FAQ – Massage Therapy

QandADo I have to be in pain to have Massage Therapy?

No, Massage Therapy is effective for stress relief, relaxation and improving health.

What conditions can be treated with Massage Therapy?

  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Muscle strains or sprains
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Stress management
  • Lymphedema
  • Many, many others 

Does Massage Therapy hurt?

When muscles are tight they can restrict the circulation flowing through them.  When this occurs, metabolic waste begins to accumulate and will start to irritate the muscles.  This is what you feel when you are sore, achy and stiff the day after exercise.  There may be some discomfort during a massage treatment as these irritated muscles get flushed out and circulation returns.  However, pressure is applied to patient tolerance and presenting condition.  Localized contractures in muscles called trigger points or fascial adhesions can also cause discomfort when worked on.

Always communicate with your therapist to let them know if the pressure is too much.  YOU ARE IN CHARGE and Massage Therapy is not something you should have to suffer through.  You should be able to relax your whole body during the entire treatment.  Deep breathing can be used to make sure discomfort stays at a minimum.  The effects of massage are cumulative, meaning that the more treatment you receive the less painful it will become. 

What type of Massage Therapy is offered?

The Registered Massage Therapists at Interactive Flex are trained in diverse types of treatment techniques and massage therapy:

  • Postural Alignment
  • General Swedish Massage
  • Trigger Point Work
  • Muscle Energy
  • Myofascial Release
  • Vodder Method of Manual Lymph Drainage 

Are your Therapists registered?

All Registered Massage Therapists will have the designation RMT after their name so that you will know they are registered and that you are covered under your benefit plan for any treatments given by an RMT.  A registration number is included on the receipt that may be submitted to your insurance company.  Any massage booked with a non-registered massage provider will be clearly indicated at the time of booking and your massage provider will confirm this with you prior to treatment.

How long does a Massage Therapy session last?

We offer 30 minute, 45 minute, 60 minute and 75 minute Massage Therapy appointments. This time allotted is for the entire time booked with the therapist, including any patient preparation or assessment. It is important that you arrive on time for every appointment for maximum therapy time.  

If I am pregnant, can I still have Massage Therapy?

Yes. With the changes of pregnancy, some women experience lower back pain, neck pain and other muscular conditions. Massage Therapy can assist in restoring balance and relax the muscles. We have a special pregnancy pillow that allows the mother-to-be to receive massage while lying face down.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Do insurance plans cover Massage Therapy?

Yes. The majority of Canadian workers have partial or full coverage for registered Massage Therapy services in their workplace health care plans.   Interactive Flex is happy to offer the convenience of direct billing with many extended benefit insurance plans.  If your plan does not allow us to direct bill, we will give you an official receipt when you pay and you will have to seek reimbursement from your insurance provider.  BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) covers a portion of the costs for a total of ten visits annually for patients on Premium Assistance, however you will need to pursue MSP reimbursement on your own.

Do I need a Doctor’s referral for Massage Therapy?

Registered massage therapists are considered primary healthcare providers in B.C. so you do not need a referral for an appointment. Some insurance companies, however, may require a note from a physician explaining why massage has been prescribed. It is recommended that patients check with their insurance provider for details of their coverage.

How long should my first appointment be?

We recommend a minimum of 60 minutes for your initial appointment to allow adequate time for an interview, go over your health history and do assessment in order to make an effective hands-on treatment personalized for you.  On your first visit, please arrive 5-10 minutes early to ensure time to complete the necessary medical form.

Download our Massage Intake Form

What should I expect on my first visit?

After you fill out your health history form, the therapist will go through it with you to determine pertinent information that could affect the treatment. This is when you should let the therapist know what areas you would like treated and any major concerns you have.  The therapist may do some orthopedic assessment on any areas of concern to gauge the level of injury or limitation.  All this information is essential for the therapist to build an effective treatment plan.

After assessment the therapist leaves the room to allow you to get on the table and returns within a few minutes for the hands-on treatment.

Once treatment is completed the therapist will leave the room to allow you to dress.  When you are ready, the therapist will return and quickly reassess to gauge what effect the treatment had.  Lastly, the therapist may show you some remedial exercises (stretching and strengthening) that will benefit you.

Do I need to undress?

During the treatment you will always be covered by a sheet except for the immediate area being treated.  The majority of techniques used by massage therapists are most effective when done in contact with the skin, therefore, most people undress.  If you are uncomfortable with undressing the therapist can always work around any clothing you wish to leave on at the expense of effectiveness.

Do I need to bring or wear anything special?

Wear comfortable clothing that can be taken off efficiently.  Avoid jewelry such as necklaces or dangling earrings.  Don’t make a point of doing your hair or makeup, as it may get messed up during the treatment.  Too many hair clips or pins can also be uncomfortable. Usually a hair elastic is adequate if needed.

If your session is more interactive and focused on stretching and muscle energy, you can bring shorts and a shirt to wear.

How many appointments do I need?

Massage therapy is not a quick fix.  If it has taken a long time to get to where you are now it may not resolve in one treatment and different injuries require different treatment times.  This determines how often you should come. Therapeutic massage is used to help increase the body’s own healing capacity.

If it is your first time receiving massage therapy, the effects you experience will be relative to your condition. Some people can experience instantaneous relief.  Most people, however, need more than one treatment to get them back to a balanced state.  Your massage therapist can help make a treatment plan that best suits your needs.  Once you feel healthy and recovered and if exercise and homecare is integrated with Massage Therapy, treatment can be as minimal as once every 4 – 6 weeks for maintenance. 

Which therapist is right for me?

Like any comfortable piece of clothing, fit is everything and the therapeutic relationship you build with your RMT is no different.  Each RMT has their own style and their own strengths.  We suggest you try more than one therapist, read our bios and ask questions if you are having trouble making a decision.  We are more than happy to answer your questions.  Don’t forget, YOU are in charge; speak up, this is your chance to have the massage you’ve always wanted!