I am insured, how does that work with my visit?

It helps to be informed about your healthcare, before and during treatment. Below are some questions to find out before you come in for your first visit. All of this information will be available through your insurance provider.

Does your insurance policy cover this type of care? Do you need a referral from a primary care physician? If yes, is your referral for a specific number of visits or specific time limit? Is there a dollar limit per year? If yes, what is the dollar limit? Is there a limit to the number of visits allowed per year? If yes, how many are allowed per year? Does your insurance company cover your conditions?

Certain insurance companies do offer direct billing options for clients. It is best to inquire before your appointment to see if this service is applicable to you.

Is Pilates covered by my extended health coverage?

Yes. Under the care of a Physical Therapist, Supervised Pilates sessions are covered through your Physical Therapy benefits. Sessions are also tax deductible as a health cost if you spend above your taxable threshold.

What is available for MSP coverage in British Columbia?

MSP (Medical Services Plan) clients in British Columbia that have been approved for premium assistance have coverage for chiropractic, physiotherapy, naturopathy, massage therapy and non-surgical podiatry. This coverage is available to all B.C. residents who qualify for MSP premium assistance. These individuals are covered for up to a combined total of 10 visits per year and a maximum of $23.00 per visit. Please go to  HYPERLINK “http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/index.html” http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/index.html for more information on MSP and coverage plans available to BC residents.

Physical Therapy / Physiotherapy

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is practiced by university-educated, highly trained medical professionals that prevent, identify, correct and alleviate acute or prolonged movement dysfunction. The primary objective of Physiotherapy is to promote optimum health and function. It is one of the oldest healthcare professions, and an important part of total health care. Physiotherapy is a key to mobility and independent lifestyle and wellness.

What do Physiotherapists do?

Physiotherapists test and measure the functioning of the musculoskeletal, neurological, pulmonary and cardiovascular systems; and treat physical problems caused by illness, injury or birth defect. While much of Physiotherapy is rehabilitation from injury or illness, physiotherapists prefer to practice preventative healthcare. Our physiotherapists have taken post-graduate training in biomechanics, physical examination, pathology and specialize in industry-leading skills.

What are the benefits of Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapists focus first and foremost on helping you understand your issue. Based on this, our skills help resolve your pain, stabilizing your injury or condition, and promote overall wellness. Therapists focus on restoring strength, movement and function as much as possible. Our ultimate goal is to enable our patients to manage their own physical well-being independently. The sooner the treatment of an injury or condition begins, the better. Early intervention prevents a condition from becoming chronic, keeps muscle and other soft tissue structures from weakening through disuse, speeds healing and, above all, increases the chances of full recovery.

Do I require a referral?

A referral is not necessary in British Columbia to access Physical Therapy services. Some insurance providers require a medical doctor’s referral to be submitted to qualify for coverage. Please check with your insurance provider.

What is IMS?

IMS stands for Intramuscular Stimulation and is a total system for the diagnosis and

treatment of chronic pain. As a dry needling technique, it may appear similar to acupuncture, but it involves a very different approach based on neurophysiology and anatomy. Since IMS relies heavily on a thorough physical examination of the patient, only doctors or physiotherapists with advanced orthopaedic training are allowed to be trained in the IMS technique.

Needling into a “healthy” muscle does not produce the same reaction as into a tightened or contracted muscle. The desired reaction is this healing action, which is actually a tiny wound in the muscle being created. This encourages blood and healing materials into that overly tight muscle. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation.

What is Acupuncture?

Traditional Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine, and neuroanatomical acupuncture is a western medical interpretation or the same practice. Where the insertion occurs at specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. The needles are left in place for 15-30 minutes, and the practitioner may manipulate the needles throughout the treatment to achieve desired results.

How do I know which one to get?

Both are equally effective forms of therapy, chosen by a trained practitioner, based on the presenting issues of the client (suffering from chronic pain, or in need of this particular therapy). Quite simply, they are both stimuli to the body that elicit a physiological response.


Who can benefit from Pilates?

The Pilates principles will complement any form of physical activity. Pilates are for individuals who are interested in trying a safe, directed, and rewarding form of therapeutic exercise. It can aid individuals suffering from:

  • Whiplash
  • Low back pain
  • Poor posture
  • Sports injury
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Chronic pain
  • Stress and anxiety

How often should I practice Pilates?

In order to affect change within your body and mind it is best to practice at least twice a week. On the other side of things, try to give yourself at least one day off a week.

Do I have to be flexible to do Pilates?

No, Pilates is designed to be practiced by people of all ages and skill levels. It’s important to remember that everyone starts at the beginning and that you should be finding the right exercises to suit your mobility and skill level and work to build onto that.

If I have specific injuries/limitations is Pilates safe for me?

At Gastown Physio & Pilates, your healthcare provider will perform a health history and physical examination before referring to Pilates exercises. We find this the optimal way to be aware of your limitations and specific needs, so that you will have a lot of guidance along the way.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

Some of the benefits of Pilates include increased flexibility, alignment, mobility, circulation and strength.


What is Acupuncture?

Traditional Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine, and neuroanatomical acupuncture is a western medical interpretation or the same practice. Where the insertion occurs at specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. The needles are left in place for 15-30 minutes, and the practitioner may manipulate the needles throughout the treatment to achieve desired results.

Is Acupuncture covered under MSP?

Acupuncture performed by a licensed physical therapist qualifies for physiotherapy extended health benefits through MSP. MSP covers a portion of treatments for those enrolled in the premium assistance program. With the premium assistance program, eligibility is based on income. If you are interested, please contact MSP for application information.


Who are Kinesiologists?

Kinesiologists hold a university degree in Kinesiology or Human Kinetics, and in B.C., are part of the British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists. The undergraduate program of study focuses on human movement and includes anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, motor behaviour, athletic training, and sport psychology.

My Doctor has told me to see a Kinesiologist after a car accident. Do you do that?

You may also see a kinesiologist as part of your treatment for an ICBC claim after a motor vehicle accident. In this case, we will conduct an initial assessment and will keep track of your progress and functional abilities throughout the course of treatment. We can provide reports to your case manager as needed.

Naturopathic Medicine

Who are Naturopaths?

NDs must complete three years of pre-medical training and four years full-time study at an accredited naturopathic university before being registered and licensed in BC.

Naturopathic Doctors see the physician as someone who facilitates healing by identifying and removing barriers to health. As part of a multidisciplinary health care team, our primary goal is to get you feeling better and guide you on the path to complete wellness.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine (sometimes called “Naturopathy”) is a distinct system of primary health care that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) focus on identifying the underlying causes of disease, using natural therapies supported by scientific research drawn from a number of peer-reviewed journals. The therapeutic modalities used in naturopathic medicine (including botanical medicine, homeopathy, lifestyle counseling, clinical nutrition) integrate conventional, scientific, and empirical methodology with the ancient laws of nature.

What Can Naturopathic Physicians Do for Me?

Naturopathic Physicians are trained as physicians and are well versed in both conventional and integrative medical care. Naturopathic Doctors can treat a variety of chronic medical issues ranging from arthritis to fibromyalgia to insomnia and stress using natural health products and lifestyle counseling.

ND’s can utilize a wide number of assessment tools including functional laboratory methods, physical examination, and standardized questionnaires in order to help determine the cause of the illness and suggest an individualized treatment plan.

What do Naturopathic doctors do?

Treatment will include a combination of tools, including:

  • Patient education
  • Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, herbal medicines
  • Lifestyle counseling
  • Risk factor assessment
  • Lab interpretation
  • Physical examination methods


Is there street parking available?

There is ample metered street parking in front of Gastown Physio & Pilates at 560 Beatty Street and at Gastown Wellness at 289 Abbott Street. Gastown Physio & Pilates is also located directly beside the Stadium/Chinatown Skytrain station and there are numerous bus routes in the area, while Gastown Wellness is just a short walk from the Stadium/Chinatown Skytrain.

Is there an option for elevator service?

At Gastown Physio & Pilates, there is an heritage elevator available. If it is required, please notify staff ahead of time and arrive approximately 10 minutes prior to your appointment so that we can get you to your appointment in time.

At Gastown Wellness, there is no elevator service available.

Motor Vehicle Accident

Do you accept WCB or ICBC claims?

At this time, Gastown Wellness does not accept WCB claims. ICBC claims are accepted if the client accepts the responsibility to remit privately paid receipts to ICBC or their lawyer for coverage. Please contact Gastown Wellness at the time of booking your initial appointment to discuss what options are available for you.