Excerpts from September 12, 2006
BY LUBNA TAKRURI
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Faced with a painful operation for a shoulder problem, Hal Robinson found an alternative that he says helped him avoid surgery. “Massage therapy was, for me, almost a salvation… I went to two other doctors for a second and third opinion, and one of them said massage therapy will help you.” After about a dozen visits with massage therapist Phil Cutrell of Touch Therapy Associates in Southfield, Robinson says he is able to throw a ball again and sleep on his left side. “[Massage therapy] kept me from having that operation” he says.
Royal Oak, MI
Ah, there's the rub
Medicine catches up with what clients always knew about the health benefits of massage
Faced with a painful operation for a shoulder problem, Hal Robinson found an alternative that he says helped him avoid surgery. "Massage therapy was, for me, almost a salvation," says Robinson, of Royal Oak, who turns 74 on Friday.
Arthritis caused cartilage in his shoulder to wear away and caused pain and difficulty with everyday activities like sports. After trying physical therapy for the 12 visits covered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, an MRI showed the therapy hadn't worked.
"I went to two other doctors for a second and third opinion, and one of them said massage therapy will help you," he says. "I didn't know the difference between physical therapy and massage therapy at the time."
After about a dozen visits with massage therapist Phil Cutrell of Touch Therapy Associates in Southfield, Robinson says he is able to throw a ball again and sleep on his left side.
Massage has long been regarded as a luxury, but the past decade has seen a shift to more medical use and recognition of the breadth of benefits from massage.
Massage has also been plagued with the stigma brought about by the adult entertainment industry. Therefore, massage practitioners in Michigan have been pushing for almost three years for legislation that will regulate use of the title "massage therapist."
A survey commissioned by the American Massage Therapy Association estimated that 47 million Americans received a massage in 2005 -- up 2 million from the previous year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2002 National Health Interview Survey found that 9% of American adults had a massage at some point for help with a medical problem, and that hospitals are increasing their use of massage for pain relief, stress management and help with cancer symptoms.
Some plans offer a discount at designated centers, but few cover the treatment. Robinson paid for the therapy himself, and estimates he saved his insurance plan the $120,000 or so it would have cost for a shoulder replacement. "It's stupid; (massage therapy) kept me from having that operation," he says.
Jo Rayl of Monroe is someone who did consider it. She was in two rear-end car accidents and her shoulder was bothering her. Her chiropractor couldn't help. Her doctor prescribed massage therapy, and car insurance paid for it.
"It was getting to the point where I was having a hard time sleeping at night; my shoulder pain would wake me up," she says. "It was wonderful because I didn't realize how much my range of motion was limited by the accident. Until you actually experience the treatment, you don't realize what a difference it can make. I don't know what else could have helped me," she says. (Note: Jo was also a Touch Therapy patient)
“As a healthcare professional, Phil is my go-to therapist for complex cases… results-oriented and reliable. Phil has my vote of confidence.”
Dr. Bryan A. Born, DC
“Phil is one of the very best… I recommend Phil without hesitation… his passion for his profession and his dedication to his clients make him a star.”
“In chronic pain for almost 20 years… the best thing I have done for my pain… unquestionably the most productive time I have spent in relieving my pain.”
“Far surpasses any other therapist I had in the past. I highly recommend his practice.. He is the best!”
“Phil picked up where physical therapy left off. My experience with him gave me back my full range of motion in my shoulder… I found him to be experienced, professional, and effective.”
Lucy, RN (Registered Nurse)
“What a relief!!! I was so impressed by the professionalism of Touch Therapy and the way in which they helped identify my issues.” “I feel a whole lot better and better informed”
“The experience was healing and rejuvenating… Upon leaving Phil Cutrell’s office I was standing more erect and that hip pain was completely gone.
“I was in two separate car accidents six months apart… Phil was great in helping with paperwork and making sure my insurance would cover it. He came up with a treatment plan and worked with my doctor and I was able to heal quickly and without any medical intervention.”
I am very confident in Phil Cutrell and this statement comes from a person who in the beginning had a hard time walking, putting shoes on and could not turn in her bed without help. I tried many therapists before him and nobody was able to help me as much as Phil Cutrell.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
I have praised and recommended Touch Therapy Associates to many people. Since my automobile accident, two years ago, I have been in constant pain. Massage has made my life 100% more bearable and I am able to work part time.