What to expect at your Massage Appointment
The Client Information Form
You have just booked your first ever massage. Excited and a little nervous about what to expect? Let us help you understand what will happen when you first arrive.
You will be greeted with a lovely smile from the reception team and/or your therapist. First impressions matter right!
As this is the very first time you have visited this MNZ Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) you will be asked to fill out a Client History Form. Every therapist has a slightly different version depending on their scope of practice and what they require from you. However, all will be asking you for your name and contact details.
Next you may notice questions about your occupation, physical activity or hobbies. These questions help your therapist get a picture of what your body is doing on a regular basis, for example a hairdresser is likely to be standing on a hard floor with arms raised and head looking down for 8 hours a day.
Next there is likely to be a tick list of various health conditions and you will be asked to indicate if you have any of these conditions, for example asthma. If you have asthma your therapist needs to know so they can ask you what your triggers are. Is there a chance that the product they may want to use could affect you, or is the clinic environment going to be of concern for you?
Some client history forms will include a picture of a skeleton or body outline. This is for you to circle, shade or mark with an X any areas of your body that are achy or sore or affected by an injury.
There will be questions about medications and supplements, so the therapist can understand what you might be taking and consider how this may interact with or be influenced by their treatment. The form will also ask about previous surgeries and past and current injuries. This is to give your therapist information about areas that could be a little more tender or painful. Your therapist needs to know if it is an area they need to avoid or if there is an area that may benefit from a certain massage technique.
It is also likely that there will be an area on the form for you to write down the type of massage treatment you would like and what your reason is for your visit. Perhaps you are feeling stressed and would just like relaxation or maybe you are training for a marathon and have a sore knee. Whatever the reason, it helps the RMT understand your needs.
Lastly, there will be a couple of sentences informing you about what to expect during and after your massage, then a space for you to sign and date that the information you have provided is accurate. This bit is VERY important. This is your informed consent. Every health professional in New Zealand can only treat someone who has given their informed consent. MNZ have their own Code of Ethics which every registered member must abide by and it clearly states that informed consent must be obtained.
Now that you have completed the form, your therapist will discuss the information you have provided with you. They do this to get a really good idea of how your body is doing, understand what your goals are for the massage session and find out if there is any reason that might mean massage is contraindicated (unsafe if done to a particular area of the body or on a person with a particular condition) for you today. It is your chance to let your therapist know how you are feeling and ask questions too.
Once your therapist is satisfied and confident that they can help you, they will tell you what will be involved and how your massage treatment plan will go. Once again this is the RMT making sure you are happy with everything and double checking your informed consent. All of this ensures that before you even get onto the massage table you should already feel you are in safe hands.
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