Frequently Asked Questions
Have more questions? Ask away! We’re always willing to answer any questions you might have.
Where are you located?
Address: 9160 Rumsey Rd, Suite B4 Columbia, MD 21045
Note: We are inside the Coreworks Fitness Studio. Have a seat in their lobby and we will be with you soon.
What do I need to bring to my first appointment? What do I wear?
What will I be doing when I’m there? Exercises? That stretch band thingy?
Exercise is important, but we aren’t an exercise-based practice. Our specialty is in Osteopathic Manual Therapy. We don’t have gym equipment, and ice/heat/electrical stimulation/ultrasound aren’t tools we rely on. Occasionally, when appropriate we will instruct in exercises, but the idea is that you can do those outside of the session.
What is the osteopathic approach?
The osteopathic approach is a treatment philosophy that essentially believes that everything in the body is connected, and that the body has a powerful potential to heal from within if the appropriate areas of restriction are mobilized. Another key concept is that better movement of the tissues in the body means better physiological health of those tissues- whether it’s a joint, a nerve, a blood vessel, or even an organ. The belief is that by normalizing and balancing tissue tensions, there are positive effects one’s discomfort, energy, and overall well-being.
There might be suspicions of key restricted areas in the body based on the person’s pain, history, or quality of movement, but in Osteopathic Manual Therapy, the body tells the practitioner where to work. It’s about palpating the tissues of the body to find the most significant areas of restriction, and directing the attention there, even if it seems unrelated at the time. One could say that it’s trusting the inner wisdom of the body to tell us what it needs- and it very often reveals the hidden root of the problem. Again, it’s all connected!
Do you take insurance?
We are an out-of-network provider and do not accept payment from insurance. However, if you have “out of network benefits” with your insurance, you can get reimbursed. We are happy to provide you a receipt of our services to submit to your insurance company, and have a good list of questions to ask when you call them. We do take HSA cards.
We are happy to work alongside other practitioners in your journey, including in-network physical therapists. Our specialty is in manual therapy and bodywork, and working with other practitioners who bring different strengths to the table is great. We value that collaboration.
What is manual therapy?
Manual therapy is the hands-on treatment of the body, by a skilled practitioner. It is more than a simple massage or stretch; the focus is on finding and releasing very specific and subtle tensions in the body to promote better function, balance, and mobility. All tissues are fair game: fascia, nerves, and even the organs in our abdominal cavity. This helps us feel better on a physical and physiological level, but also mentally and emotionally. It can be a truly holistic intervention for the body, mind, and spirit.
Types of manual therapy include:
Muscle Energy Technique
Myofascial Release Technique
What is Myofascial release?
Myofascial release technique is a way to loosen muscles and fascia (which is everywhere in the body and gets tight especially in chronic conditions). It is more than just a stretch, or a massage. It requires good palpation skills of the practitioner to discern the direction of greatest tightness in the tissues, and the depth of the tightness (deep or superficial). There are passive and active ways to perform myofascial release which are both very useful depending on the situation.
What is Craniosacral technique?
Craniosacral technique is a branch of the osteopathic approach that deals with tensions and compressions in the head (the cranium) and the sacrum at the bottom of the spine. Since these are the two physical ends of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), craniosacral technique can be thought of as a treatment technique for a sensitive or aggravated nervous system. It is a technique that can be applied to the entire body. Craniosacral treatment is gentle and done with an extremely light touch, and can help with headaches/migraines, aches and pains, and mental/emotional well-being, among many other things
What is indirect technique?
Indirect technique is a unique way of loosening tissues. It takes various forms, and goes by various names, but the premise is the opposite of conventional approaches to muscle and fascia tightness. Instead of trying to force a muscle or a joint to move a certain way, the practitioner lets the tight joint, muscle, or fascia do what it wants to do. So, for example, if a specific spinal segment doesn’t like to rotate backward and to the left, the practitioner will move the spine so that the segment is instead bent more forward and to the right. After holding in this position for a minute or so, the tight muscles at that spinal segment will typically “release”, and after this point, that segment has more flexibility. It will then be more able to bend backward and to the left. We regain lost motion just by giving the body what it wants! This is an excellent technique for very painful body areas because it doesn’t challenge the sensitive tissues and still can restore the needed movement.
What is Visceral Manipulation?
Visceral manipulation is the releasing of fascial restrictions surrounding the organs of the body. Organs such as the liver, intestines, and stomach are common structures that can lose their freedom to move within our bodies, and be an important component to other problems in the body- from digestive issues, to joint pains, headaches, or mental/emotional issues. Due to the fact that our visceral structures (organs) are centrally located in our bodies, and central to our survival, restrictions here can play a powerful role in many health conditions. Scar tissue from old surgeries, emotional trauma, or chemical sensitivities are examples of disturbances that can end up as physical, visceral restrictions. Once they are released, the body’s innate ability to recover and heal is facilitated. This can help with digestion, reflux/ hiatal hernias, constipation, and breathing, to name just a few. The possibilities are endless. Visceral work is often a key missing piece in chronic musculoskeletal pains as well.
What is Muscle Energy?
Muscle Energy is a method of joint mobilization that is gentle and very specific. It often involves the practitioner moving a tight joint or muscle to its limit (gently and without pain), and the patient performing small muscle contractions to help facilitate a release of the restriction. Different from manipulations or adjustments, there is no quick thrust. It is an excellent treatment tool for working on specific vertebrae in the spine.
Do I need a Doctor’s Prescription/Referral to be Seen?
No. Maryland is a Direct Access state, which means that this is not necessary to be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist. However, if your insurance company requires a prescription and you intend to seek reimbursement, you will need one. If you have been given a prescription, we ask that you make us a copy so that we are on the same page as your doctor.
Will I see the same therapist for all of my sessions?
Yes. We believe that continuity of care is a very important part of successful treatment.