My second physical therapy session was similar to the first. Prior to working on me, they had me warm up and do a few exercises. Then the physical therapist repeated his massage followed by the painful pulling and twisting manipulations. Then they showed me a couple more exercises.
I went to PT twice the next week. After my third session, I learned that the insurance company still did not have a referral from my PCP. Since it had been a week since I had asked for the referral, I thought there might be some problem, so I cancelled my next PT session. I called up my PCP and went through their bizarre automated phone service to request a referral again. I had to visit my PCP's office to pick up the MRI CDs, anyway. While I was there, I found that my referral had just come through, so I didn't have to cancel the next session.
I'm glad I have insurance, but I do think it's kind of ridiculous that insurance can be such a hassle. I spent about an hour on the phone trying to get information about the referral and making sure that the PT would be covered. If lots of people are having to do this, it seems to me a great waste of time in aggregate.
Throughout this process I've been annoyed by how few things you can do online. I'd like to be able to make medical appointments and find out about insurance issues online. My referral request would have been much more easily done via a form on the internet.