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Earth Spirit Therapies
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Sports massage, Deep Tissue Therapy, Injury Recovery.

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Frequently Asked Questions!

Q: Will my insurance cover massage therapy?
A: New Mexico licenses massage therapists through a statewide process over seen by the New Mexico Board of Massage Therapy. Therefor, if you are  in an automobile accident or have a job-related injury covered by workman's compensation, insurance may cover massage or bodywork therapies when prescribed by a physician (MD), osteopath (DO), or chiropractor (DC). The best thing to do is to  check with your insurance company to see exactly what is covered under what circumstances.
     Medicaide/Medicare and some health insurance plans may cover massage, if the massage therapists a an 'approved provider'. Other health plans have negotiated reduced fees for their insured clients, but do not pay for massage as a 'covered' benefit. In other words, clients pay the massage therapist a reduced fee and are not reimbursed by their plan.  If you are unsure of your coverage, check with  your insurance agent.

Q:  Can massage benefit someone with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?  Are there specific massage techniques for MS?
A:  MS is a complex condition where a client's nerveous sytem, including the brain is under attack from their own immune system. The symptoms and progression of the disease vary from client to client and over time for any given client. Various bodywork and energy work can reduce stress, which appears to exacerbate symtoms and give temporary relief to spasmed muscles,  Please read this extensive and well written article from "Massage and Boywork" magazine:  "Searching for Comfort - Alternative Therapies and Multiple Sclerosis" . Any therapist working on someone with MS should read this article.  Although there is no single protocol that does work for MS, Deep Tissue therapy, which can over stimulte a client's system is probably contra-indicated.

Q:  Are there specific massage techniques and protocols for Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)?
A:  I am not aware of a massage protocol that is specific for FMS and works with all FMS clients. We have worked with several FMS clients. Some prefer (and enjoy) deep tissue work especially along neck, shoulders, and back. For these clients deep tissue therapy provides temporary relief and usually a good night's sleep. At least two of our FMS clients were so tender all over that it was difficult to give them any deep tissue work. With these clients, we used swedish massage and energy work.  In most cases, even when massage therapy provided welcome temporary relief, I often doubted that I had been able to make a significant change to the client's chronic unrelaxed muscles.   For more information on Fibromyalgia and guaifenesin as a treatment protocol, please click here.

Q:  What are your views about giving a person Massage when they have gone through 30 courses of radiation therapy?   Do you feel this is safe to touch this person?  Will the Masseuse have any come back with radiation?
A:
My primary concern would be for the client's condition.  Radiation therapy can be extremely hard on the immune system, level of energy and emotional state.  Deep tissue massage therapy can promote metastasis of certain cancers, primarily through stimulation of lymphatic flow. Secondly, it might not be tolerated well by the client. I would provide light-stroking massage ONLY and ONLY with the knowledge and permission of the primary health care provider (Doctor).   Another option would be energy work such as Reiki, which does not involve manipulation of the soft tissue or stimulate lymph flow directly. Caring touch and emotional support can be very helpful to the client.
    As for the safety of the therapist, I am aware of no studies or safety information that would prevent one from working on a client who has received any number of radiation treatments.  It is possible that heavy metals stored in the body could become ionized during treatment. I doubt that even if this were the case, that any sensitive measuring device would detect radiation from the client.  They are not radioactive! We work on post radiation and chemo therapy clients all of the time. Hope this has been helpful.

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