Archive for the ‘Massage Therapy’ Category

Settling in

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The big move is behind me. I have been working in the new space for a week, every day adding a little more of this and adjusting that. I have a couple more things to take care of, but it’s almost home.

I like it more than I thought I would. I’ve traded seagulls for train whistles, and crazy afterthought bathrooms for easy listening in the elevators.

Entry
Entry
Afternoon light.
Afternoon light.
Small but cozy.
Small but cozy.
Night view.
Night view.

My hope is that as I settle into the space, it will become more and more restful and welcoming for you.

Moving

Friday, September 5th, 2014

August 15, 2014 marked 21 years in the Maud building for me. I was 22 when I signed that lease, fresh out of massage school and super tired of being a bike messenger. My brother had asked me if I wanted to fill up some space on the back of the Stranger (where he was one of two ad reps) with a free ad, and I needed a place to practice when people started calling. I remember the first client I had in my new space– a friend of a friend.

It was never my intention to end up in Pioneer Square, but the spaces I was looking at in the Capitol Hill and Belltown areas felt cramped and ugly, and this little room had a tall ceiling, an exposed brick wall, and a lovely big window. I paid $110/month for the tiny room I have been using as my office, enough room for a massage table, a cabinet for my sheets, and that was about it. When I got my Structural Integration certification in 1997, I expanded into the spacious suite I’ve been using ever since.

Pioneer Square has historically been a sketchy neighborhood–like, right from the start– and yet I have never felt unsafe here. I have watched the Square struggle to balance high rent retail with a high percentage of homeless services, suffer the blows of the Nisqually earthquake and the big Recession, endure a reputation of violence and stink, and see it now emerging into the new “Foodie Heaven” advertised on the buses, a place with more people living in it and working in it and more development on the way.

When my landlords told me last month that it was time for them to occupy the whole building, I immediately began looking for my new space. As I walked around Pioneer Square, my gut sat low and sluggish, sad and heavy. The rents were predictably much higher than what I have been paying (a fact I have always appreciated), and the spaces were uninspiring, despite being in beautiful old buildings. I went to check out a new building in SODO and my gut sat up a bit, got lighter, more curious, despite the awkwardness of the location and the smaller size of the room. How strange.

So, I am leaving Pioneer Square. My gut told me to, and we are tight like that. I don’t know what is in store for me, and I doubt that my new space in SODO will be mine for more than a couple of years, but I have a feeling that this move is the beginning of something good, the “next thing”, potentially amazing.

I have one more week here as I write, and I am enjoying the creaking floors, the terrible noise bleed, the comfort and familiarity of it all. I have grown up here, and I will always be grateful for the opportunities that the Maud Building has provided.

Onward!

Medical Necessity

Monday, January 6th, 2014

To get your massage covered by your insurance, you will need a prescription from your doctor, even if your insurance plan says you don’t. This ensures that your massage is “Medically Necessary”, which keeps me out of trouble. It is outside of my scope of practice to diagnose your injury, and yet I must have a diagnosis code to bill with– thus, a prescription.

Additionally, you should be aware that insurance companies are pretty rigid in their definition of “Medical Necessity”:

“Benefits for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation therapy services (such as massage therapy) are provided when such services are medically necessary to either restore and improve a bodily or cognitive function that was previously normal but was lost as a result of injury, illness or surgery.

Loss of function generally means a joint that doesn’t have full range of motion or full strength, or pain that prevents you from your activities of daily living.

Insurance companies are less interested in treating chronic pain syndromes; in my experience, they want to see results. If the treatment isn’t working within 6 -10 sessions, then it must be the wrong treatment. (See previous post.)

 

Pre-Authorization

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Regence Blue Shield has recently begun to require pre-authorization for physical medicine services, including massage therapy. If your plan is administered by Regence, but independent of them (ex. King Care, UMP) this does not affect you.

I am still learning how this works, but it is supposed to go like this:

  • You come in for an initial assessment and treatment.
  • I submit for a pre-authorization online.
  • If you have not yet received any physical medicine treatments for the year, you get four sessions automatically, to be used within three months. This includes the initial treatment and assessment.
  • After four sessions, if you still feel that you need treatment, I then submit an updated treatment request showing changes you have made since the start of care, and outlining how we are going to quickly and efficiently get you healed within, say, another four sessions.
  • If you have already received some physical medicine treatments, including Physical Therapy, other Massage Therapy, and possibly Chiropractic care, I’m not even sure what we have to do. I haven’t jumped that hurdle yet, and as you may know, getting answers from insurance companies can be tricky.

Here is a chart showing their progress expectations:

I will update this post as I learn more about how this works in practice.

In the meantime, if you are a Regence client (not a King Care or UMP subscriber) and have had some physical medicine treatment already this calendar year, I will need you to contact me before you make your appointment so we can try to set the gears in motion.

Thanks.

Movement is Life

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Movement is life.
All bodywork is about movement.
Energy workers (reiki, acupuncture, Shiatsu) seek to move blockage or stagnation in your energetic lines or fields.
Swedish massage is about increasing blood and lymphatic circulation on a cellular, tissue, and then systemic level.
Structural Integration focuses on fascial freedom, restoring glide to the relationships between fascial layers.
Rolf Movement® takes a step towards the role of perception in our physical relationships, and Somatic Experiencing rides the waves of nervous system charge and discharge as they roll through our bodies and our lives.
We all know the feeling of being “stuck in a rut” or trapped by routine. My experience is that sometimes bodywork can help move us through those periods of sluggishness into a more dynamic relationship with life. Structural Integration and Somatic Experiencing provide moments of clarity in our being. Sometimes a slight shift in perspective or a slightly new experience of self is all we need to get going in a new direction, or in the direction we were headed when we got bogged down.
I am, of course, happy to help when there is just a need for maintenance– a rut can also be a groove we are digging for the time being– and that is why I practice massage therapy.

Science Catches up with Common Sense

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

The New York Times has this article about how massage is being scientifically validated. ‘Nuff said.

Something to Aspire To

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

“A great massage goes to the core of who we are. Not only does it feel good, but massage teaches us the art of being without doing– the secret of contentment. In the right hands, massage releases much more than our muscular tension. It allows us to relinquish our fears, let go of pent-up emotions, feel our untapped joy, work through grief, and surrender the old, conditioned responses and ideas that no longer serve us.”
— From the article “Hurts So Good, In Search of the Perfect Massage” by Mari Gayatri Stein in ABMP‘s Body Sense Magazine (Spring/Summer 2010)