During my intake process I ask many questions to try to get to know my client. These questions are all focused on figuring out how my client moves throughout their day. There are reasons why an area ends up hurting and the cause is normally from repetitive movements over time. So this is the beginning of the process to crack the case and help facilitate healing in the client’s body!
I ask what my client does for a living, or what they do throughout their day if they are retired or not working. Basically I just want to know what they do repeatedly throughout the day so I can focus my attention on these areas and see if there is a correlation to the cause of the pain in the area they are experiencing. An example is a client who has low back pain, and is a truck driver for a living. I think about the body in a flexed seated position for hours daily, and what would cause low back pain from doing this.
I ask what areas of the body area experiencing pain, discomfort, tightness, stress, fatigue, tingling, aching, throbbing, or any other sensation they are coming to see me about. The painful area may be the shoulder. But just because the shoulder hurts doesn’t mean I work just the shoulder. I take a whole body approach at massage therapy. I want to see what motion the client is doing with their arm to cause this pain. This way I can think about the kinesiology of the muscle, the study of the movement of the body, which includes the attachment sites of the muscle as well as the action of the muscle. I’m just using the shoulder as an example, all muscles have an action and attachments sites. The whole body is amazing and I am always interested in problem-solving. I love what I do! Anyways, back to the intake process.
I also need to know about any surgeries, broken bones, or any trauma to the body. Even a little car accident where no one got hospitalized can cause problems down the road. Bones that don’t heal correctly can cause problems too. A hurt shoulder could be caused from a broken wrist years before that has left scar tissue and restricted motion. This would cause problems all the way up the arm, to the shoulder and neck!
The last thing I ask is about the goal my client has. Do they want to feel relief from one massage and come back next time it hurts? Do they want to get on a regular self-care schedule? Do they want me to give them homework so they can feel good in between massages? I can and I will! I want what is best for everyone. I will take your goals into consideration and see what we can do!
So there it is, my intake procedure. I just wanted to give you a little glimpse inside my brain during that process. It goes further than just putting pressure on the painful spot, I think about the whole body and how to help! I want to get to know my clients and help them get better!