Category Archives: Community Outreach

Good communication assists both the Massage Therapist and Client!

Massage Therapist and client communication is optimum!

In any field , communication is key between customer and business.  Massage therapy is no different.  Last night I found this great article on the AMTA website of the importance between Massage Therapist and Client that I would like to share with you!

According to a recent consumer survey by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®), massage therapy is on the rise as a method of improving personal health. As interaction increases among massage therapists and their clients, both can benefit from tips on what to expect from their professional health relationship.

These tips, released in conjunction with National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, October 24 – October 30, 2010, cover issues of respect and privacy between the massage therapist and client, and promote dialogue to help select the best massage technique based on the client’s current health conditions.

“These are important tips as massage therapy use continues to rise, especially with people who see a massage therapist for health benefits and stress relief,” says Kathleen Miller-Read, AMTA president.

In fact, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles recently reported findings demonstrating that people who received a Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can ultimately lead to a boost in the immune system.

Understanding what to expect in a massage session will aid consumers having their first massage, and guide those who get frequent massages but may be changing therapists or searching for a professional therapist while traveling on business or vacation.

“Whether you are scheduling your first massage, or engaging a new therapist, these guidelines are beneficial to both parties and will help facilitate a positive, relaxing experience that ultimately benefits a person’s overall health,” says Miller-Read.

Massage clients should expect a clean, safe and comfortable environment before, during and after the massage, and should expect a licensed/registered/certified professional massage therapist, working within their scope of practice and in an ethical manner. In turn, massage therapists should expect their clients to be courteous and respectful of them as healthcare professionals.

The American Massage Therapy Association offers the following expectations for the massage recipient and the massage therapist:

What Should Someone Expect from their Massage & Massage Therapist?

  • A clean, safe and comfortable environment before, during and after the massage
  • Respect, courtesy, confidentiality and dignity
  • Privacy while changing and right to remove clothing only to their level of comfort for the massage
  • Draped appropriately by a sheet, towel or blanket, with only the area being massaged exposed
  • A licensed/registered/certified professional massage therapist, working within their scope of practice and in an ethical manner
  • Option to ask questions of the massage therapist and receive professional responses
  • Determine if there will be conversation, music or quiet during the massage
  • An explanation of the nature of the massage and techniques to be used in advance of starting the massage
  • The right to consent to the massage techniques and approaches, including manual pressure, used in the massage

What Should a Massage Therapist Expect from their Client?

  • Respect, courtesy and dignity
  • Treated as a healthcare professional
  • Timely arrival at massage therapy appointment
  • Complete and accurate disclosure of health/medical conditions during intake process
  • Communication of expectations of and concerns about the massage
  • Payment at time of service
  • Reasonable notice (usually 24 hours) in cancelling a massage appointment

While it is true that that you should keep a constant, good flow of communication between you and your massage therapist, some people are shy and that doesn’t always happen.  Please do not be afraid to communicate your issues with one of us here are Surgical Alternative.  We are here for you!

$mart Health, Inc. Benefits of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Health Savings Accounts, HSA

Coverage for your health care and a savings account for your costs

An Health Savings Account (HSA) gives you access to quality health care.  Plus, it gives you a way to manage what you pay.

A typical HSA includes:

  • A high-deductible health insurance or benefits plan for medical coverage.
  • A health savings account to pay for qualified out-of-pocket costs.

HSA benefits

You own it.  You decide whether to spend or save the funds in your health savings account.  If you decide to change employers or health plans, the account is yours to keep.

You don’t lose it.  Any money not used at the end of the plan year rolls over to the next year.

It can grow.  Your HSA is a savings account opened at a local bank that earns interest.  You can save money in your account and let it grow, to pay health care costs down the road, even during retirement.  And after you build up a certain amount, you may have investment options.

Tax advantages of an HSA

With an HSA you also get:

Tax savings.  Money you put into the account can reduce your taxable income.

Tax-free earnings.  Money you keep in your HSA earns interest tax free.

Tax-free spending.  Money you take out to pay for qualified health care costs in never taxed.

How an HSA works

  • Visit your local bank and enroll in an HSA.  You must be covered by a high-deductible health plan, and you must not be eligible for coverage under any other health plan.
  • You’ll get welcome and debit card materials in the mail.
  • Contribute anytime.  You, your spouse and family, and your employer can contribute up to the yearly limit set by the Internal Review Service – 2013 is $3,250 for an individual and $6,450 for a family.
  • Know how much you have.  You can only use the money that is in your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses.
  • Visit the doctor, hospital and other healthcare providers.  Pay for your health care expenses with your HSA Debit Card account, or pay out of pocket and save your account.  Either way, pay until you reach your yearly deductible.
  • Then pay a copay or coinsurance after each visit.  Use your HSA if you want.
  • Once you reach the plan’s out-of-pocket max, your health plan pays the rest at 100%!

$mart Health, Inc. tips on using your HSA

Make the most of your HSA! Here’s How:

Stay in your network.  Doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers in the network have a contract to provide reduced rates to our members.

Know before you go.  Unless it is an emergency, compare what doctors and hospitals will charge you for some common services before you make an appointment.

Keep track of your deductible and fund balances.

Pay only for qualified health care expenses.  Otherwise you could face tax penalties from the IRS.

More help for using your HSA

Do you have HSA questions?

Contact Capt. Rob Hamilton at $mart Health, Inc.  (813) 944-5399.

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Since the holidays are right around the corner, we are always on the lookout for healthy alternatives for some of the heavier and more indulgent foods that we may eat.  Please feel free to look through some of our favorite recipes that we found and collected for your viewing.

Have a great holiday season everyone!









Yoga for the Holidays!

During the busy times of the year, we tend to disregard our bodies and what our bodies are telling us.  One of the best preventative things you can do while busy this holiday season is Yoga.  We have aligned with one of Tampa Bays Premier Yoga Studios- Sun Yoga!

Some of the primary benefits of yoga include:

  • Increased range of motion
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased blood flow
  • Overall relaxing feeling
  • Low impact –  great for rehab and elderly!

Yoga has many more benefits that range from better heart health to better overall psychological awareness and attitude.

We recommend yoga to any and all of our clients on various skill levels.  By engaging in yoga sessions, we can all feel the benefits and prevent further or future damage!

If you have any questions or would like to speak about yoga, please feel free to CONTACT us today for more information, or you can CONTACT SUN YOGA here!

Proper Bending and Lifting Techniques

Is it really almost time to go in our attics to pull down those seasonal boxes?  Whether you are
preparing to do this or just have straitening you may want to accomplish before your family
and friends arrive, here are a few tips to help keep you from causing yourself back pain:

  • Use your leg muscles to lift/lower your self as opposed to just bending over. Bend at your knees not at your back.
  • Pull in your belly button while lifting. This will help hold your pelvis in the proper position which will minimize strain on the spine. (Maintain this while lifting, carrying, and lowering)
  • Lift close to your body. Your spine is more stable and strong.
  • Know your limit! Carry lighter packages and make more trips.
  • When in doubt ( too heavy or awkward) wait for help. The risk are not worth it and jeopardize setting you back with pain and immobility…. no one wants to make time for that!

We would all like to take a moment and wish everyone a safe and healthy beginning to our holiday seasons!  By following the tips provided above, you can prevent a number of injuries before they even happen.

If you do encounter one of the issues that comes from improper lifting and bending, please CONTACT US today, or SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT to see one of our expert therapists.

Surgical Alternative is Proud to announce its 1 year anniversary!

This month we are proudly celebrating our 1 year anniversary.  When our new facility opened a year ago, we were a group of alternative therapists anxious to make a difference in the lives of our clients.  Through that process we have now expanded to provide emotional as well and physical therapy!  We would like to thank each and every one of our clients for your support, and I personally would like to thank each and every team member of Surgical Alternative for your passion in our field!

In celebration of our 1 year anniversary, we are offering $15.00 off of a 90 minute session for the month of September!  If you have been wondering or thinking about trying one of our revolutionary treatments, now you can do so at a discount!  Please feel free to SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT HERE or you can CONTACT US here!

Post War Veterans invited for FREE PTSD Treatment

With July 4th passing last week, I was reminded of all of the veterans that have protected our rights as citizens of the United States.  During this month, I will be offering FREE therapy to veterans diagnosed with PTSD.  During your sessions we will be working to help issues such as insomnia, cramping, muscle pain, and other possible injuries due to service.  If you are interested in your FREE treatment, please CONTACT US today to schedule your appointment.

Plantar Fasciitis tips and tricks by Surgical Alternative

Plantar Fascitis Tips and Tricks for treatment

We have been encountering more people each day that are complaining of the accompanying symptoms of plantar fasciitis.  This is an injury that occurs when the plantar fascia tendon becomes inflamed or damaged due to wear and tear.  Since this tendon acts as a shock absorber for each and every step that you take, there is a great deal of pain involved when suffering from plantar fasciitis.  Our first suggestion would always be to CONTACT US for more information regarding your injury and how to treat it, but in the mean time, we figured we would give you some things you can do at home to help on a temporary basis.  Please See Below:

Ice The Area of the Plantar Fascia tendon

By applying ice for 20 to 30 minute increments to the Plantar Fascia tendon, you can alleviate many of the painful symptoms while relaxing or sitting.  This may help reduce the swelling and pain after hard workouts or active walking or standing.

Support the Plantar Fascia tendon (Plantar Fasciitis)

By supporting the arch of the foot where the Plantar Fascia tendon is located may relieve some pain.  You can either get additional supports for your shoes, or you can even use athletic tape around your ankle and under the foot to support your arch as well.  By adding additional support, it takes some of the stress off of the damaged tendon.  NOTE: This is acceptable with proper exercise and stress on the foot.  By using additional support over time, you will weaken the tendon.

Exercise and Stretch the Area (Plantar Fascia Tendon)

By working daily to stretch and exercise the Plantar Fascia tendon in regulated and safe increments you can increase the strength of the tendon while also allowing it to not become as painful.  Most of the stretching exercises focus on the calf muscles, since most of the stress that causes Plantar Fascitis comes from the lower leg.  Foot and Ankle stretching can also help to alleviate the foot pain of Plantar Fasciitis.  You can achieve this by grabbing a soft material such as a sheet or towel between your toes.

Surgical Alternative to Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

By using our proven methods of alternative therapy, Surgical Alternative can give you relief from the foot pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis.  With our deep tissue massage, reflexology and other methods you will be able to function without the pain and discomfort of Plantar Fasciitis.


Why Use Surgical Alternative – Testimonials and Reviews (Part 2)

In our next installment, we will be hearing from Barbara in Tampa.  She writes of our Pam Mann.  In the second part, we will be hearing from another anonymous patient of Surgical Alternative Institute.

Barbara writes:
Before I started seeing Pam, I had to ice my neck and shoulder twice daily.  Many daily tasks caused me pain.  After one year of massage therapy, I no longer have any restrictions and am even able to work out at the gym.

Anonymous writes:

A few years ago, I injured my left shoulder while working out. After months of physical therapy and multiple pain relief injections, the problem was still occurring. Any time I move my arm above my chest, the shoulder hurt. It was affecting my quality of life. I could no longer work out, play golf or even do regular maintenance around the house without having pain.
The orthopedist wanted to go in and resect a part of my collar bone (yes, they wanted to cut off a hunk of bone!). I was really against this procedure and knew that there had to be an alternative.
Pam came to my rescue. After reviewing my body, she saw that due to the injury the muscles in my shoulder had basically seized up and they were holding the bones in an position that made them grind together. After multiple intensive sessions, the muscles around my head, neck and shoulders gave in and allowed the bones to fall back into proper alignment. The re-established the proper spacing between the bones and alleviated all of the pain. I am now back to the pain free life that I had before the injury!
If you have any conditions that you would like to evaluate, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation.

Top Ten Treated Conditions by Surgical Alternative (Part 2 of 2)

In this section we will be discussing the top 5 conditions treated by Surgical Alternative.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of these conditions, please CONTACT US for more information, or you can SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT through our website,

Here are the top 5:

5.) TMJ Dysfunction

Known as Temporamandibular Joint Dysfunction, this painful ailment usually has symptoms such as tenderness, or pain in the joint that connects your jaw to your skull.  This is the joint that allows you to chew, talk and yawn amongst other things.  TMJ disorders can be caused by many different things such as grinding your teeth, an accident involving your jaw, or even arthritis.  If you have any pain in your jaw area and would like to find out more, you can CLICK HERE, or you can CONTACT US today for your evaluation!

4.) Sciatica Pain

Your sciatica nerve is a large nerve extending down your lower back, and down to the backs of your legs.  When damage or wear occurs, discomfort and chronic pain are common symptoms to the damage of this nerve.  Some symptoms of sciatica damage may include burning or tingling down your leg, weakness or numbness, constant pain, or even shooting pains that incapacitate you and not allow you to get up from a sitting position.  While usually only affecting one side of the body, sciatica some patients show symptoms on both sides of their bodies.   If you have sciatica pain and would like to relieve yourself from the discomfort, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation, or you can READ MORE ABOUT sciatica pain here.

3.) Bulging/Herniated Disks

Also called a ruptured or slipped disk, this refers to when the soft tissue between your vertebrae called disks encounters a problem.  When you have a herniated disk, it can irritate nearby nerve passages resulting in pain, numbness, and even weakness in an arm or a leg.  Some people do not experience symptoms of a herniated disk, making it a very hard injury to diagnose.  If you are experiencing back pain and believe you may have a herniated disk, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation or READ MORE HERE about your condition.

2.) Migraine Headaches

Though the exact cause of migraine headaches cannot be established, no one can deny the severity of these “showstoppers”.  Migraines tend to be quickly onset with severe pain and debilitating symptoms including numbness, tingling, temporary blindness, and other sensory warnings.  In some cases, medication is prescribed with hopes of treatment, but in many of those situations the medication does little or no good at all.  If you suffer from migraine headaches, please CONTACT US today for an evaluation, or you can READ MORE ABOUT these headaches here. 

The number one condition that we treat at surgical alternative institute is an elusive yet simple condition causing a spectrum of further symptoms that affect your entire body.  Some people get this condition by being in high speed accidents, while others can get this condition by just sleeping.  Some patients live with chronic pain and others come and go.


1.) Neck Pain

Neck pain can be caused by a host of issues ranging from trauma (car accidents, etc.) to just poor posture.  There are some degenerative diseases that will cause the neck pain, but it can also be just a simple muscle strain.  In some cases, the pain can work its way down to the shoulders and even the middle and lower back over time.  With proper treatment, most neck pain can be resolved in little time with little or no effort by the patient.  If you suffer from neck pain and would like relief, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation orREAD MORE HERE about your condition.

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