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 Bodywork & Somatic Therapies: Scientific Support for Massage and Bodywork 

Evaluating Personal Results

The subjective experience of the client is generally the most important way of evaluating personal results. However, sometimes the change process naturally causes temporary discomfort, which needs to be accepted, so that expectations of feeling good may not always be appropriate.

Practitioners of the various methods can often also give the client feedback based on what they feel through their hands and what they see with their eyes.

Some modalities, particularly those of structural/functional/movement integration, use visual feedback in the form of having clients look at themselves in mirrors or even taking "before and after" photographs. The photographic record is particularly common in Rolfing and Hellerwork as a way of following progress over time.

Some of the movement integration therapies also use videotape to help observe changes in function, posture, and range of motion.

Relationship to Other Forms of Medicine

These modalities tend to be highly complementary to all other medical traditions. They can enhance the effectiveness of other forms of treatment by inducing relaxation, promoting circulation, and their other common benefits. They can also help patients tolerate more invasive approaches and handle the side effects of other treatments.


Costs tend to be higher in urban areas. Generally, the cost of massage therapy will range from $30 to $60 for an hour and will be somewhat lower in less urban environments. Cost of other more specialized modalities may be higher. Rolfing, for example, averages around $75 to $80 for a ninety-minute session and is ordinarily done in a series of ten sessions spaced at least a week apart.

Other modalities tend to fall within these ranges. Most insurance companies do not cover massage and bodywork, although such coverage is much more likely if it is prescribed by a physician. Massage therapy is more likely to be covered than the other methods, although a physician's prescription and the licenser of the practitioner may help increase the chances.

Published by arrangement with Warner Books, Inc., New York, New York, U.S.A. All rights reserved.

Nothing in this book should be considered as medical advice for dealing with a given problem. You should consult your health care professional for individual guidance with specific medical problems.

(Excerpted from The American Holistic Health Associations Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine ISBN: 0446518174)
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 About The Author
William Collinge MPH, PhDWilliam Collinge, PhD, MPH is a consultant, author, speaker and researcher in the field of integrative health care. He has served as a scientific review panelist for the National Institutes of Health in mind/body......more
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