BODY OF KNOWLEDGE  Therapeutic Massage                                                                                                                                                                                                    

About Tom
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Q:  Don't your hands get tired? 
A:  Yes, but after I built my own house I figured they could take it!   I know how to take care of all my muscles, as well as my hands.  So the real question is, 'How do your hands recover once they are tired?'   

AHow do you know where I hurt?
A:  Most often it is a tactile signal your tissue gives me; occasionally, it is a visual clue given away by your posture or appearance.   Sometimes I'll have you do a resistance test to locate a microscopic muscle tear, which is one cause of pain.  That will let me know which muscle needs more gentle attention.

Q:  Do you bill insurance?
A:  Yes!  If your doctor can fill out a prescription for massage, I will attempt to bill your insurance.  If your insurance company rejects your claim however, you are still liable.

Q:  Why can't my doctor fix this pain? 
A:  That's a good question, and although western medicine has had some success treating pain, the results are sometimes worse than the original condition. (Vioxx and Bextra come to mind.)   I've  been told by one doctor (while she was receiving a massage, by the way) that it would be nice if she could divert many of her patients to a massage therapist.  This would give her more time to deal with conditions better suited to western medicine.  So, hopefully the change is occurring. 

Q:  How long will it take to fix this?
A:  I can give you an educated guess as to how much massage it will take, but there are many factors involved in this non-invasive style of healing, and you are in control of most of them.  This is why you may need to become more involved in order to speed the process along.

Q:  How much clothing should I remove?
A:  The decision is yours; I want all my clients to be comfortable.  With that said, my hands can sense more soft tissue conditions when they don't have to work through clothing.  It can depend on the type of massage you want, as a relaxation massage relies more on long, flowing massage strokes to achieve its goal.  Clothing would inhibit this.  But for a clinical or orthopedic massage, where the client will have to change position on the table more often, it can be helpful to keep some form of undergarment on. 

Q:  Why did you get into massage for a career? 
A:  I knew it worked for me and wanted to show others the power of massage.  Also, fellow students and early practice clients gave me such good feedback that I had to try it in the real world!

Q: I'm moving.  Can you refer me to another therapist like you?
A: Unfortunately, I cannot. At a time when there are many new 'graduates' getting into massage,  it is very difficult to sort out all the candidates out there.   These sentiments are explained in this article by therapist Paul Ingraham.  He has eloquently stated why the massage profession is being overrun by people you should not trust.
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