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Bellevue Massage Therapists

Cheryl McIlraith, LMP

Cheryl McIlraith

Cheryl McIlraith, LMP

I began my career as a massage therapist in South Africa nearly 35 years ago. What started as an interest quickly blossomed into a passionate career. The modalities of Swedish massage and reflexology were the foundation of a practice that grew rapidly and with that, skills and techniques developed that are the mainstay of my practice.

You can be assured that as your therapist I will draw from a vast wealth of experience to tailor your treatment specifically to your present situation. I have trained and practiced in many massage fields and have worked extensively in both General and Rehab Hospitals in South Africa, employed by Clinic Holdings, the largest Hospital group in the Southern Hemisphere. I have treated patients in all wards, including Intensive and high care, Maternity, Oncology, Pediatrics, Trauma and pre- and post-surgical.

For many years I held massage classes for Moms with new babies, helping to enhance and develop that instinctive knowledge within us…that touch soothes and heals. A large part of my practice is devoted to palliative touch, that which cannot heal, but eases the body and mind through difficult times during terminal or chronic disease. I have worked extensively with both AIDS and cancer patients, and can assist and encourage families and loved ones to express their love through gentle massage. For many years I have held classes, having formatted and taught my own style of “PRACTICAL MAGIC” in private classes, and in a massage school in Phoenix, Arizona in 2005.

I joined Bellevue Chiropractic in October, 2016 and am enjoying working in a treatment oriented practice where I can work closely with the supervising doctors prescribing treatment massage to aid in the recovery of patients. I see patients for a variety of conditions, including but not limited to, neck and back pain, auto accident injuries, on the job injuries, repetitive motion injuries, sports injuries, and a large variety of other health concerns. Treatment goals include increasing range of motion, decreasing pain, reducing scar tissue, muscle spasms and adhesions, neuro-muscular re-education, and increasing circulation to allow the body to heal and rehabilitate from injuries and various medical conditions.

In order to bill any type of insurance, a prescription from a doctor indicating diagnosis and treatment plan to be followed is required. Licensed massage therapists are not able to diagnosis a patient and will be referred back to the referring physician for diagnosis of new injuries if needed. Self-pay treatment/therapeutic massage patients are also welcome and prescription is optional, although recommended if you are coming in due to an injury or medical condition. Although my primary focus at Bellevue Chiropractic is medical/treatment therapeutic medical massage therapy, I also offer wellness/relaxation massage for the over-stressed client that may just need to unwind and prefer a more spa-like experience and techniques designed to relax and unwind rather than rehabilitate from an injury or medical condition. Wellness/relaxation massage is not billable to medical insurance due to it not being medically necessary or prescribed by a physician, but we do offer gift certificates or private pay options for elective wellness/relaxation massage clients. Please see the description of medical vs wellness massage for more information on the type of massage offered at Bellevue Chiropractic and my rates for each service.


Medical/treatment Massage vs. Wellness/relaxation Massage

Medical/treatment Massage:

In our office, we work with many patients who have a medical prescription for massage therapy for treatment of a specific medical condition. Medical Massage is defined as: “A treatment with the intent of improving conditions or pathologies that have been diagnosed by a physician; this procedure is utilized to focus the treatment based on the diagnosed condition.” It is a treatment that is directed by the referring doctor and carried about by our licensed massage therapists. Our massage therapists are responsible for tracking and reporting progress, treatment goals, pain levels etc. back to the referring physician and must establish medical necessity for the service provided to be billable to any insurance company. We accept some medical insurance for this and we also work with auto insurance companies as well as Labor and Industries. Please be aware, medical/treatment massage is not always comfortable and differs greatly from spa massage you may have received previously. The massage therapists will work with you to try and get the best therapeutic results possible, without causing too much pain or discomfort. Medical massage is not the same as a spa massage and in order to rehabilitate or treat an injury effectively, there may be some discomfort during the session or some muscle soreness for a day or so after your treatment and this is completely normal and to be expected to get the desired treatment results.

The CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code used for a medical massage in our office is 97124. The rate billed to insurance is $45.75 / unit. There is a maximum of 4 units billed per day.

Wellness/relaxation Massage:

This is the category of massages that we offer that are not doctor directed and do not require a medical prescription. There is a wide variety of massage types that our therapists are trained in. The distinct difference with a wellness massage that differs from a medical massage in this office is that a wellness massage does not require a specific diagnosis, there is often not a treatment plan or medically necessary goals, there is not a need for a care plan and there is no limitations to the number of sessions one has because this service is elected at the discretion of the patient. The patient will consult with the massage therapists and direct the massage to their liking, unlike a medical massage where the massage therapists must follow the prescribed diagnosis/area of complaint and treatment plan. This type of massage is more what you would expect to get from a spa and goals are primarily to relax, reduce stress and tension, and enjoy the massage session.

There is no CPT code for a wellness massage. They are not billed to any type of insurance. We cannot bill health or auto insurance for a wellness/relaxation massage. Even if a patient has health insurance, we will not bill a wellness massage to their health or auto insurance company because a) medical massage is a different and unique service & b) medical massage requires a doctor’s prescription. Please make note that your receipt will clearly state no diagnosis or CPT code and therefore may not be reimbursable by an HSA/FHA account if they require an itemized receipt with diagnosis and CPT code to be an eligible expense. Once again this is an elective wellness service, not a medically necessary service.

We understand the definition of WAC code: 246-808-545. We are fully compliant with all WAC sections issued by the CQAC. There is a distinct difference between a medical massage and a wellness massage within this clinic. This is why the charges are as differentiated as follows:

Wellness/relaxation Massage: $85/hour

Medical/treatment Massage (CPT 97124): $45.75/unit (One unit equals: 8-22 minutes) (Two units equals: 23 minutes โ€“ 37 minutes) (Three units equals: 38 โ€“ 52 minutes) (Four units equals: 53 minutes โ€“ 67 minutes)


Call Bellevue Chiropractic to schedule your massage therapy appointment today – (425) 637-0094

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