Massage Therapy

As a part of our all-inclusive practice, Sports Medicine South has added Massage Therapy to our list of offerings. Massage Therapy has a long list of benefits including relaxation, healing, pain relief, and much more. If done properly, Massage Therapy can be an essential tool in the rehabilitation and treatment of a MSK injury.

The Sports Medicine South providers value the benefits our patients receive from Massage Therapy and often prescribe Massage Therapy in conjunction with Physical Therapy as a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. Below you can find common questions patients have about Massage Therapy and more about Melissa Thomas, LMT, Sports Medicine South’s licensed massage therapist.

For inquires beyond the information provided below, please contact our Physical Therapy department at 770-237-3475 x 113 and we will do our best to provide answers to your concerns.


How much does each session cost?

If you are insured and currently have benefits that cover licensed massage therapy, we will run each 60-minute session through your individual plan. Each insurance plan is different and will reimburse/cover your session at a different rate. Some plans require a co-pay (similar to Physical Therapy), while others will be applied to your deductible. If the massage session is billed through your insurance, you will be held responsible for the charges not covered by your plan. We do offer self-pay rates for those who do not have insurance or whose benefits are exhausted.

How many sessions will I require and how often will I need to come?

If you are having massage for stress reduction or maintenance of health, anything from weekly to monthly sessions can aid your body in achieving maximum vitality.

If you are being treated for a specific problem, our licensed massage therapist initially recommends sessions between 4 days and one week apart, so that the progress can be accurately monitored. However, a specific frequency may be required by the physician’s prescription. Keep in mind that each case is different and will be addressed uniquely so that issues can be treated appropriately.

Is an hour massage actually an hour?

You will be in the massage room, undergoing active treatment very close to 60 minutes. There may be 5 minutes of time allowed for you to safely get on or off the table.

How deep will the massage be?

Massages vary in depth depending on each patient’s wishes and needs. Do not hesitate to tell the LMT of your desired depth during the massage – good communication is key to an effective and therapeutic massage.

What are the possible after effects?

After any type of deep tissue work, you may experience muscles tenderness in the areas addressed – this is similar to the discomfort that you may feel after exercising a particular part of your body. It is pertinent that you drink adequate amounts of water for 24 hours after your massage to help flush out toxins that the massage may have dislodged.

What are the benefits of massage?
  • Aids exceptionally with injury rehabilitation.
  • Breaks down adhesions and scar tissue.
  • Reduces tension in tight muscles and elongates shortened tissues.
  • Increases the flow of blood bringing enriching nutrients to the tissues and removing wastes for elimination.
  • Enhances sports performance, while reducing both recovery times from training and tension during the event.
  • Increases mobility of joints.
  • Helps the body rejuvenate.
  • Promotes stimulation to the lymphatic system.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Can calm the nervous system.
  • Combats stress and anxiety.
  • Promotes sleep.
What can't I receive a massage?

Please re-schedule your session if (1) you are running a fever, (2) if you have been prescribed an antibiotic for a contagious disease (i.e. strep. throat, tonsillitis, bronchitis, etc.) until you have been on the medication for at least 24 hours, or (3) if you have had vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours.

**If you have any broken bones even if it is a hairline fracture, do not get a massage.**

Must I be completely unclothed?

Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, you may decide what amount of clothing  you prefer to wear for your own comfort. You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?

Make yourself comfortable. The licensed massage therapist will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Others like to talk during their session. Feel free to ask the practitioner questions about massage and bodywork in general or about the particular technique you are receiving.

Ready for an appointment?
Call our office to make an appointment or to refer a patient. Contact Us

Meet Our Massage Therapist

Melissa Thomas

Melissa photo

Melissa Thomas has been a massage therapist since 1986, when she graduated from The Massage School of Santa Monica in California.

She spent the first two years of her career working for Dr. Joel Santos at the AltraFitnessCenter in Los Angeles. In 1988 she moved to the British Virgin Islands where she opened the Golden Palms Health Spa. While in the Caribbean she was also the massage therapist for NeckerIsland a private resort island owned by Sir Richard Branson, where she offered her massage and spa service to The Branson family and their guests.

She was one of 127 therapists from across the country to be selected to be a member of the first official Olympic and Paralympic Massage Therapy Teams during 1996 Atlanta Games. Melissa has been working locally in the Sugarloaf area since 2001. Past clients have included members of the Atlanta Thrashers and Gladiators.  Currently she is working with the Chinese National basketball team who are in Atlanta training.

She is certified in Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Orthopedic Massage, as well as Prenatal Massage.  She also is trained in TMJ Dysfunction and Oncology Massage.