What to expect at your Massage Appointment
Health and Hygiene
You have been seeing your MNZ Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) regularly now. The beginning of every appointment includes a brief consultation and reassessment and you are wondering why this is necessary.
Think back to your very first consultation when you completed and signed the client history information sheet. Your therapist would have discussed the information you provided to get an understanding of your lifestyle and stresses, what your body goes through each day or week, what injuries or trauma you have sustained and what medical conditions you may have.
All this information defines your treatment plan. An important reason for this process is to ensure that the treatment is always appropriate and safe. Therefore, your RMT needs regular updates on your health and wellness. They will ask: Have you been feeling well this week? Have you had a particularly stressful day? Have you injured yourself recently or has your medical condition changed?
Your RMT will also want to know how effective the massage sessions have been for you. Did you feel any aches or pains after the last massage? Or did you feel relief? How long did this last for? A level 6 or 7 therapist may also include appropriate physical re-assessment, postural analysis, joint range of movement tests and special muscle tests each session. Depending on the results and the information you provide, the RMT may need to adjust the treatment plan. Any changes will be communicated with you every step of the way. This will ensure you are in safe hands. Your feedback is incredibly valued.
During your massage the RMT will assess pressure and communicate with you on an ongoing basis. A pressure and pain scale would have been discussed with you at the first massage you had. It is very important that you, the client, provides honest feedback during the massage, so the RMT is always aware of how you feel. The RMT may ask you what level of pressure or pain you are experiencing when a certain area of the body is being massaged. What type of pain is it - dull, burning or sharp? Are you feeling any referral of pain? For example, the RMT is compressing a muscle in the back of your hip, but you can feel pain or sensation travel down the back of the thigh and into your calf. This is a normal muscle response to soft tissue therapy and the RMT needs this feedback from you as they may need to adapt their technique to relieve the pain. Or, if there are other factors they have considered, it may be appropriate that they decide to refer you on to another health professional if it is out of their scope of practice.
There are several other factors that RMTs must consider regarding health and hygiene to provide you with a professional and safe massage. The clinic room and other facilities must always be kept in a tidy, clean and hygienic condition. The RMT must maintain a high standard of personal hygiene and dress in an appropriate professional manner. Fresh and clean linen will be provided for each client.
The RMT may have to reschedule your appointment if they are injured or feeling unwell. A therapist will never knowingly work on a client if they believe they may pass on an illness or infection. It's also important that clients reschedule an appointment if unwell, particularly if you have or are still recovering from an infectious/viral illness, so you don't unwittingly pass it on to your therapist. The RMT may use gloves where necessary as part of infection control, for example, if the therapist has any cuts or lesions. Level 7 RMTs have been trained to provide intra-oral treatment to help relieve TMJ (jaw), neck or headache pain. Gloves will be worn for all intra-oral treatments.
All MNZ RMTs are required to abide by the MNZ Code of Ethics and MNZ Standards of Practice. You can learn more about these on the MNZ website.
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