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Rehabilitative and Medical Massage Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: [Do I need a referral for massage?]
A: [Although, many insurance plans say you do not need a referral for massage, Washington state will not allow a provider to bill  your insurance company without a diagnosis or ICD9 code.  Only Medical doctors, Chiropractors or other physicians with diagnostic authority can provide such a code.  Therefore your massage therapist (LMP) cannot provide any services without a referral where insurance in involved.]


Q: [Should massage be painful?]
A: [This can be a complicated question.  If a client is in good health with only general tension- NO. A properly trained therapist should be able to perform most relaxation techniques without causing the client pain.  If a tender spot is located during the session, a good LMP will pay attention to body language, check in with the client periodically for comfort level and adjust accordingly.  Some clients might feel sore the following day, but that should be similar to a post-workout sore.

     If you are injured and seek massage therapy for the purpose of rehabilitation, a massage session (in this case referred to as manual therapy) may be quite uncomfortable.  However, no massage technique should ever surpass a 6 on the 1-10 pain scale used by most physicians. " 1"being pain free and "10" meaning intolerable.  There should not be any moderate to deep bruising or discoloring of the skin.  This requires communication between client and therapist. There must be regular dialogue during the session in regards to pressure, depth, joint stress and pain scale especially if trigger point or deep tissue work is being performed. 
    This type of massage requires a higher level education on the part of the therapist, also.  Study in anatomy/physiology, Kinesiology, trigger point therapy, pain referral patterns, massage and pathologies, muscle testing and postural analysis is paramount.  Without a basic working knowledge of these areas, manual therapy can be not only painful but dangerous.