R.01 What is RPM Muscular Therapies Clinic LLC?
R.08 Do you have to be Board Certified to perform massage in Georgia?
R.02 RPM was founded in April of 2004. The firm began as an outcall-only service and opened a location in the Buckhead area of Atlanta the following year. The original location was on Roswell Road and moved to its' current location in Cates Center two years later.
R.03 The idea of becoming a Massage Therapist was first proposed to me by my personal LMT and industry mentor, Amos Hall, in late 1995. Although it sounded like an interesting profession, I was not quite sold on it until 2002. At that time, I had become discontent with most of the Corporate positions I had held; which included industries such as Credit Operations, Clinical Laboratory, Information Technology, Industrial Supply, and Cable Communications. I initally considered doing it as a part-time side business but soon realized that it is NOT a field you can become good at when you only practice every now and then. Massage requires full-time study and work.
R.04 Definitely! There is a LOT more to Massage Therapy than "rubbing lotion"; despite what you see on TV. You have to learn about the body, how it functions, hygiene, massage techniques, correct methods to perform the techniques, contraindications, etc.
R.05 I attended ASHA School of Massage in Norcross, GA. Our program, at the time, was 775 hours. Their current Certified Massage Therapist program is 927 hours. It was VERY demanding and my classmates and I believed it should have been longer. It officially lasted 12 months but I was actually there 18 months retaking the capstone course; which I did not understand the first time. I felt it was better to KNOW the material than have a piece of paper. The courses we had included:
Therapeutic Swedish Massage
Clinical Sports ad Restorative Massage
Personal Growth and Ethics
R.06 Of course. I got my first massage job about six (6) months after graduating from Massage School in 2004. It was at a start-up Spa for Men called "JOQ". I selected them for a few different reasons. One, I wanted to work for a Start-Up; because I knew I would get an opportunity to learn more about the operations side. Two, I wanted to work somewhere I could get more experience working on men. Most of my Massage School classmates were female so it was a great opportunity to get experience working on more men. Plus, the physical demands of working on men are greater; so it was great experience to gain. I was there for nearly two years and left to devote more time to building my own practice. Since that time, I have also contracted with other massage businesses performing Chair Massage and Outcalls.
R.07 I prefer the title "Muscle Therapist" because that IS what I work on; Muscles. Massage has too many connotations to too many people. Prostitutes use "massage" as a euphemism for what they do. Practitioners working in spas performing "relaxation sessions" call it "massage". Unfortunately, these are NOT appropriate images for my business model. Therefore, I try to avoid any language that will cause confusion in that area.
R.08 Massage Therapists are not Board Certified; per se. However, in Georgia, applicants for a Massage Therapist license must take and pass either the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) or Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) exam to be considered. They must also be graduates of a Massage Therapy Education program. I passed the NCBTMB exam in 2005.
R.09 Absolutely! My State License number is MT000055. This means I was the 55th MT to become Licensed in Georgia. We did not become a licensure state until 2007. Prior to that time, MT's were subject to the jurisdiction of whichever areas we worked in. For example, if you worked in the City of Atlanta, you had to get a license from their Police Department. But, if you wanted to work outside of the city limits, too, you also had to get a license from the area in question; usually a surrounding county. You can imagine how expensive this was; considering that each license was at least $200 and often required fingerprinting and background checks. COA also required us to get medical tests for communicable diseases and wait for our licenses with the Adult Entertainers!
State Licensed MT have to display their license number on all advertising material and are required to complete a minimum of 24 CEU hours every 2 year renewal period. To confirm whether a person is actually a Georgia State Licensed Massage Therapist, click HERE.
R.10 2004-2012 - American Massage Therapy Association
R.11 I hold undergraduate degrees in English and Communication plus a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). In 2013, I began working toward a second Masters in Information and Instructional Design.
Swedish Massage is general, systemic massage of the soft tissues of the body to induce a state of deep relaxation. It works mainly on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and it increases the body's blood and lymphatic circulation.
Sports Massage is designed specifically for athletes or people who engage in a sports, exercise, or fitness program. Despite the name, it is actually a collection of modalities utilized for various sports related injuries or conditions. My training consisted of assessing client postures and correcting imbalances. Some spas sell these to patrons as some sort of "deep tissue massage".
Neuromuscular Therapy is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of treatment approaches for chronic pain and myofascial problems. NMT is also sometimes called Trigger Point Therapy; even though TPT is actually one of the techniques used in NMT.
All of the above definitions are taken from "Mosby's Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage" by Sandy Fritz (Copyright © 2009)
M.02 The training I received at ASHA was of a clinical nature, in that students were taught to look at clients clinically. That is, we were not taught how to just "rub on people". Our training was more about assessing client conditions and seeking the root cause of their conditions. Clinical Massage Therapy is the use of manual manipulation of the soft tissues to relieve specific complaints of pain and dysfunction.
Techniques such as the ones learned in the “Sports” and NMT courses are considered to be more “manual therapies” because they were more about addressing specific musculoskeletal dysfunctions; as opposed to general relaxation.
When clients come to my practice, I am more concerned with helping them with specific muscular issues or dysfunctions. I feel that for the money they are paying, they deserve more than just being "rubbed on". Because all clients and situations are different, so are the sessions. I do NOT perform "cookie cutter" sessions and the work performed depends on a client's goals.
M.03 More than you would believe! My suggestion is that you not visit a practitioner unless they are certified and have experience in the modalities used. Certification does NOT mean they took a weekend class in a certain technique. That happens a LOT in my industry. I have had a number of classes in Thai massage and performed various components of it in my sessions. However, I do NOT claim to be certified in it. Be cautious of practitioners who are unable or unwilling to discuss or verify their training with you.
If you are interested in reading more about some of these different massage/bodywork modalities, click this link.
M.04 At your first visit, you will first be asked to complete an intake form and asked questions regarding your overall condition and specific complaints. To save time, you may download it ahead of time here and bring it to your session. You may also be asked about any medications you are taking in the event of any possible side effects that contraindicate bodywork.
M.05 Clients are asked to undress to their level of comfort; which varies by client. Some clients remove everything while some leave on underwear or workout clothing. Either way, clients are draped with a sheet and blanket. However, some college and pro athletes are worked on the table in their workout clothes; because that is the way they are used to being worked on by Athletic Trainers in team treatment rooms.
What clients wear is of no consequence to me, as a therapist. I have experience working clients in various situations and clothing. Techniques can be modified to fit virtually any situation. It doesn't have to be a "traditional spa massage" if you are not comfortable with those. I work with clients based on their level.
M.06 I have a nice, comfortable chair in my room for such situations. I prefer adults be in the room when I work on minors and have no problem with other situations, either. I have had this occur often with clients whose first language was not English and those who have never had a massage before. I remember one situation where I was working on a woman while her boyfriend was in the chair checking sports scores and we all were joking and laughing. As I said before. . .it doesn't have to be a "traditional spa massage".
M.07 Sessions last as long as clients request; especially those coming for muscular "maintenance" work. The most requested session is for one (1) hour. However, in my experience, I do suggest clients who are athletes or have multiple issues to be addressed book AT LEAST a ninety (90) minute or longer session.
Some clients book half hour sessions to check out my work or if they only have one specific thing they wish to have worked on. However, in my professional experience, it is rarely just one specific thing causing a problem. For example, back pain could be coming from the erectors, rhomboids, quadratus lumborum (QL), rectus abdominus, obliques, glutes, piriformis, semimembranosus, semitendinosus, etc. 30 minutes of "rubbing your back" is NOT going to take care of it. In fact, that isn't even sufficient time for me to figure out where the problem may be eminating. Remember...you are coming for therapy.
However, if your sole purpose is a "relaxation session", please feel free to book for any session duration you think will relax you. Haha. . .
M.08 If you have a specific condition, that is hard to ascertain. It all depends upon how your body responds to the therapy and how long it takes to heal. That is difficult to estimate because all bodies and situations are different. In the cases of physician or chiropractor prescriptions, it may depend upon their diagnosis. However, there still is no guarantee that your body will heal in that time frame. It is merely an estimation based upon their professional assessment.
Muscular maintenance is on-going and has no set duration.
M.09 Massage Therapist "specializations" are usually based upon the therapist's areas of interest. For example, some may be more interested in athletes, chronic pain cases, relaxation, etc. These areas of interest often determine the types of continuing education courses they take and clients they seek. However, for licensing and legal purposes, there are "Specialists" in our field. A person can take courses and call the themselves "Sports Massage Therapists", or "Orthopedic Massage Therapists" or even "Medical Massage Therapists". But in the eyes of the law and Massage Board, we are still considered "Massage Therapists".
Spas are typically focused on pampering, relaxation, and retail product sales.
Discount clubs offer low rates and usually low-quality work. They often have a revolving door staff. Their money is made by signing customers up for memberships and deducting monthly fees from their bank accounts or credit cards; regardless of whether they use them or not.
While RPM does provide therapy in a relaxing environment to facilitate the effectiveness of the session, it is not the primary focus. Also, RPM does NOT sell retail products NOR offer memberships.
C.02 In most cases, you will NOT need a referral from another healthcare provider. However, in Personal Injury or Worker Compensation cases, they are mandatory; because they require physician prescriptions.
Prescriptions are also necessary for clients who desire to use their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA). See next question for more information.
C.03 Yes, you may use your FSA or HSA at RPM. However, the requirement by the IRS is that your treatment must be "medically necessary". This means that any massage used to treat a specific injury, trauma, or medical condition are eligible. In many cases, all you need is a doctor's statement or prescription documenting your need for such treatment.
For further information, check out Publication 969 on the IRS website at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf
C.04 No. Massage Therapists are NOT legally able to provide medical diagnosis. Be suspicious of a MT that tries to give you a medical diagnosis or advice. Any issues outside of my scope of practice are quickly referred out to the appropriate providers.
C.05 No, RPM does not accept walk-in clients. As a private practice, the therapist may be working on other clients onsite or working offsite. Same day scheduling may be available. Either check the scheduling page on this website, or, call the clinic.
C.06 The best way to schedule is to go to the scheduling page on this site. If you prefer to speak via phone, please be advised that it may take up to one business day for calls to be returned. It may be longer if the therapist is working outside of the office for extended times or days.
C.07 Yes. RPM provides out-call therapy service (includes travel fee) within a reasonable radius of the clinic. RPM also provides Chair Massage for Corporate Events or Private Parties. Both of these services require advance notice and may be booked online.
C.08 No. Most insurance companies are unwilling to reimburse LMT and only want to deal with us through "Affinity Discount Programs"; which usually are NOT profitable for therapists. One insurance company actually told me once that they will accept billing for massage; but only if billed by a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist. NEITHER of those practitioners perform massage.
However, insurance is accepted for Personal Injury and Workers Compensation cases; with a physican prescription and approval of an affiliated Case Manager.