New York Considers Alternative Treatment Bills

New York State Senate Floor

New York State Senate Floor

New York legislators are considering two identical bills, Assembly Bill 8256 (AB8256) and Senate Bill 5867 (SB5867), which require physicians, when appropriate, to refer or prescribe non-opioid treatment alternatives for neuromusculoskeletal conditions. The bills state massage therapy as one of several alternative treatments that effectively treat pain conditions. Additionally, the bills require physicians to notify patients that insurance may not cover alternative treatments.

As one of the only massage therapy practices that is authorized to accept health insurance in New York City, CityTouch Licensed Massage Therapy supports these bills as they acknowledge that massage therapy is a safe and nonharmful solution for short-term and long-term pain ailments. The bills also elevate the legitimacy of massage as a valid health treatment option. 

Take Action:

AB8256 appears to be the bill that will move forward in the legislature. It is currently on the floor of the Assembly for a vote. SB5867 is currently with the Senate Committee on Health.

If you would like to take action and indicate your support of the bills, we recommend you contact the following senators and assembly members sponsoring and considering the bills.


Gustavo Rivera:

Pete Harckham:

Patrick Gallivan:

Assembly Members:

Richard Gottfried:

Judy Griffin: 

Andrew Raia:

In addition, we urge you to contact your assembly member and senator: 

Find your Senator here

Find your Assembly Member here.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage - benefits and contraindications.


Manual Lymphatic Drainage uses light, gentle pressure to stimulate the lymphatic system, reduce inflammation, and detox your system.

What is the lymphatic system? This is your body’s waste management system; it clears away bacteria, cell debris, excess water, proteins, and wastes from the connective tissue and returns it to the bloodstream for ultimate removal by the kidneys. As the lymphatic system has a slow rhythm with the capillaries located just under the skin, using light pressure is recommended to effectively move lymph fluid.

What conditions can benefit from manual lymph drainage?

  • Pre surgery: cleansing away wastes preparing the body for surgery.

  • Post surgery: 4 weeks post surgery with doctor’s approval, removing wastes and excess fluid away from the tissue helping to facilitate the healing process.

  • Acute injury to soft tissue where inflammation is present: helps to reduce inflammation.

  • Chronic pain or past injuries: helps to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Neck, back, and shoulder pain: helps to decongest tissue and reduce pain.

  • Lymphedema: gently pumps lymph fluid from the tissue to be returned to the circulatory system, cleansed, and removed by the kidneys. *Reduction in lymphedema may be a slower process and may require multiple sessions.

  • Seasonal detox: it is beneficial for most people to have a manual lymph drainage session with the change of the season. Detoxes the body and relaxes the mind to start anew.

What conditions are contraindicated for manual lymph drainage?

  • Acute infections

  • Serious circulatory issues

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Endocrine conditions

  • Epilepsy

  • Gastrointestinal conditions or inflammation

New Year, new policy: We will no longer accept Spa Finder or Spa Week gift cards

Beginning on January 1, 2019, City Touch will no longer accept Spa Finder, Spa Week, or Spa Wish gift cards as forms of payment. If you booked with us prior to January 1, 2019, for an appointment after that date and previously indicated that you will be using a Spa Finder, Spa Week, or Spa Wish gift card, those forms of payment will still be honored for these appointments only.

Do you accept insurance for massage therapy?

“We Accept Insurance for Massage Therapy”

CityTouch Licensed Massage Therapy is a nationally registered medical massage facility under the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES).  As such, we are authorized to accept some insurance plans as a form of payment.  This is especially good news for those who suffer from chronic pain or are recovering from injury; accepting insurance payments will allow them to visit us regularly for more effective massage results. 

Depending on your insurance provider and plan, you could be eligible for one or two 60-Minute Therapeutic Massage sessions per week.  A letter of medical necessity from your doctor, with diagnosis codes, will be required.  As each insurance plan is different, you must verify your coverage before booking your CityTouch appointment. Some insurance plans will require coinsurance, if your insurance doesn’t cover our list menu price.  If your insurance plan uses Medicaid funds (state exchange programs), it will be denied.

If you have private health insurance through your employer, with strong out-of-network benefits, please check to see if your insurance plan is accepted first by filling out this form.  If your health insurance is approved, your health insurance may cover part or all of our service price.  If you have a deductible, you will be required to meet this before you can use your massage therapy benefits.  If your deductible has not been met, appointments that you pay out-of-pocket at CityTouch may count towards your deductible, but you will be required to pay an additional 10% medical billing processing fee, in addition to our regular service price.  You may be required to pay coinsurance, copayment or both, depending on your insurance verification results.

The insurance verification process may take one or several business days to complete.  We will contact you with the results (only by email).  If approved, you will need to obtain the required letter or other documents from your doctor.  According to your insurance plan and your doctor’s recommendation, we can develop a medical massage treatment plan specifically for you.

Our cancellation and reschedule policy are still in effect for customers coming to see us with insurance. A credit card is required to hold your appointment and may be charged for breaking our cancellation policy.  If your health insurance requires coinsurancecopayment, or both, you will be required to pay this.  If your insurance is denied at a later date, you will be responsible for payment.  Our team of insurance experts will do their best to prevent this situation during the verification process.

Only the 60-Minute Therapeutic Massage session is covered under insurance. Our specialized services (except for prenatal massage) — including couples massage, hot stone massage, and the CityCleanse treatment — are not covered by insurance. 

For quick appointment booking, it is much easier to pay directly with a credit card or HSA/FSA card, but if you would like to use your insurance and if you have time for the verification process, we will be happy to accommodate you.  Please be patient during the verification process.

To use your health insurance for your CityTouch appointment, please follow these steps:

  1. Verify your insurance.

  2. If approved, obtain a letter of medical necessity from your doctor.

  3. Once we receive your doctor’s letter, we will send you a special online booking link for your medical massage.

  4. Enjoy the results of effective, medical massage.