Visiting a Massage Therapist for the first time
When you visit your Massage Therapist for the first time, they will talk with you about your general health and ask you what you would like to achieve from the massage therapy session. Depending on your session goals, your therapist will conduct a short or longer health assessment. This health assessment will likely involve asking you some questions and doing some clinical tests. Your therapist will use this information to identify the main problems, give them a direction for the best possible treatment for you, ensure that massage will be appropriate and will not cause you any harm, and some tests may provide a measure to see if your treatment has been effective.
They will inform you of the treatment plan just for you and they will explain what it involves, what clothes to remove, how you will be draped, what parts of your body will be uncovered, and what level of discomfort (if any) you may expect from the hand's on portion of the session. They will also outline what outcome they are aiming for from the session and how much it will cost. No treatment or hands-on massage will be done without your consent. If you don't understand any aspect of the session/treatment, please ask your Massage Therapist to explain it further.
They will then leave the room to leave you to disrobe. You will be expected to leave your underwear on and to lie on the massage table covered in a large towel or sheet. They will then knock to check you are covered before entering the room. They may offer music to assist with relaxation and may also dim the lights especially if you are lying on your back.
Massage Therapists use a variety of relaxation and therapeutic/remedial approaches. These may include:
- Relaxation and/or deep tissue massage therapy
- Stretching and strengthening programmes
- Education to prevent injury and promote wellness
- Breath work
- Postural and rehabilitation information
The approaches selected will depend on the therapist's scope of practice and your session goals.
At all times you will be treated with care, skill, dignity and respect, and you have the right to withdraw from your session/treatment at any stage or seek a second opinion. If any part of your massage doesn't feel right or is painful, please speak up right away. You are also welcome to bring a family member, whanau, friend, caregiver and/or interpreter to your session.
If you are concerned about the massage therapy treatment/session that you received, then you can make a complaint. You can also access the Code of Health and Disability Services - Consumers' Rights online.
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