PTC Blog

Let’s talk massage! Did you know that there are many different types of massage? Shiatsu is a form of massage, but not many people know what it is, why it’s beneficial and who is appropriate for it. Shiatsu is a combination of acupuncture and massage based on traditional Chinese medicine, with a 3000 year old history. Shiatsu means “finger pressure” -with the therapist using finger, thumb and palm pressure to acupoints to stimulate the body’s vital energy or “Qi” (pronouced chi). Shiatsu involves an assessment and questions about how you are sleeping, eating and eliminating. It is important to gain insight about what is happening inside your body prior
to a Shiatsu massage.

Unlike traditional massage, Shiatsu is performed through loose, comfortable clothing, which protects the skin while compression pressure is applied. A low table height is used to perform this massage while you are lying down. Other positions can be used if you are unable to lie down.

Although Shiatsu is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, pain is the most common use for this form of massage. It reaches underlying causes of pain, as well as addresses the symptoms. Shiatsu is unique in being able to affect emotional health as well as digestive and gynecololoical issues.

Shiatsu is calm and relaxing in nature, yet dynamic in effect. The body begins to readjust itself and healing begins to take place. Shiatsu may be more intense because it goes deeper into the body, deeper into tissues, and breathing becomes more physiological. This is helpful in connecting the mind and body through use of guided deep, slow breathing.

After a session of Shiatsu there is usually a feeling of being relaxed and energized. That feeling can last for couple of hours after a session. The overall effect of Shiatsu treatments helps to strengthen the immune system, tonify organs, and keep the “Qi” and blood flowing smoothly.

Physical Therapy Consultants now offers Shiatsu massage at our Ham Lake, Andover and St. Francis locations. Request an appointment online at: or call 1-888-THERAPY to schedule an appointment.

Exclusive to this blog: Receive $20 off your next 60 minute massage. To redeem this offer, print the blog or show this article at the time of your appointment. Code: Save20BLOG. Offer not valid in conjunction with any other offers. Expires October 31st, 2018.

Jackie Geise, LPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

September 26th, 2018

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There are so many options available in the healthcare field to help you find relief and decrease pain. It can be overwhelming to filter through all the information to determine what is going to be the most effective for you. Today we are going to answer commonly asked questions about medical massage.

What is medical massage? Medical massage is a type of massage that focuses on a specific area of the body that is causing you pain or discomfort. You will complete a brief screening with a physical therapist before getting your massage. The screening consists of a brief medical history, assessment of your range of motion, and may include special tests to determine the cause of your pain. These screenings help your massage therapist know which areas to focus on to help decrease your pain and improve any limitations you may have.

Will I need a screening at every massage appointment? No. If you are being seen for the same area of the body, you will not need another screening after your initial visit. The physical therapist will be available to address any concerns you may have along the way.

Is medical massage covered by insurance? Yes….uhhh No… well, sometimes! It is probably not the straight forward answer you are looking for but it is the honest answer. Medical massage may be covered by your insurance, but it is always best to check with your insurance provider to determine what coverage is available for your plan.

Can I do medical massage and physical therapy? Yes, many times medical massage and physical therapy are recommended to be done together. They are not always recommended together but results are being seen faster when both are being used to decrease pain.

Why does medical massage and physical therapy give you faster results? We are seeing quicker results when the two techniques are completed together because the massage helps to decrease the muscle tightness and get rid of pesky knots while physical therapy is strengthening the right muscles in order to fix the cause of the problem. Often times physical therapy treatments are a great partner with medical massage because of the amount of time the massage therapist can spend hands on with you, followed by the expertise the physical therapy team has to keep you feeling better.


Do I need a doctor’s referral for medical massage? The only time you would need a doctor’s referral for a medical massage is when insurance requires a referral for coverage. Again, it is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage for medical massage.

If you are unsure if medical massage if right for you, talk to a physical therapist. You can also use the free consultation feature available on our website to learn more about this service and its benefits. Visit to request a free consultation and a member of our care team will call you to answer any questions you may have.

Now that we have answered a few common questions related to medical massage, we want to hear from you! Post your comments or more questions below!

Jackie Giese, LPTA
Community Outreach Coordinator
Physical Therapy Consultants

January 25th, 2018

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