How does your therapy differ from other therapy practices?
Sari Lewis spends up to one full hour with patients at each visit, primarily providing hands-on techniques, including Craniosacral therapy and other gentle manual therapies. She initially performs a complete postural evaluation and continues to work with you to realign your body, release restrictions, stretch your fascia and restore balance to the fluids surrounding your brain and spinal cord. Sari can also work with you to establish or update an exercise program, as well as looking at all areas of daily activities to improve efficiency. She believes that we all have internal wisdom to heal, and facilitates this healing and improved quality of life through her sessions with you.
What is Craniosacral therapy?
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, non-invasive method of treatment that focuses on the rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid produced in the brain, and flowing around the head and spinal cord. Restrictions that inhibit the flow of this fluid can cause patients to feel poorly. By monitoring and encouraging the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid, the body is encouraged to heal. See the definitions page for more information.
How do patients get a referral to an OT?
How do they approach their doctor to get one and what does it need to say on the Rx in order to get insurance to cover care?
Patients can self-refer for Occupational Therapy, but may need a prescription for insurance coverage. This varies based on the insurance carrier. If a patient says that they have heard that Occupational Therapy services might be helpful in the management of symptoms and options to improve function in Activities of Daily Living (ADL's), most doctors would be open. Generally, the prescription can read: 'Occupational Therapy to Evaluate and Treat '. Some insurance companies require more specific information about frequency and duration of care. As a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist, I can use specialized techniques including craniosacral therapy, which are billable under the manual therapy and neuro-muscular re-education codes.
How does Insurance factor into care? Do most insurance companies cover OT? Do you know what insurance companies cover for the most part with OT? Does Medicare cover your services? *To find out the specifics of your insurance coverage, use the Insurance Verification Form at the top of the Forms page.
Most insurance companies cover Occupational Therapy, provided that it is medically necessary, and not at a maintenance level of care. I have found that reimbursement for OT is on par with PT services.
**Effective July 1, 2013, Sari will discontinue accepting patients who have Medicare as their primary insurance. She would be happy to discuss cash-pay options.
How many visits does the average FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome) patient require for achieving the goals of treatment (increasing functional activities, pain management, fatigue management, relaxation, patient education, encouraging coping skills)?
This varies greatly. For more traditional OT, instruction in joint protection, energy conservation, work simplification, body mechanics and home modifications, as well as helpful equipment, 1-3 visits would generally suffice.
Since Craniosacral Therapy is based on establishing a safe environment for healing, patients might feel comfortable at different rates. I recommend 6-12 visits to determine the overall effectiveness of the treatments. Frequent re-evaluations are helpful in creating realistic and achievable goals in therapy.
What do you feel should be the priority of objectives for your therapy patients?
I think that it's very important for each patient to set their goals and intentions with the therapist. I have found that my goals might differ greatly from what a patient wants to achieve. Pain management, stress reduction skills and patient education regarding joint protection, energy conservation, work simplification and body mechanics are generally high priorities that I've seen with most patients.
I have been to a chiropractor in the past. How is your treatment different?
Both chiropractors and craniosacral therapists generally have the same goals in mind when working with patients. Craniosacral therapists use gentle mobilization to the joints and tissues, whereas chiropractors generally perform manipulation to the spine. Mobilization is a slow, sustained movement to the fascia or joint performed to decrease pain and increase mobility of the joints, tissues and fluids. Mobilization is a more 'internal to external' treatment. Manipulation is typically a quick and forceful movement of a joint and is more 'external to internal'. Craniosacral therapy tends to be more gentle and less jarring than chiropractic work, but the two may be used in a complementary fashion. I recommend that patients do not initiate several types of therapies simultaneously, but support continuing therapies that have been helpful in the past. I generally recommend receiving only one type of therapy in a day to avoid stressing the nervous system.
What can I expect during and after the treatments?
During most treatments, you will be lying on your back fully clothed. Comfortable clothing is recommended for the sessions, and pillows and blankets are provided for your comfort. (Some people like to bring socks if their feet tend to get cold) Sari may place her hands under your head, spine or other tissues to cradle them, and allow improved fluid flow and tissue release. You may also roll to your sides for some releases. You may move around during the sessions, as your tissues release. Some patients feel an urge to laugh or cry as a release. The most important thing is that you feel safe and well-supported in your healing process. After sessions, you will want to drink extra water to encourage release of toxins. Some patients report feeling very relaxed, and some report feeling very energized. These are your sessions, and stating your intentions can help achieve your goals in healing.
What kinds of problems can Craniosacral therapy help?
Craniosacral therapy has been successful for treating headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, and generalized chronic pain, as well as injuries from repetitive motion, and sports activities. Craniosacral therapy is also calming to newborns and children and their caregivers.
How many treatment sessions will I need?
This will depend on the nature of your diagnosis and other factors, including the duration of your symptoms. A complete postural evaluation is performed at your first visit, along with your first treatment session. By the third visit, many patients will be able to determine whether the treatments are helping. Sari will re-evaluate your progress with you on a regular basis, and recommends 4-6 visits to determine the effectiveness of the therapy program.
What is your cash-pay program, and how does it differ from using insurance?
The cash-based program/Wellness program is designed to help you feel your best by helping you maintain good posture and by relieving every-day tension. Under the cash program, you receive a discount and agree that insurance may not be billed and no notes are written for doctors or other medical or legal individuals. You determine the interval between visits and establish goals for each treatment session with Sari.