If you are a new client, here is what to expect on your first appointment:
- Health intake - This includes discussion of your health status, current and past. The health intake could take up to 20 minutes on your first session. As part of that, you may be filling out some of the following forms/paperwork:
- Health History/Intake Form (Download it here.)
- Accident Information Form
- Range of Motion testing
- Analysis of posture and/or gait
- Pain/Disability Index(es) - as applicable
- Insurance Information Form - if insurance is paying
- Massage - The hands-on therapy part of the session.
- Follow-up - After the massage, we will discuss your thoughts and feelings about the work. You might receive some self-care homework to help you along your road to recovery. I have found that clients that do the suggested homework recover and heal more quickly than those that do not. The follow-up time is also used to schedule any further appointments, and take care of payment.
In more traditional deep tissue or Swedish massage, you get undressed and lie on the table under sheets/blanket, and you might turn over once during the session. In my practice, the treatment work includes table-work, seated-work, standing-work, and sometimes walking-work. While we make adjustments to the tissue, we also want to see how those integrate into your body, so we might have you on and off the table multiple times during a session. Due to moving you into various positions, traditional draping with sheets is not very practical. Men are generally worked in underwear or shorts. Women are generally worked in underwear, shorts, or swimsuit for the bottom, and bra, sports bra, or swimsuit top to cover the top. If you are extremely body-shy, we can make accommodations, but we should discuss it before your first session. That way you can arrive at your first session knowing what to expect, and be comfortable with the arrangement we agree upon.
After your appointment, you may experience some of the following:
- You could be a little sore afterward. It should feel as though you went to work out at the gym, and should not last more than 24 hours. After the soreness from the massage work has receded you should be able to start feeling the benefits from the massage session (e.g. decreased pain, increased flexibility).
- If we are working on the neck or head, and you have headaches on a fairly regular basis, a headache may be elicited by the work (though this is a rare occurrence). Head and neck work most often relieve and eliminate headaches.
- You could feel dehydrated. Massage moves fluid around the body, enhancing normal body processes such as circulation. I encourage you to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water so that your cells have enough water for metabolic and waste processes. If you are already good about staying well hydrated, then you do not need to do anything different from you normal routine. However, most of us are generally slightly dehydrated, without knowing it. Drinking extra water won't hurt you either.
- You could feel extra tired or extra relaxed afterward. Though rarely does this affect one's ability to drive, if you are worried about it, or normally have difficulty driving, you may have another person drop you off and pick you up for your session.
Here is what to expect on follow-up appointments:
- Health intake - We get up-to-date on how you are doing since your previous session, and see if you have any questions in regard to the self-care homework given previously.