FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Questions

What is Medical Massage?


This is a treatment for medical diagnosed purposes (an accident or injury, pain, or something your doctor suggests would be helpful). It is not a Relaxation / Spa type of massage. Specific manual techniques are used to aid you in your recovery process. Manual Therapy techniques may include Myofascial Release techniques, Trigger Point Release techniques, active and passive range of motion, soft tissue mobilization, lymphatic drainage, hands on traction, or cupping. Exercises or stretches may be recommended to help with body balancing.




Do you bill Insurance?


Yes.

  • Personal Injury (for Motor Vehicle Accidents)
  • Personal Insurance (Through your employer. ie: Blue Cross Blue Shield)




Can massage help after a concussion?


Notes: If you are a survivor of TBI or have been diagnosed with a concussion, please consult with your referring doctor prior to scheduling a massage to confirm any contraidications that might be present and if massage is indicated and safe for you. Thank you. Yes! Massage can be beneficial after a concussion or with symptoms of traumatic brain injury. It can help calm and relax the body and the nervous system, increase circulation, decrease cortisol levels and protective holding patterns in the body and overly toned muscle tissue. Massage can be used for pain relief, stress reduction, and relaxation. It can enhance circulation and increase blood flow to the muscles, which allows more oxygen and nutrients can get to tissue to aid with healing. It can decrease scar tissue and adhesions from injuries or surgeries. It can help with mobility by stretching connective tissues and decreasing pain. ​Studies have shown that massage therapy can decrease the symptoms of concussion, such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches (1). Having worked in the field of Occupational Therapy with survivors of Acquired and Traumatic Brain Injury traumas, Joanna is skilled and familiar with the symptoms and challenges of concussion and brain injury. She is familiar with the balance challenges, vision issues, dizziness, physical and mobility, sensory overload, memory and cognitive challenges that survivors face. She adapts to each client to meet their needs, calm their body and allow healing to take place. Clients who are interested in receiving therapeutic massage after an acquired or traumatic brain injury, need to have a written medical clearance from their referring or primary care physician to confirm there are no issues that might result in harm to them from the treatment. This might include checking medications they are on, blood clotting issues, level or stage of wound healing, recent surgeries, or sensory issues. Please check with your physician about receiving massage with your specific situation before scheduling an appointment. To make your treatment as beneficial as possible, please contact Joanna directly (via phone) before scheduling to discuss any medical or adaptive needs you might have for the treatment (such as sensory, mobility or vision challenges). (1):www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455610




What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?


Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specialized technique or form of massage focused on increasing flow of the lymphatic fluid in the body. It is a gentle, sequential form of massage used to direct lymphatic flow to be eliminated from the body and decrease swelling. Excessive swelling can often be associated with medical conditions such as Lymphedema, Lipadema, cancer treatments, injury or surgery. Decreasing the swelling can lead to pain relief by supporting the lymphatic systems natural ability to re-establish fluid balance in the body. Prior to scheduling a MLD session, please contact the practitioner directly by phone to discuss any medical conditions, mobility issues or other concerns that might need to be discussed.




What is a Wellness Massage?


Wellness massage is wonderful for relieving stress and tension. Wellness and relaxation massage increases circulation, relaxes tense muscles and joints, reduces swelling, aids in a sense of calm and well being. Slow efflueage strokes increase muscle relaxation and calm the body. It is a vital part of keeping balance in our busy lives. Essential oils can be added during the treatment to increase calm and relaxation, if desired.




What is an Injury Rehabilitation Massage?


If you have an injury or have chronically tight muscles and tissues, it can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, adversely affect posture and inflammation. Various manual techniques can be used during an injury rehabilitation massage such as, deep tissue, myofascial release, active and passive range of motion, trigger point therapy, cupping or scar tissue reducing techniques. Sessions can focus on full body massage or specific injury sites. This type of bodywork is helpful for sports injuries, chronic tightness, “weekend warrior” injuries, post and pre operative care, concussion, stroke or traumatic brain injury survivors, and repetitive use injuries. Deep tissue work and injury rehabilitation massage can help to relieve chronic tightness, improve posture, increase range of motion in joints, decrease pain and help recover from injuries.




Can I schedule a massage just to relax?


Yes! Just schedule a "Wellness Massage"! It is perfect for those who want to relax or keep sore muscles at bay and maintain wellness and health.




Benefits of Massage


  • Calms the Nervous System
  • Decreases Blood Pressure
  • Increases Circulation
  • Improves Digestion (by increasing parasympathic response)
  • Improves Quality of Sleep
  • Increases Range of Motion
  • Decreases Stuck Tissue, Adhesion, Scar Tissue, Fascial Restrictions
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Helps with Weight Loss & Body Toning
  • Improves Lymphatic Function
  • Decreases Pain




Conditions treated with Massage


  • Neck & Back Pain
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Jaw Pain & TMJ Issues
  • Low Back & Hip Pain
  • Sciatica Pain
  • Referred Pain (down arms or legs)
  • Knee & Ankle Pain
  • Foot Pain & Plantar Fasciitis
  • Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Pain
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia
  • Edema
  • Lymphedema
  • Poor Circulation
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Anxiety, Depression, PTSD
  • Tightness & Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion
  • Sports related injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Bike and Vehicle accidents
  • Digestive Disorders & IBS




What is the Cancellation Policy?


A 24 hour (or more) notice is required for canceling appointments in order to not aquire a fee. It allows other clients to schedule in that space. Please call, text or email Joanna directly. Thank you!




What is a "No Show" fee?


A $50 "No Show" fee is charged for appointments that are not kept, cancelled or rescheduled within 24 hours (or more). Without giving adequate time for rescheduling, other clients are not able to fill that time slot. You are welcomed to call, email or text to cancel or reschedule if needed. Thank you for your understanding.




What insurance do you take?


I am currently an "in-network" provider with:

  • Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield or Oregon
  • Axis Health
  • First Choice Health PPO
  • Healthcare Direct





Motor Vehicle Accidents

What is Medical Massage?


This is a treatment for medical diagnosed purposes (an accident or injury, pain, or something your doctor suggests would be helpful). It is not a Relaxation / Spa type of massage. Specific manual techniques are used to aid you in your recovery process. Manual Therapy techniques may include myofascial release techniques, Trigger Point Release techniques, active and passive range of motion, soft tissue mobilization, lymphatic drainage, or cupping. Exercises or stretches may be recommended to help with body balancing. Charting, insurance billing and other paperwork will be taken care of by the therapist.




How can massage help after an accident?


Right after a car or bike accident, massage can help lessen the symptoms of the injury and have calm the nervous system. Massage can help decrease pain, swelling and inflammation and improve circulation. Once the inflammation has decreased, therapeutic massage can help improve range of motion and can continue to lessen pain symptoms. Treatments can address orthopedic issues like headaches, neck pain, whiplash symptoms, shoulder and back sprains/strains and hip pain. Massage techniques can also help decrease myofascial adhesions and scar tissue formation.




Common symptoms after an accident or injury


  • Headaches
  • Neck & Shoulder pain
  • Low back pain or stiffness
  • Fatigue or Sleep issues
  • Irratability or Mood changes
  • Changes in Concentration
  • Dizziness or Vision issues
  • Numbness or Tingling in arms or legs




Is massage covered after an auto accident?


Yes. Massage Therapy is covered under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) at no cost to you. A referring physician can determine if your are in need of treatment. Getting checked out by a Chiropractor, Physician (MD), Naturopath (ND), Physical Therapist, or Nurse Practitioner is required before seeing the Massage Therapist. They can assess your level of injury and if other treatments or diagnostics, such as X-rays might be required. You will need a diagnosis code, medical referral and open a claim with the insurance company prior to scheduling a massage appoitnment.




What do I have to do to bill my auto insurance after an accident?


  • Get checked out by a health care provider (MD, ND, DC, PT, NP, etc.).
  • Ask for a prescription or referral for therapeutic massage (It should include the doctors information, your diagnosis codes, number of visits, length of visits).
  • Schedule a massage appointment.
  • Bring in the referral or prescription for massage (or have the doctor mail it to the office).
  • A claim should be opened by calling the Insurance Company. We will need the claim number, Auto Insurance company name, phone number and Insurance Adjusters name, if you have it.




Who can give me a referral for a massage?


Medical Doctors, DOs (Doctors of Osteopathy), NDs (Naturopathic Doctors), Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physician Assistants, and Acupuncturists.




How long are treatment sessions?


Treatments can be in 30, 60, or 90 minute sessions, depending on what is prescribed by your doctor.





Personal Insurance

What companies are you In-Network with?


Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield Axis Health First Choice Health PPO




Things to be aware of when scheduling insurance-covered massage


  • Insurance plans can change every year. Your coverage might also. We will need to keep up to date for any co-pay, coverage or deductible changes.
  • Massage Is often covered by group plans but not individual plans.
  • Sometimes a plan only covers massage if it is administered by a chiropractor or physical therapist, or only in their office. Knowing this prior to your session is helpful.
  • A prescription for massage might be required under your plan.
  • Some insurance plans require you to have met your deductible before massage is covered.




What is Medical Massage?


This is a treatment for medical purposes (an accident or injury, pain, or something your doctor suggests would be helpful). It is not a Relaxation / Spa type of massage. Specific manual techniques are used to aid you in your recovery process. Manual Therapy techniques may include myofascial release techniques, Trigger Point Release techniques, active and passive range of motion, soft tissue mobilization, lymphatic drainage, or cupping. Exercises or stretches may be recommended to help with body balancing. Charting, insurance billing and other paperwork will be taken care of by the therapist.





FSA/HSA accounts

Does my Flexible Spending Accounts/"Flex Plans" or Health Savings Account cover massage?


It can. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) can often be used to cover medically necessary massage treatments. These accounts allow people with health insurance to set aside money for medical costs referred to as “qualified medical expenses”. Often, you receive a debit card type for your account and can use it to pay for qualifying expenses.




How do I know if my FSA or HSA covers massage therapy?


  • Call your Benefits Office to see if therapeutic massage is allowed as an expense.
  • Check to see if a doctors medical refferal or letter of "medical necessity" is required.
  • If it is allowed, schedule an appointment for a treatment.




How do I use my FSA or HSA card to pay?


Your FSA or HSA card will be used like a credit card at the time of payment. If needed, a receipt of service can be given to you for the session for your records or to send in to the company (depending on their requirements).




Questions to ask your Insurance Company prior to the appointment


  • Do I have coverage for "in-network" or "out-of-network" Massage Therapy?
  • Is massage therapy covered under my plan when it is performed by an independent Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) that is NOT working under/or with a chiropractor or physical therapist?
  • Do I need a referral/prescription or need to get "pre-authorization" for massage therapy?
  • Is it subject to my deductible? What is that?
  • What is my co-pay or coinsurance amount?
  • How many total visits do I have for massage?
  • Are those total visits shared with any other practitioners like Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, or Acupuncturists?
  • Have I used any of those visits this year? If so, how many are remaining?





Massage Techniques

Myofascial Release


Fascia is a dense layer of connective tissue, made mainly out of collagen, which attaches, supports, and stabilizes every muscle, bone, artery, vein and all of our internal organs. It is a continuous structure that connects our whole body from head to toe. In a healthy state, the fascial tissue is relaxed and mobile. It can stretch and move easily, allowing all that it surrounds (muscles, joints, organs, tendons, veins and arteries) to move and function freely. When trauma from injury, surgery or an inflammatory response in the body happens, constriction of the fascia tissue occurs. This can put pressure on the body structures it surrounds and create pain, stiffness, inhibited range of motion, and other challenges. Many people who have chronic pain or limited range of motion may have constricted fascia issues but are never treated for it. There are a variety of techniques that one can use to release the deep binding or adhesed connective tissue layers. Usually, techniques are slow and can be superficial or deeper in nature, incorporate pulling or stretching of the connective tissue to separate deep layers of fascia. Once the layers of connective tissue are opened and increased fluid and blood supply can flow, less restriction in the area can occur. The result can be improved range of motion and decreased pain and discomfort.




Trigger Point Therapy


Pain in the soft tissue (myofascial pain) can result from muscle injury or repetitive strain. When a muscle or muscle group are stressed or injured, the muscles often form "trigger points", like small contracted knots. These can cause pain and tightness. Sometimes they can refer pain to other parts of the body. Using techniques to release these trigger points can help alleviate local and referred pain and discomfort. The therapist will use moderate pressure on these points to help release the tight tissue fibers and help "melt" the trigger point. While this is happening, you might feel a local or referred symptom when the trigger point is located and pressed. As the tight trigger point tissues begin to release, the symptoms will lessen and diminish, bringing pain relief and relaxation to the body.




Scar Massge


Scar tissues from surgeries or injuries can limit blood flow to areas, constrict movement and cause pain to an area. Scar tissue massage is a technique used on a specific area over the scar to break it up and allow the body to create new, healthy tissue in the area. Cross fiber techniques, friction and mild stretching of the area can be involved to help break up the tough scar tissue. The increased blood flow to the scar site will bring in nutrients that will allow the body to repair and lay down healthy tissue that is more mobile.




Cupping


Cups have been used since ancient times to aid in healing. Today, cups are used to create a suction or vacuum effect on the skin to allow upward movement of tissue layers. This can help with increasing circulation and blood flow to an area. By decreasing connective tissue tension, it helps relieve pain and increasing range of motion.




Aroma Therapy


Essential oils can have beneficial effects on the body such as relieving stress or soothing sore muscles. They have also been shown to help with sleep, reduce anxiety and benefit depression. At times, the therapist may use aroma therapy to enhance relaxation or the enjoyment of your treatment. These are always optional, depending on the individual and their preference.