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doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000324760.11805.4a
Departments: Resource Central
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Certified massage therapists complete a training program of 500 or more hours, take national board exams, and are licensed or registered in 29 states. To find a massage therapist in your area, contact: The American Massage Therapy Association (, 877-905-2700).

To find a massage therapist who specializes in the pain associated with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or neuropathy, consult your neurologist, primary care physician, or a physical therapist. Massage therapy should not replace your regular medical care or cause you to delay seeing a doctor about a medical problem. Ask the therapist for this information before scheduling an appointment:

* his or her training, experience, and licenses or credentials

* any specialized training or experience with your medical condition

* references from clients who have your same medical condition

* the number and cost of treatments needed

* insurance coverage, if any

Massage is generally not covered by insurance, but that is slowing changing as more insurance companies acknowledge its benefits. Massage is most likely to be covered as a treatment for a specific injury or condition, or when it is prescribed by a doctor. However, the number of treatments may be limited and may also depend on the licensure or credentials of the therapist. Note that some insurance companies which cover chiropractic treatment will reimburse for massage when treatment is provided and billed through a chiropractic clinic. Contact the following for more information on insurance: National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (; 630-627-8000); Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (; 800-458-2267).

Elizabeth Stump

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©2008 American Academy of Neurology