FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
We realize that you may have questions about aspects of our practice. We’ve taken some of the more commonly asked questions and listed them here. If you don’t see your question listed, please feel free to call our office. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.
Can I use my insurance for sessions at your office?
We do not process insurance claims at this time. If you have out-of-network benefits, you may be able to send in your claims for physical therapy and psychotherapy. It is very important that you check your specific plan before the first visit if you are sending claims to insurance company. Some plans require authorization before you can be seen or at the first visit. Please be aware of out-of-network deductibles. We will assist you where and when we can.
For physical therapy patients, please note the following guidelines in order to use your insurance to cover sessions: a physician will need to sign a script after 30 days; a physical therapy diagnosis is mandatory; you cannot submit out-of network claims to Medicare. Additionally, your plan may set limits on number of visits or length of time for treatment. Please check the inclusions and exclusions of your plan.
For mental health counseling, a diagnosis code is necessary for you to submit a claim to the insurance company. If this is a concern for you, please discuss this with us.
Do all treatment sessions use a combined-therapy approach? How do you know which one to use?
Many of the treatment sessions here have elements of combined therapies based on the unique presentation of the patient/client. Through extensive experience, we can identify the effects of both physical and emotional strain patterns. We know the benefit of addressing both. Through a combined-therapy approach, we have witnessed amazing change and growth. That said, some patients are strictly physical therapy while others are only psychotherapy. Not all patients/clients are appropriate for a combined therapeutic approach for many reasons.
So, how do I know which therapy to use and when? From the moment I make contact with you, I am paying attention to posture, movement, tension, eye contact, breath, speech, nervous system energy and functional activity. Additionally, physical and emotional strain patterns have different structural integrity; thus, when I put my hands on you, I have a wealth of information, literally, at my fingertips. All of this information contributes to your unique treatment plan and therapeutic approach. In most sessions, the interplay of therapies happens very organically and seamlessly; in other sessions, the change from one approach to another is clearly defined and dependent on the targeted issue. Since I always work in collaboration with you, you will be part of the process.
I only want Physical Therapy and not counseling. Can I do that?
The short answer is “yes” you can have only PT. However, there is a big “BUT” that follows. You may get better; you may not get better. I’ll try to explain. Usually, most people seek PT when the threshold of pain or other symptoms hits a certain level. Considering that most issues develop gradually over time, the present day symptoms are cumulative. In other words, your pain may be connected to something that happened years ago. There may be many layers of strain patterns or restrictions that keep the internal environment just perfect for your symptoms. Let’s say, for example, that your symptoms are connected to “strain pattern A”. This pattern is recent and fairly simple in that it is not connected to any past restrictions. That’s pretty straightforward. You come in, we do some PT, you feel better and you leave. The likelihood of reoccurrence is pretty low.
Now, lets say that strain pattern A has roots from a long time ago and is very connected to emotion or beliefs about self. Perhaps, there is an unresolved trauma hardwired in the nervous system or lodged in the body. To keep it simple, Strain pattern A is stuck under “strain pattern B”, “strain pattern C” and “strain pattern D”. This latter pattern is mostly physical in nature. You come in for PT and we begin to treat strain pattern D. You feel better for a little bit. As we keep working and the physical structures of the body release, Strain patterns B and C emerge as strong indicators of issues. I cannot get to strain pattern A, the one that is mostly connected to your pain, without going through B and C. That is not my rule; it’s the organization of your body. Most of the time we can address these strain patterns organically and seamlessly. It will feel like a vital and natural part to healing.
Sometimes the emotional, traumatic, or belief-based strain patterns must be addressed more intensely. We, in collaboration, agree to move in a counseling direction. If you decided that you do not want counseling, I will let you know when we have reached maximum physical benefit based on the organization of your body. At that point, you can decide to stop PT or continue with at another PT practice.
I bring a wealth of experience into my sessions with you. I hold the entangled connection of body, mind and emotion sacred and integral to maximum health. I can’t isolate one dimension from another if all three are clearly indicated. My goal is too assist you in attaining your highest quality of life.
What is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy?
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) was developed by Pat Ogden, PhD and is strongly rooted in Hakomi therapy. SP uses the wisdom of the body in the present moment as a way of assessing and processing trauma (via nervous system) and attachment/ life developmental issues (coupled with emotion and cognition).
Our bodies hold so much of what we have experienced and the way we think and feel about ourselves. Some of the information we derive from the body includes posture, movement, patterns of tension, eye contact, breath, voice quality and speed, nervous system arousal and many involuntary movements (shaking, trembling, twitching for example). A SP therapist uses this information to encourage new actions and “missed experiences.”
I have been specializing in SP for 2 1/2 years and have completed the Level II training. Many clients I see have been in therapy on/off for most of their lives. SP offers them a different opportunity. They are able to process and integrate in a way they never knew possible. There is more fluidity and expansiveness in the quality of their lives. It really can be an amazing approach for many people.
For more information, please visit www.sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org
What is craniosacral therapy?
CST is a very light form of bodywork that addresses restrictions in our tissues all over our bodies so that our bodies may function in a healthier manner. There is the direct, the indirect and the body-generated emotional release work in CST.
The direct technique addresses the anatomical structure of the craniosacral system. This is a membranous, fluid-filled system surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It attaches at the sacrum, the upper cervical spine and to many bones of the head. It also houses the anterior pituitary gland, one of the main glands of the endocrine system, within the sphenoid bone. This is one of the most pivotal bones in CST. And, the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord also covers the initial segments of all spinal nerves. With these anatomical certainties, CST can affect the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system and the endocrine system.
Next, the indirect technique involves working anywhere else in the body. Our bodies are connected in many ways such as with muscles, nerves and connective tissue. One of the most abundant connective tissues is fascia. It is like a large piece of saran wrap wrapping us from head to toe. Everything eventually connects back into the craniosacral system. Because of these connections, a pain in one place may be caused by a restriction somewhere else in the body.
Lastly, there is the emotional process and how our emotions, especially the negative ones, may physically manifest within us. Within the tissues of our bodies, we remember and feel. As tissues are released, emotional issues may surface. These emotionally charged areas might be contributing to your pain.
How can craniosacral therapy help me?
Let me give you an example. You take your car in to get brand new tires and a front-end alignment. This alignment will maximize the life and function of your tires. Shortly after you leave, you drive over a little bump. You don’t really notice it; however, there is a slight change to your car, the alignment, the tires, the way the brakes function etc. This continues over time and each bump the car goes over keeps changing the car and taking it further away from normal. You, as the driver, don’t really notice any change. The car appears to be running just fine, but is not. The car has to keep overcoming the little “mimicro-traumas In time, the brand new tires are not wearing as well and one has to be replaced well before the expected mileage. The brake shoes have worn unevenly. The steering is slightly more difficult and less responsive. You are beginning to feel the difference in the car and don’t understand how this could be happening. After all, you just had it repaired not too long ago.
This is what happens to our bodies. There is an ideal way our bodies are structured to perform that allows for ideal function. As we live our lives, we go over our own “bumps” that gently nudge our bodies away from normal. The result over time can be headaches, digestive problems, pain, posture problems, vertigo, etc. Sometimes these bumps are major like an accident or a fall; sometimes, it just little things like habitual posture, lifting incorrectly, wearing bad shoes etc.
CST helps undo the “bumps” that have pulled you away from normal. It gently removes restrictions in all the body structures so that the body can return to a balanced place and ideal function.
How many sessions will I need for my problem?
There is not an exact answer and we will continually assess what is best for you. The number of sessions varies from patient to patient and is determined by your individual contributing factors. Usually, most patients start at once or twice per week. Patients that are coming post-surgery usually will have PT three times per week for 2-3 weeks.
There are three major factors that affect the length of treatment. First, the length of time between onset of dysfunction and intervention may determine the extent of compensatory mechanisms or layers of reorganization that may develop. The sooner the intervention, the quicker is the resolution. Conversely, the later the intervention, the longer and more complicated the resolution. This longer time allows for greater possibilities of extensive layering and the development of secondary, tertiary, or further problems.
Another factor to consider is whether the symptoms you are having point to a primary problem or a secondary problem. If the problem is primary in nature, resolution will normally be quicker than if it is a secondary problem.
The third factor to consider is if there is an emotional issue contributing to the physical dysfunction. This emotional issue may be the cause of the physical pain or the response to the physical pain.
I think it is important to mention that most people stop treatment before it is recommended. This concerns me because I don’t just want you to get better now; I want you to stay better for a long time. The reason for stopping therapy is the use of “pain” as a qualitative marker. Most people are motivated to begin therapy when they have pain that interferes with quality of life. Most people stop therapy when then that specific pain is relieved. However, the root origin of the pain may be complex and still affecting structural organization more deeply and far way from the symptom of pain. By continuing therapy, we reduce these restrictions and increase the threshold before a reoccurrence of the old pain or the onset of a new issue.
I didn’t feel much, why not?
I’ll tell you one of my favorite stories about a patient who had radiculopathy into his right leg for 1 ½ years. It was worse when driving. He went to everybody before ending up on my treatment table. He had three sessions before he was to drive to South Carolina for vacation. Though I could feel all different restrictions and releases, he couldn’t feel anything. He would joke with me about my not really doing anything. After driving from Connecticut to South Carolina, he called ecstatic because his leg remained pain free after all that driving. He couldn’t believe it. “All that nothing you do really works” he screamed with joy.
The reality is some patients feel nothing when receiving this work and others are very sensitive to the subtlest releases. There are many reasons for this; experience with bodywork, protectiveness from physical or emotional pain, and the releases that occur may be below the sensitivity threshold for you. Though you may not be able to feel anything yet, I am feeling plenty and change is occurring. In time with an increase in body awareness and a change in symptoms, you, too, will be able to feel all that is happening to you.
How come I feel pain when I didn’t feel it at the beginning of the session?
There are a couple reasons why this may happen. One reason is that the location of symptoms and the origin of the problem are not often the same place. There are many examples of restrictions in one place causing symptoms in other areas. Usually it is based on restrictive patterns and where it originates. Another reason for “new “pain is that deeper restrictive patterns are revealed and may cause symptoms. As restrictions in superficial layers are released, deeper unresolved restrictions become exposed. Thus, they may be responsible for new pain you feel.
What can I expect if I bring my child in for treatment? Can they be too young?
Infants can be treated immediately following birth. In fact, they can benefit in utero when Mom is being treated. I think the sooner infants are treated the better because they can start developing ideally. Treatment session length and approach will very from child to child depending on what the child can effectively handle. I may treat the child while she is sitting and looking at a book instead of lying on the table. With toddlers, treatment may be on the “run”. We often, seamlessly, bring play into the treatment session. Treatment sessions may be adjusted shorter or longer depending on how the child is responding on a particular day. I find the first session to be an introduction of sorts. The child is often fidgety and there may be frequent complaints of boredom from the older children. Usually on the second session and subsequent sessions, the children fall asleep within the first 5 minutes and remain asleep throughout the session. It is amazing how the body beckons the work and responds. The sleeping child allows the work. It is remarkable.
An important piece when treating children is the communication and interaction with you, the parents. You are often part of the treatment session especially with the very young. You can be helpful in keeping the child “entertained” during treatment. There are times when the mother may nurse during treatment, Mom or Dad may hold the baby/child or you may tell the birthing story during treatment.
Sometimes there are mood changes during the session or later at home. Often times these changes are related to physical or emotional releases and it is very normal. Please let us know if you have specific concerns.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
Massage therapy at IPT &C is an integral part of my overall physical health. Lisa understands the total process.
– Peter C.
DJ will be dedicated to you. I am 64 years old and DJ has helped me find the freedom to be the me I always knew was there, but unable to reach.
– Lynn S.
Lisa is the best massage therapist I’ve had.
– Gerry M.
Two surgeons told me I needed surgery on my arm. DJ did a wonderful job and the shoulder is fine. No operation!
Integrated Physical Therapy has allowed my quality of life to remain at a high level. DJ’s system is unique to any other PT that I have experienced.
Simply, a healer.
The office of IPT & C is always a welcoming, friendly place. I feel like my therapy begins as soon as I open the door. There is a calm, peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Beth and Lisa are two of the nicest people you could hope to meet.
Integrated Physical Therapy has been treating my whole family for years. DJ is masterful at identifying and healing body aches/sprains using hands-on, direct contact that is gentle, relaxing and effective. She genuinely cares for her clients, listens attentively, and offers suggestions for at-home exercises or interventions that support her work. The entire office staff provides a warm, comfortable and helpful atmosphere. I am personally blessed to have IPT keep my family healthy and active.