ethical code and have strong beliefs that practitioners and their clients shouldn’t engage in intimate social relationships. I am governed by many acts and those acts are administered by the CMTO (College of Massage Therapists of Ontario). These acts are in place for your (the public’s) protection. RMT’s (Registered Massage Therapists) in Ontario must abide by the laws as set out by these acts. Personal and professional boundaries are respected at all times. I perform services for which I am qualified (professionally, physically and emotionally) and able to do, and refer to appropriate specialists when work in not within my scope of practice or not in the clients best interest. I customize our treatment to meet the client’s needs. I keep accurate records and review charts before each session. I respect all clients regardless of their age, gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, body type, political affiliation, state of health and personal habits. I reserve the right to refrain from working on a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Sexual harassment is not tolerated. If the practitioner’s safety feels compromised, the session is stopped immediately.
How old does a person need to be to receive a massage?
Any age. Massage therapy treatments are effective from birth until palliative care stages.
Do I need to arrive early for my first massage?
It is a good idea to arrive 10 – 15 minutes before your appointment time when it is the first time you have been to a new clinic. There is a health history form that you will be required to fill out. Arriving early ensures that your appointment time is not used up for paperwork.
How much clothing do I remove?
One of the keys to the success of a your massage therapy session is your ability to relax and feel comfortable. Therefore, the decision is yours; remove only the articles of clothing that you are comfortable with removing. Traditional full-body massage treatments work best administered directly, without the barrier of clothing on the areas massaged. During a session you will be fully covered with a table sheet/blanket, only the area of your body that is being worked on is uncovered. Before and after the session, you will undress and dress in complete privacy.
What regions of my body get massaged?
You will discuss with your therapist the reason for your visit. The therapist will determine what treatment needs to be performed and which areas of the body need to be addressed. You will be given clear indications of which regions will be treated and asked for your permission to proceed. You have the right to refuse treatment on any region of the body that you are not comfortable having touched.
For a general wellness massage or full body massage, typically this will include your back, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, legs, feet, hands, face and head. If you do not want your face and head massaged please indicate this to your therapist. There are times when a full abdominal massage will be included in a full body wellness massage. Good communication of which areas you would like treated and which areas you would like to forego will ensure that you receive the massage you want.
You have the right to refuse, alter or change any area indicated to massage. If you agree to the treatment plan and areas indicated by your massage therapist, only those areas being worked on will be exposed, all other areas will be covered. At no time will areas in the genital region be massaged.
If Breast massage is indicated, explicit written permission will be obtained from you before any such treatment is performed. (You will still have the right to refuse, alter or change the consent at any time)
Is it a good idea to get a massage if I’m sick?
This really depends on the type of illness. If you are sick with menstrual cramps, morning sickness or a hang-over, massage can be very helpful.
If you have a fever and suspect that you have the flu, it is recommended that you reschedule your appointment for a later date. This will insure your recovery and eliminate the spread of the flu to the therapist and subsequently other clients.
If you have a cold, the first two days are considered contagious and we ask that you reschedule your appointment for a date following the initial outbreak.
If you are sick or unsure, consult your therapist prior to booking an appointment.
Do I need to be injured to get a massage?
No, Massage Therapy is best used on a preventative basis to treat discomforts associated with workplace stress, postural issues and physical demands of athletic strains.
What is an assessment?
An assessment is a process for collecting information. It is a necessary aspect of massage therapy. Your therapist is required to perform an assessment so that the treatment provided to you will be safe and effective.
Your therapist will ask you questions about your current condition and based on that information, you will be asked you to perform a series of tests.
These tests include looking at your posture from the front, back and side of your body. Your therapist will ask you to move certain body parts in a particular fashion. This will assess what movements you can and cannot do. The therapist will then move your body parts through the same ranges of motion to determine what tissues (fascia, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints etc), are affected. Next the therapist will test the integrity or strength of the muscle tissue in question. Joints may be assessed if they are believed to be involved. If necessary, special tests are performed to rule out or confirm what the therapist believes is the problem. Once these have been completed, your therapist will provide you with his/her assessment findings and will present a treatment plan for you. You may accept that treatment plan or alter any aspects that are presented for you.
How long is an assessment?
An assessment length can vary in time. The time used will depend on the condition that is being assessed, whether the client is new to the therapist or if during the assessment the massage therapist believes it is necessary to perform additional testing.
Is the assessment part of my treatment?
Yes, to guarantee that you are treated safely an assessment is part of your treatment and is included in the time you booked for a massage.
How many treatments do I need?
Your body can let you know. Some people require only a few sessions to treat a specific problem, while others become regular users of massage therapy as both proactive and preventative healthcare. Massage can help maintain good muscle tone, flexibility, and help correct muscular injuries.
We have a list of the benefits of Massage Therapy on our web site, but if you require additional information please feel free to contact me to answer any additional questions you may have.
After my massage, is there anything I should do?
If you have never had a massage before or it has been a extended period of time since your previous massage, it is normal to feel achy sore, like after a good work out 48 hrs post treatment. Drink plenty of water to re-hydrate the tissues and flush out the wastes in your body that are released after a massage. An epsom salt bath is also recommended to help soothe and to calm muscles, provided you are not allergic to sulfur.
If you have had a deep tissue massage with aggressive techniques it is advised that you refrain from extreme physical activity for 48 hours.
Is massage therapy covered by my extended health insurance plan?
Yes, typically many people’s workplace benefits package covers the full or a percentage of the cost of massage therapy by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). The Massage Therapist will issue you a receipt after the treatment that you will use to submit your claim. Some plans also require a referral note from a medical doctor. Contact your insurance provider to check the specifics of your plan for coverage details.
If you are not covered by insurance, check with your accountant to see if the receipts are allowable to be used in your income tax return.
My extended health care benefits are running out very soon and since I can’t get all of my massages in before they expire, can I pay you ahead of time and have you issue receipts as though I have received the massages but I will use them later?
No, this type of invoicing is fraudulent. You may only receive an invoice for services rendered at the time of receipt. Any invoicing that is done with dates that you did not receive a massage is fraudulent.
My spouse ran out of extended health benefits through his/her company. Can I pay for their massages and claim them through my extended health benefits?
No, this is considered fraudulent and your massage therapist may be charged.
I would like to buy my friend a gift certificate but I want a receipt for it so I can claim it through my insurance company. Why does my receipt not have all of the massage therapists information on it?
When you purchase a gift certificate it cannot be invoiced to you in the same way. You cannot claim this purchase through you extended health care benefits because this is a gift and cannot be used by you for a health benefit. If your Massage Therapist gives you a receipt that you can claim through your extended health benefits this would be fraud.
What do I need to know about my massage therapist?
Some provinces have regulated the massage therapy profession. In these regulated provinces the massage therapist must obtain their education from a recognized College or school in addition to passing a provincial written and practical exam. These requirements are put into place to ensure the safety of the public. For example: Only people who are members of the CMTO (College of Massage Therapists of Ontario) can use the title Massage Therapist or Registered Massage Therapist in the Province of Ontario. Massage Therapists in the province of Ontario must adhere to the Regulations and Standards of the Profession and maintain a high level of these standards. The minimum requirement in Ontario, BC and Halifax is 2200 hours of Education. This usually indicates a 3 year program.
In Alberta, massage therapy is not yet regulated. There are many different schools and Colleges all providing a different level and degree of training. Asking your massage therapist about their training is one way to obtain knowledge about their skills and expertise.