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Suggestions for Choosing A Health Care Provider
Use Google Locator! or

  1. Get Referrals from friends, family and co-workers.  Word of mouth is the best source.
  2. Where are they located is really most important as you want it to be convenient and not create more stress!
  3. There are many different types of massage that can address many different types of conditions.  It can be confusing and downright overwhelming to try to choose one type or another.  Just because one type of massage doesn't help your pain or condition does not mean that massage will not help you at all.  Finding the right type of therapy for your conditions and the right type of person to go to will be an experiential process.  Keep trying until you find what works for you.  You can start with reading about the different types of massage to see what you feel drawn to.
  4. Call the Health Care Providers office and start asking questions:
           
    How long have you been in practice?
    What kind of training have you had?
    How much additional training have you had?
    What do you specialize in? see also: different types of massage
    What type of cases do you handle?  
    Can they work with your specific conditions/health challenges?  
    Do you have a free/low cost initial consultation to see if the relationship will work?
    What type of practice beliefs do you have?
    How much do you charge?
    What are your hours?
    What is your cancellation policy?
  5. Will they take time to answer all of your questions on the phone? If they don't want to spend time answering questions on the phone- how will an office visit be?
  6. Be sure to get all the insurance/payment information worked out.  If your insurance is not going to cover alternative providers, find out why not and how can you get them to pay for the treatment.  Contact your local insurance commissioners office and start demanding alternative health care.  Write to the insurance company and keep them informed of your health treatments and keep insisting that they pay for it.  Washington State is paving the way for alternative treatments and insurance.
  7. Interview the professional on the first visit to make sure you feel comfortable with them.  Do they seem like a used car sales person or someone who is listening to your needs?
  8. What is their treatment plan going to be?  Do they want you to come in everyday?  Will they refer to alternative practitioners?  Are they trying to get their Mercedes paid for or get you healthy?
  9. Then the most important question - Are you feeling better?  If you are not feeling somewhat better within 3 months or so - start looking for other practitioners and resources. Your Health is your responsibility.  Doctors/practitioners are there only to facilitate your own healing process with the knowledge they have acquired and their personal experiences.  Keep seeking answers.  Doctors/practitioners are not the ultimate answer.  Seek support when you need it.  Your body actually knows better than anyone if you just take the time to listen.  You can go to 10 different massage therapists who went to the same school and were even in the same class and they will tell you 10 different things to do or do 10 different techniques to treat the same condition.  
  10. If massage didn't seem to help your condition, it does not mean that massage will not help.  It is usually a combination of the skill of the therapist, the technique and the therapists personality that will allow for healing.  Keep trying different modalities and therapists until you find the right combination.
  11. While some associations recommend that you ask about credentials and certifications, I have never felt that they were important.  Being Nationally Certified in Massage means you have studied for and passed a multiple choice test.  Going to a school that is highly credentialed means that they paid a lot of money to the credentialing agency and have done what that agency requires. It doesn't really mean anything about what kind of massage you do or how qualified they are to work on what ever it is that you have.  What really makes a massage therapist is who they are, not what they know or do.  Different States require that a massage therapist be licensed in that state.  Licensing does not reduce prostitution or eliminate bad therapists.  You can read more about the licensing and legislation debate in the massage profession and find out if your state requires licensing or not here.  Some abbreviations include CMT, LMT, LMP and vary state to state.  No wonder there is so much confusion about who to go to!
  12. Licensing is different than credentialing or certification.  Each state determines their own licensing requirements or in states like CA, each city has different rules and regulations.  Certification comes from training in a specialized branch or modality of massage.  Each different type of training will certify a student at their recognized levels.

Find someone close to your house or office.  Find someone who comes highly recommended by your friends or coworkers or others you trust such as your MD/health care provider.  Try many different therapists and types of massage!

There are also many other types of therapy that can be used: acupuncture, physical therapy, counseling/psychotherapy, movement based therapy, hypnotherapy, Naturopathic Medicine.

There are many different paths to take.  It is very confusing out there.  It takes diligence, patience and consistency in finding what will create better health.  It is your responsibility to keep searching or find people to help you search.  Your health is your responsibility.  Leaving it in the hands of one MD can be detrimental to your health.

 

 
 
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