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Frequently Asked Questions About Massage Therapy

Q. What conditions are successfully treated with therapeutic massage?

A. Therapeutic massage can help a wide variety of conditions. Most of the conditions best suited for massage therapy are related to its direct physical effects to damaged muscles, tendons and ligaments or its hormonal effects on stress reduction.

Although massage therapists are not trained to diagnose, the beneficial effects of massage can be a valuable tool when used alone or paired with other treatment strategies.

Q. What Types of Pain Can Massage Help?

A. Massage can help any pain originating from muscle tension: example - head, back, neck, and shoulder pain all can benefit from massage. Releasing tightness and tension in muscles is the most obvious effect of a good massage.

Massage also is beneficial for relieving pain associated with arthritis, injuries, or even recent surgery.

Q. How does massage therapy help treating or controling pain?

A. One must alway remember that pain is a "symptom" or "clue" to potential underlying problems and the most important factor to consider prior receiving treatment for symptoms is to understand the cause of the pain.

There are number of ways massage may help in controlling pain related to injury to muscles, ligaments and tendons:

1. Massage confuses the body's pain signals.

Rubbing may interfere with pain signals' pathways to your brain, a process called the "gate control theory," according to experts. Pain impulses run toward the spinal cord and then up the cord and into the brain. It's only when they reach the brain that these impulses, are perceived as pain. When you rub, it sends other impulses along the same nerves. When all these impulses try to reach the brain through nerves, the nerves get clogged like a highway during morning rush hour. The result? Most of them won't reach the brain. And if the pain signals does not reach the brain, you won't feel pain. Thus massage works by 'closing the gate' that pain impulses have to pass through.

2. Massage also calls up the body's natural painkillers.

It stimulates the release of endorphins, the morphine-like substances that the body manufactures, into the brain and nervous system.

3. Massage provides deep relaxation

It relieves muscle tension, spasm, and stiffness. All of these contribute to pain. Experts suggest that tense muscles are usually deprived of oxygen, because the tightness reduces blood circulation to the area. Massage improves blood circulation, bringing with it what the muscle needs-oxygen and other forms of nourishment. The muscle then relaxes, and pain decreases.

4. Massage relieves mental stress and anxiety.

Massage is providing the benefit by the therapeutic value of touching that helps a person in pain. Research shows that even touch lasting for less than 1 second has the ability to make people feel better. Obviously, an hour-long touch provided by massage has to make you feel good!

Q. How long does it take to get better?

A. Excellent question and should always be asked! There are many factors that must be considered to understand how long it will take to get better. Often these factors are overlooked and not identified and therefore when someone condition is not responding a quickly as they would like they often give up on treatment and go "shopping" for treatments or tend to continue with pain relieving medication to cover up the symptoms. Identification and understanding of contributing and complicating factors an important part of understanding how long it will take to get better.

If you are not responding to care, the massage therapists at Falling Waters will recommend incorporating a physician or other healthcare provider that can provide further evaluation.

Q. Is Massage Therapy covered by health insurance?

A. Yes. Many health insurance companies do provide massage therapy coverage. Feel free to contact our office so we can assist you in finding out your specific insurance coverage and answer any questions.

Q. What if my policy does not cover Massage Therapy?

A. Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. Yet, each of us places a different value on our health. It’s convenient/helpful when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill, however if your personal medical insurance plan does not cover massage therapy, Falling Waters has time of services cash discounts" that can make this service very affordable.

Q. Do I need a referral from my General Practitioner for Massage Therapy?

A. No. Although anyone can see a massage therapist, some medical insurance companies require a referral. Feel free to contact our office so we can assist you in finding out your specific insurance coverage and answer any questions.