10 Positive Review(s)
If you like my massage, please review me on Google+, Yelp, Facebook, YP.com, and any other site you can find. This simple action will help potential clients find me more easily and help them get a better idea of what to expect from my massage. It will also help my search engine rankings. Just be honest and straightforward and describe your experience with me and my massage. Thank you so much!
When I first looked into natural healing more than 30 years ago, I had no idea that touch therapy was my true calling, not just as a way of making a living, but also as a way being in the world. I just wanted to study something that would keep my interest long enough to finish a course of study! After working in the field for a few years, I soon became unsatisfied with doing general relaxation massage, particularly the standardized “fluff ‘n buff” treatments common in spas. I wasn’t given these gifts to pamper the rich. Rather, I believe that I am here to relieve suffering in the world however I can.
As it turns out, I’m really talented at easing pain and trauma using my hands. I soon got a reputation in the hotel I worked at in Santa Fe as the “go-to guy” for guests with specific complaints, and I gained experience treating clients with debilitating injuries. After being in a serious car wreck, I developed great empathy for people who have experienced trauma, and I began to learn what works for treating traumatic injuries.
Similarly, I have suffered from headaches all my life. Naturally I learned effective techniques to treat them. Now I have great success ameliorating even full-blown migraines. When I had an overuse tendinitis injury, I learned how to treat tendinitis and repetitive use injuries. The process continues to this day; every time I hurt myself I learn something new! Of course, being hurt myself is not the only way I learn. I’ve taken many excellent classes, and I learn something from every client I treat. Clients often come to me with symptoms I’ve just learned to identify and treat.
I am an intuitive therapist. My hands know what to do, and after all this time I’ve learned to get my head out of the way. Of course, I have a wealth of knowledge and experience to inform my intuition, along with a wide variety of techniques I’ve accumulated in my journey. There is no one path to healing; different things work for different people. I do know a few things, though. Gentleness and sensitivity to my clients’ needs are fundamental to the healing process. Locating the precise source of your pain allows me to eliminate it more quickly, with less discomfort during the process.
More trauma does not heal trauma, and you know your body far better than I do. If the massage hurts too much I am probably working too deeply, too rapidly, or both. I usually discern subtle cues quickly, but if I don’t respond to your distress, please let me know right away. I do the work for your benefit, not for my ego. Together we will find the right blend of technique, pressure, and pace to best suit your needs at any given moment.
::UPDATE:: I’m happy to announce that if you have the APS employee/retiree plan from NM Health Connections, you’re covered, and I’m a provider! No doctor’s referral is necessary; you just pay your regular co-pay and I do the billing.
Short answer: Only in a few circumstances. In general, medical insurance just won’t pay for massage, although there are exceptions. It’s worth your while to find out! Here are the circumstances in which you might not have to pay out of pocket:
Health insurance: Regardless of the hopes massage therapists and clients alike have about getting coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), neither Obamacare nor the State of New Mexico mandates payments to Licensed Massage Therapists. As far as I know, no health insurance company operating in NM has LMTs as preferred providers, either. I would love to be able to accept your medical insurance, but even though I specialize in pain management and injury rehabilitation, health insurance just won’t pay me. One potential client told me that he needed myofascial release, but that his insurance would only pay for the treatment if I were a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist. A few PTs actually perform hands-on therapy, but for the most part they specialize in stretches and exercises. Some chiropractors also do soft tissue work, but they primarily adjust joints. I don’t know any doctors who do manual therapy, although I acknowledge that they might exist. It’s frustrating that health insurance companies won’t pay real experts like me, but they don’t.
The few (very expensive) policies that might actually pay LMTs usually have a separate deductible for “Alternative” health care practices like massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic. Unless you have extensive injuries or you have already met your deductible, you are probably better off paying me out of pocket at my time-of-service rates. Some insurance companies claim to cover massage, but they actually contract with LMTs to reduce their time-of-service rates in exchange for being listed in a directory. The client pays the reduced rate when they receive treatment. No bill is sent to the insurance company. Unfortunately, the only massage therapists willing to participate in such schemes are generally not competent to perform medically relevant massage treatments. Would you trust an inexperienced therapist to work on your frozen shoulder or plantar fasciitis? I wouldn’t. I want a well-trained, experienced therapist working on me, especially when I am hurt, not a new therapist who had a couple hundred extra hours of “medical massage” training tacked on to their 650 hour entry-level course. In my view, it takes years of practice to develop the sensitivity and specific palpation skills needed to confidently assess and treat serious medical needs. Since I have those skills, I am unwilling to reduce my time-of service rates just to be listed in some directory.
Medicare: No. Even Medicare Advantage plans do not cover treatments by Massage Therapists.
Medicaid: In NM, only those patients in the Mi Via program, which gives patients a budget to pay for their chronic medical needs. The good news is that I am a Mi Via provider. The bad news is that I need to charge a little more than my time-of-service rates because I have to wait for payment, which might blow your Mi Via budget.
Car Insurance: Good news! If you’ve been in a car wreck (motor vehicle accident, or MVA), you can likely get covered with little or any out-of-pocket expenses. If you have Medical Payments (MedPay), an optional coverage in NM, your company will pay your medical expenses immediately, regardless of whether you were at fault. I recommend getting as much MedPay as you can, and at least $5000; it’s cheap! I carry $10,000 of MedPay on my own car insurance policy, and I’d get more if I could. It costs me $12-13 every 6 months. I will not accept USAA MedPay because they routinely and arbitrarily refuse to pay my legitimate charges.
If the other driver was at fault, then his/her company will pay me for treatment as part of your settlement. This might take a few years after the accident, which is a long time to wait for payment. In order to protect myself, I require that you hire an attorney who will send me a document called a letter of protection, which essentially promises that I’ll be paid inasmuch as the recovery covers the costs of treatment. You won’t have to pay out of your own funds, and I am assured of some eventual payment. The days when you could negotiate a fair settlement from insurance companies on your own are long gone. They lie through your teeth, and you need an experienced advocate to protect your interests. I know some personal injury attorneys whom I think are humane and honest, and I’d be happy to refer you to one. However, any attorney who sends me a letter of protection is fine. You don’t have to hire someone based on my recommendation.
Personal Injury cases: You definitely need an attorney for this type of claim, in which liability is not as clear cut as with a car wreck. I can sometimes take this type of claim after consulting with your attorney.
Workers Compensation: I can bill Workers Compensation as long as you get pre-approval from the WC insurer. Generally your doctor’s office needs to arrange this for you. If you have a federal workers compensation claim (DOL/OWCP), please call me to discuss it. DOL is a strange beast, and difficult to wrestle payment from.
This is our third year of chair massage for Sandians at a location off of Kirtland AFB. We offer massage weekly at IPOC to be more accessible to the whole SNL community. All employees, staff, contractors, and visitors are welcome to get massage at IPOC or at MO 307 on base. You simply need a badge to get past the lobby into the building.
Sign up at the entry desk in the IPOC lobby on Monday through Wednesday. The massage will be performed in one of the second floor conference rooms, usually Room 2159, or as shown on the sign-up sheet. I also have appointments available inside the gates at HBES every Thursday from 4-6pm.
I honor all SNL gift certificates at both locations.
Feel free to call me with any questions.
Although most of my clients are grateful when I can see them on the same day they call, I was awakened yesterday morning by a potential client who asked “Do you take walk-ins?” It was the second time I had heard this question in a week, so I decided to blog about it. The short answer is no. I’ll take an appointment on short notice (less than an hour) when my schedule permits and I feel like it, but I never take walk-ins. Clients have to make an appointment in advance, even if it’s just an hour later. Why? There are three basic reasons:
So why don’t I do walk-ins? They are inconvenient, disrespectful to me, and my office is not set up to handle a high-volume practice. If that’s what you’re looking for, you probably wouldn’t be happy with my individual service and exceptional therapeutic skills. You probably wouldn’t want to pay what those services are worth, either. Getting a good massage requires some foresight. Research the therapist(s) you are considering. Make certain they do the kind of bodywork you prefer, and that they have experience with your particular issue. Make an appointment at a mutually convenient time. Finally, please leave some time after the session to enjoy the effects of the work. Rushing off right away tends to reduce the effectiveness of any therapy.
There are many reasons people choose a particular massage therapist. Certainly location, availability, skill set, and price are initial factors that define your search. A therapist across town who can’t see you until next month is not likely to be your first choice, unless s/he has unusual skills or rapport you need. Likewise, if you are looking for injury rehabilitation, you won’t go to a student clinic, even though the price is much lower. Presumably you want a therapist who does the kind of bodywork you prefer, in a relatively convenient location, whose work you can afford, and who can see you within a few days.
If you need somebody right away, you’ll probably call around until you find a therapist who is available immediately. On the other hand, the massage will be the luck of the draw. If you are flexible with your treatment time, you may well find a more appropriate therapist. On the other hand, I’ve had many clients come to me because I was available when they needed me, only to find that I was the perfect therapist for their needs. Sometimes things just work out really well.
If you have been injured, you need a therapist who has the skills and experience to assist in your healing process. A good rehab massage not just a matter of applying the proper strokes in a particular sequence. A relaxation massage might feel good, but it won’t remodel scar tissue or improve your joints’ range of motion much.
Caveat emptor! I’ve found that therapists who tout proficiency in many methods are rarely expert in any of them. 30 or 50 hours of Shiatsu (for example) in a massage school class can only open a student to the possibility of practice, usually integrating techniques into a full-body massage. It doesn’t qualify anybody to actually practice the techniques as a stand alone system.
No therapist can help you much if you don’t trust them, no matter how skilled or compassionate s/he is. Trust can be a slippery thing; some people are trustworthy and others aren’t. Sometimes we trust those we shouldn’t, and sometimes we don’t trust those who are worthy of it. My only advice is to trust your feelings. It’s much better to be wary of an otherwise excellent therapist than to mistakenly trust a therapist who does not deserve it for whatever reason.
Some people trust easily. Others are easily trusted. I seek to earn your trust by respecting your treatment goals, your privacy, and your body’s innate wisdom. I will communicate with you openly and honestly, sharing what I think and admitting the limits of my understanding. Most importantly, I respect your ability and need to make your own choices. My personality and skills are not right for everybody. Most people know during the first massage whether they’ll be coming back to see me again.
If a friend or colleague recommends a particular therapist, by all means check them out! Pump your friend for as much information as you can to make sure that your situations are similar. Find out why your friend likes this particular therapist so much. “S/he gives a great massage” doesn’t convey nearly as much information as “s/he works deep enough for me and focuses on my painful areas,” or “s/he just always seems to know what I need.”
Word of mouth is the best marketing around. I appreciate all my clients who send others to see me. I also appreciate clients who refer others electronically, like posting feedback on various sites or rating me on Google, yelp, etc. While you’re at it, how about leaving a comment on my “Testimonials” post? Every little bit helps people who need me (like you?) to find me.