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Poll Results for the following Question:

How many patients do you refer to outside health care professionals (i.e., chiropractors, acupuncturists, medical doctors, osteopaths, etc.) each month?


Fewer than 5
Between 5 and 10
Between 11 and 20
More than 20

Total Respondents: 231


Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.

Fewer than 5 

More than 20 I am a massage therapist and I really believe in the whole holistic healing. I am going back to school to get my medical degree in natural medicine. My father has many problems with his back and knees, by him getting massages from me twice a month it has greatly reduced his pain and disabilities. Just thought I would share this little bit of info.

Fewer than 5 I never formally refered anyone, I would not know who to send them to? I have verbally recommended a client to see a medical professional. Also, I have I have refused to see someone till they do see a professional about their condition.

Between 5 and 10 I focus on the wellness of my clients. When bones are out,
or issues clients are dealing with are present in their
meridians, or if they have moles that have changed or their
adrenal glands are cold and they feel exhausted, I refer to
outside healthcare professionals. I don't do it for
recriprication, but for the health of my clients. If they stay
healthy, then I have done my job.

Fewer than 5 hi mom

Between 5 and 10 I'll at least mention chiropractic benefits to all my clients, and officially "refer" 1/2 my clients

Between 5 and 10 Any time I'm not getting the desired results I'd like,I never hesitate to refer my clients to a medical Doctor or Chiropractor or acupuncurist. Even though it may mean never seeing them again at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I did what was best for them, by refering them to someone who might better help them. Isn't that what it's all about? Doing the best we can for our clients.
Shannon Skidmore RMT,NCTMB

Between 5 and 10 I always ask my clients if they are using other therapies or seeing their physician or chiropractor (including how often). I listen to their symptoms and I also listen to the body's description as I work. Sometimes my clients will ask about different therapies (ex.: acupuncture) because they are interested. Other times, I will suggest certain therapies to add in conjunction to their massage (like reflexology, etc.).

If I do have a client who needs more than the general swedish technique I use, I always refer them out. I just had to do this for a client with chronic tightness in the hamstrings (old football injuries). I've worked with this client for 2 years and I've seen very little change in softening & flexibility with these muscle groups, though he does feel very relaxed and sleeps better after each visit. I've suggested he visit his chiropractor and seek out a therapist who specializes in NMT or go back for physical therapy. He is always welcome back to my office for reflexology and general massage for pain relief & relaxation.

Have a great day!

Fewer than 5 I massage as a part-time profession. My average number of clients per week is 6 and they are predominently regular customers. I refer clients whenever it is appropriate to refer.

Fewer than 5 I don't refer my chronic-pain clients to outside health care professionals because they have already been to them, sometimes for years, and they are still living in pain. Deep tissue, therapeutic bodywork is what gets rid of my clients' pain. It is the most holistic, non-invasive and often permanent form of pain relief for my clients.

I have learned a lot from my clients about the medical profession and their invasive and ineffective results in dealing with chronic pain. Medication, injections and surgery are what they have to offer chronic-pain sufferers.

Here's a typical story from one of my clients of how the medical establishment doesn't know what to do with chronic pain: A 32-year-old, trim, mother of two small children had lived with her chronic low back pain for over four years. Because her husband had good medical insurance, she had been to four physicians, two chiropractors, and four physical therapists in four years, and yet she was still living in so much pain that some nights she slept no more than three hours.

She was eventually referred to an orthopedic surgeon who referred her to a pain management clinic. After much testing and talking, the clinic said to come back the next week and they would insert a catheter into her lower back, and in the course of three months would try various doses and mixtures of narcotic, cortisone and anesthetic until they got the dosages just right for her to live pain free. Then she would have to come back periodically to be reinjected. And, oh by the way, she would be required to sign a form stating they would not be held liable is she were to become addicted to the narcotic.

She went home and called her mother who instructed her to not have this procedure done, and to find a massage therapist instead. I am happy that she found me, and after one deep tissue, therapeutic bodywork session, she reported the following week that her low back pain of four years was "all gone." She returned weekly for two months, and now I see her once a month or so.

My client's life is now changed. She came in looking like a whipped puppy, feeling helpless and hopeless, and is now a happy, pain-free wife and mother who can once again enjoy life.

So, why don't I refer out to the medical profession? Because I've heard too many stories like the one above.

The majority of pain is muscular. Studies have shown that from 75% to 80% of people in pain management clinics have muscular pain. Massage therapists work on muscles. So it makes perfect sense that we are the profession to help the millions of people in our country who are experiencing chronic pain of a muscular origin.

Marsha Jean, MA, MTI, RMT

More than 20 The isolation of a physical or mental condition to one form of therapy is detrimental to both the practitioner and patient/client. I believe the key to wellness is balance and variety; every human is different and will respond differently to every therapy (even to individual sessions of the same form of therapy), and need a well-balanced schedule toward total healing.

Between 5 and 10 I find that my fingers can actually "see" a bone out of place, and even when I work the muscles around the bone, the bone may only shift slightly back into its original place. I know from personal experience that a bone even slightly out of place can cause enough discomfort that I cannot sleep correctly. So I NEVER hesitate to ask my client if they already have a chiropractor. If they do not, I suggest they find one. If they ask me, I refer them to mine. Recently I was lucky enough to begin working with a Chiropractor, and have found it to be a WONDERFUL resource in my massage practice! Not only do I stay in tune with my anatomy, I can see the collective results in helping people heal themselves. I can only wish that other Massage Therapists can find Chiropractors as willing to work with alternative therapy as mine is. What a better way to heal people than by being able to help their OWN bodies heal them!

 There are so many complementary therapys that can help expidite my patients recovery time that I refer almost all of my patients to another modality. This works so well in conjunction with my therapy and it builds a trust between me and my patients. The number one would be naturopathic therapy. If you havent tried it youre in for a wonderful shock at all the issues it can help with!!

Between 5 and 10 Myself I will refer every patient with spinal misalignments to a Chiropractor I can trust. People who present to my office that may be better of wtih another Therapist I will refer out. I of course send people to their medical doctor frequently. I would like to be able to do it all myself but I can't.
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