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COVID-19 procedures

What changes did COVID-19 bring to the clinic?
The minimum amount of time you can book ahead is now 12 hours so there will be no more last minute appointments. When you get your confirmation email, please read it.  You will get a reminder email/text one day before your appointment.  In it is a link to complete a short questionnaire – it must be completed by 8 p.m..
We insist that everyone wears a mask from the time they enter the clinic until the have left the building.  If you arrive without wearing one, your Therapist will provide a disposable one for you for a fee. Masks with valves or made of stretchy material are not protective so you will be asked to swap that mask for a surgical mask.  You will be asked to use hand sanitizer immediately as well. 
You must reschedule your appointment if:
– you work in a non medical setting that has has an outbreak in the last 14 days
– you have left Canada
– you have been through ANY airport
– been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 without proper ppe in the last 14 days
– have tested positive for COVID-19 (without a negative follow up test)
– you feel unwell for any reason (you must reschedule your appointment for 14 days after you have no symptoms or after you have received a negative covid test result)

These are public health rules, not our’s.

No one is to come with you to your massage appointment. Please use the bathroom before arriving. Payment details have also changed – please read your reminder email.

Your RMT will be wearing a surgical mask while in the room for your treatment.  You will notice screens on the desks and social distancing signs, the chairs have been replaced and the water dispenser has been removed. Hand sanitizer is in every room. All rooms have a basket on the chair for your belongings (including phone, keys, purse/wallet and clothing). We have moved to more contactless payments.  Direct billing will continue but other payments will now be by e-transfer.
As always, the linens are changed between clients and bleached in the laundry. High touch surfaces such as door knobs and railings are disinfected several times a day.

Safety is our highest priority at An Essential Knead for clients and RMTs.  While we are doing everything we possibly can to minimize the risk of contact, if you or anyone in your house is at high risk, please consider staying home.

Where are you located?

We have two locations:

The East clinic is conveniently located between Spadina and Stirling Roads.

The West clinic is in the white building at the lights at the corner of Highland West and West Ave. There are multiple entrances to this building, however, you need to use the entrance on the side of the building with the wooden staircase (our sign is right beside the stairs).

Queens Blvd is almost exactly half way between each clinic.

Both the East and West clinic are on the GRT #16 bus route.

A map of each location is under ‘contact’ on this website.

If you Google our clinic, the East clinic is the one that comes up but if you enter our clinic name in Google Maps, both are available.

Which location do I go to?

We have two locations with several RMTs at each.  When you book an appointment online,  “EAST” or “WEST” beside their name tells you which clinic they work at. 

A map to each location is on this website under ‘contact’.

What payment types do you take?

Direct billing ( the list is here ), cash, or debit are available for payments.
E-transfers are now expected for payments over $10. Details are in your email.

Direct billing not available?
We have over 20 insurance companies to bill, however, if you have benefits with one not on our list, a receipt will be emailed that you can submit yourself.
If, for instance, you do not have benefits at all, a receipt will be emailed to you.

Questions? Send us an email and we will answer what we know!

What benefit companies can you bill to?

Companies for direct billing
  • Blue Cross (Medavie/Ontario)
  • Canadian Construction Workers Union
  • Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance
  • Claim Secure
  • Co-operators (but with difficulty)
  • Cowan
  • Desjardins ( Importantly: payment always goes to the plan member)
  • Empire Life
  • Equitable Life (also, with difficulty)
  • First Canadian
  • Great West Life
  • GroupHEALTH
  • GroupSource
  • Green Shield
  • Industrial Alliance
  • Johnson Inc.
  • Johnston Group Inc
  • LiUNA Local 183
  • LiUNA Local 506
  • Nexgen Rx
  • Manion
  • Manulife Financial **
  • Maximum Benefit
  • OTIP **
  • RWAM
  • SSQ
  • Sunlife Financial
  Christina cannot bill to Manulife/OTIP.  This problem is on the Manulife/OTIP side, not with the Therapist, so you can still be reimbursed after seeing her.  You will have to pay for your visit at the clinic.

Each policy is based on how your employer arranged it. In other words, some policies don’t allow electronic billing (ie Federal employees). In addition, some only allow payment to go to you.

We can only work with how your employer has set up the policy. We cannot tell you in advance if your payment will be accepted or not, sorry!

Co-ordination of benefits between two plans is not yet available, however, we keep hoping!

Doctor’s notes
Not all policies need a doctor’s note. Most importantly, if you need one, the note has to be submitted to your insurance ahead of your visit. To clarify, we cannot submit it for you and we do not need to see your doctor’s note. 

Payments are by cash or also debit. While we do also accept Visa and Mastercard, due to high processing fees, we would appreciate the use of cash or debit where possible.  We do not accept cheques.  Payments over $10 by etransfer – details in your email

You must always bring a form of payment (for instance, debit) to your visit.

Do I need a doctor’s referral?

We do not need you to see your doctor prior to visiting our clinic. Your extended health care plan may require a doctor’s referral to refund your money even with direct billing.

If you are hoping to direct bill to your insurance, please make sure your doctor’s note has been received by your benefit company prior to your visit.

We cannot tell you if you need a doctor’s note, however, you can find the information on your benefit plan.

Do you have a cancellation policy?

We ask for 24 hours notice to change or cancel all appointments.
Missed your appointment? Have to cancel in under 24 hours before your appointment? The full fee will apply.
We will charge your credit card, however, the receipt will not be for a visit, therefore cannot be reimbursed by insurance

Do I need to get undressed?

That’s up to you. Swedish Massage techniques work best when applied with some form of lotion applied directly to the skin. If, however, you are in any way not comfortable removing your clothing we will never insist.

Your comfort and privacy are very important to us. We will ask that you undress only to the level you are comfortable. The sheets on the table are strategically placed while we work so only the area being addressed is uncovered.

What should I expect during my visit?

Each visit is unique. Everyone has to have an updated health history on file. When you book an appointment you will receive an email with a link to do the intake form.  The intake form must be completed before arriving for your first appointment.  We will also ask you to update it frequently to ensure a safe treatment.

A brief and private intake will help the Therapist assess your situation and determine the best and safest treatment for you. Ask questions, take charge of your health!

Is it safe to have a massage during pregnancy?

For most women, having a massage during pregnancy is safe and in fact beneficial. There are some cases where your doctor/midwife will restrict your activity level which also means there is a restriction on getting a massage. If you have been classified as a “high(er) risk” or if you’re uncertain, check with your primary caregiver.

We have the Body Cushion system which allows for the most comfort possible during your massage. These cushions create a hole for your expanding belly that can allow you to safely lie face down. It expands to accommodate you until full term! Your Therapist will assess whether or not lying face down is appropriate, sidelying may be a better option.

When booking an appointment, you must select “Massage Therapy for pregnancy”.

My benefits have run out, can I use my partner’s benefits?

Yes, if you are on your partner’s plan, you can use their benefits. The way insurance works is that you must use up your benefits first and then your partner’s plan kicks in. If you have a deductible on your plan, you can submit the unpaid portion to their plan for reimbursement.

What you may not do is ask us to submit a claim, or give you a receipt under your partner’s name for your visit – that is insurance fraud. All visits must be billed under the person’s name who was treated on the date of the visit.

Do my benefits cover Massage Therapy?

Insurance benefits that cover Massage Therapy must have treatment by an RMT, in other words, a Registered Massage Therapist. We have all RMTs.
Both locations can direct bill to over 20 insurance companies with some restrictions.  Please see the complete list on this page

Who do you treat at this clinic?

Are you are between 5 and 100 and suffer from pain related to injury, overuse or stress? We may be able to help!

We have multiple booking categories depending on your situation.
Children under age 16, for example, should be booked under “Children (<age 16)”.
Pregnant women must book under “Pregnancy Massage” from the day they find out they are pregnant.
If it is your first visit to either location, however, you must choose the appropriate “Initial Visit”.
Otherwise choose the appropriate length of “Returning Visit”.

Please note, however, we are not accessible because we do have several stairs inside and out.

Details on gift certificates

Massage Therapy is a gift of health for someone you care about!

Gift certificates are purchased online through the Gift Card Cafe, however, you can write a message to the lucky person. Above all, buy online securely!

We do not sell gift certificates in the clinic.

You may choose to have the gift certificate emailed to yourself or the recipient. It is valid at either location, however, needs to be presented on paper at the visit.  There is a one year expiration date.

Insurance will not accept payment by gift certificate. Read the terms and conditions on the gift certificate fully before purchasing.

If you have a gift certificate that expired from March 20-June 01, 2020 you may add 3 months to the expiration date. That is the only exception to an extension as we were closed at that time.

Buy Gift Certificate Now

How do I book an appointment?

Online booking for everyone!

  "About " has each Therapist's bio as well as their hours