In a typical treatment your therapist will probably find and treat areas having tight or 'ropey' bands of muscle which have developed trigger points, most commonly called 'knots'. These points effectively shorten the muscle, pulling on adjacent structures, sometimes putting pressure on nerves and often referring pain to other regions of the body. Ideally muscles would not have trigger points but they are present in the tissue about 99 percent of people, even children. It can be uncomfortable or painful while pressure is concentrated on these points, but a majority of clients describe it as a 'good' pain. Here is where it is most important to have good communication with your therapist. If you are experiencing more pain than you can handle, you should most definitely tell your therapist. Please do not be shy about speaking up, we do not judge you and you will not hurt our feelings by guiding the treatment to suit your needs.
As you can imagine, the answer varies greatly. The short answer is that it is always up to you. Some other therapies have more rigid treatment plans and schedules, but here you are most definitely the boss. Generally we have a quick check in at the beginning or end of treatments to see how you're experiencing the progress of your treatment. To give you an idea, a typical situation for an acute injury/dysfunction/muscle spasm would usually require 2-4 treatments close together, either 1 x/wk or 2x/wk (less common) and then, depending on your rate of recovery, taper to once or twice / month until you feel you no longer need treatment. Most people feel they benefit from a maintenance treatment about once a month.
Although there are a handful of large insurance companies, the details of plan coverage differ from one employer to another, depending on the package they choose for their employees. Two people might be covered by the same insurer but the amount allocated to different health care professionals may be different. You can find out the details of your plan from your Human Resources department. A few insurers request a doctor's referral, you should also inquire if your plan requires this.
If you are in a motor vehicle accident and you tell your ICBC adjustor that you would like to receive treatment from an RMT. In most cases they will allow 12 treatments in the 8 weeks following the date of your accident. However, they only cover $23.- of the treatment fee. You also need a referral from your doctor.
Some therapists are able to bill the $23.- portion to ICBC directly, and you pay the remaining amount of the treatment fee. Other therapists do not bill directly and are paid the full treatment fee up front and you submit your receipts to your adjustor who reimburses you the $23. per treatment.
Stephanie Wilcott is able to bill ICBC directly. Please indicate your preference on your initial visit.
The therapists are independent contractors and decide whether or not to direct bill. Blue Cross is much easier to bill than other insurers, so some direct bill only Blue Cross. Their website and system tells us straight away how much a client is covered for, where as other insurers do not and we don't know how much to charge a client for the difference. We hope all insurers will move toward the type of system Blue Cross has, but for now therapists choose which insurers they are willing to bill directly.
We do not. WCB is very difficult to deal with and insists on only direct billing but agrees only to pay just over half of the normal treatment fee. It is quite difficult to find RMT's that will accept WCB Claims. We wish it weren't this way, but WCB won't budge on their fee schedule.
MSP coverage is limited to those on 'premium assistance', or individuals earning less than $28,000 per year. Coverage is also limited to $23.- per treatment and covers only 10 treatments per year. All therapists except for Stephanie Wilcott are paid up front and will submit your treatment claim to MSP and the cheque will be mailed to you by MSP. Stephanie is the only therapist who bills MSP directly. Please inform us if you are on premium assistance before your initial treatment.