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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What exactly is "Bodywork"?

The term Bodywork—which includes Massage Therapy—refers to therapies which are employed to benefit the structure and function of the human body.

This very large family (hundreds) of approaches includes touch therapies—ranging from barely palpable to very deep, movement therapies—to help improve posture and function, and "energetic" therapies—aimed to balance various vital energies in and around the body. Many bodyworkers use a combination of these methods.

2. How does Equilibrium Bodywork differ from other types?

Tom Jacobson uses a unique combination of deep, precise, and gentle soft-tissue techniques he has developed during 25+ years of clinical practice. Patients have reported that his work feels like a blend of Shiatsu and Structural Integration and indeed this work has strong influences from both of these approaches. Tom's refined touch results in bodywork which feels comfortable and soothing while also penetrating to deep connective tissue structures (fascia) safely and effectively. A common misunderstanding exists that bodywork must be either relaxing or deep, but in skilled hands one discovers that deep and relaxing work can be a regular experience with bodywork. When good hands are combined with Tom's attentiveness, nurturing and problem-solving skills, every encounter has more potential to be healing...and to feel great.

3. What do these credentials mean?

"L.M.T." means "Licensed Massage Therapist." The Commonwealth of Massachusetts administers Massage licensing through its Board of Registration of Massage Therapy, and all MA-licensed practitioners (and establishments) can be researched through their government website.

"B.C.T.M.B.", means Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and is a credential bodyworkers may hold by meeting certain eligibility criteria, taking and passing an examination, upholding a national Code of Ethics, and Standards of Practice, and demonstrating continued education in the field. Tom has this credential.

When you see "AMTA" or "ABMP" these initials indicate membership in a professional association (there are several). Tom belongs to ABMP: Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.

4. What can I expect during my appointment?

Concern for your comfort, care, and safety will be uppermost at all times.

A typical initial session begins with you filling out a confidential health questionnaire. Then, with your informed consent, you and Tom will discuss the reason for your visit, and how the session will proceed. You will be left alone while you undress and get comfortable on the massage table, and cover yourself with the clean sheet provided. You are encouraged to communicate your needs at all times.

5. Must I disrobe?

You decide what to wear. Tom's bodywork typically does not involve the application of oil or lotion, and can be effective through thin clothing. Your body will be draped with a sheet throughout the session, and only the area being worked with will be exposed.

6. Will my health insurance cover Equilibrium Bodywork sessions?

Generally, no. In the future, bodywork may become a covered expense, as data continue to accumulate from the sorts of scientific research—randomized clinical trials, etc—required by the health insurance industry. As part of a competitive industry, insurance plans will also change as they continue to hear from the insured—that's you—that patients demand to have bodywork as a covered expense. Many patients claim bodywork as a deductable health care expense on their taxes.

7. My health plan says it provides some access to bodywork. What is that about?

Some plans are beginning to include bodywork, but, NOT as a covered expense. You still pay out of pocket, usually many times more than your co-payment. The insurance company pays nothing to the professional; they merely find and list those bodyworkers who have agreed to see members of the plan for a reduced fee. Such networks have tended to attract less-experienced bodyworkers.

8. Should my physician know that I am getting or considering bodywork?

Yes, certainly. It is always recommended that you consult with and/or inform your physician when working with a bodyworker or other health professional.

9. Is the Equilibrium Bodywork office wheelchair accessible?

Yes, and there is parking directly in front, for those with the appropriate placard or license plate.

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