Whether you are looking for stress relief with a relaxation massage or you are looking for help with muscular pain and stiffness, there is information that you need to share with your therapist that will help maximize your treatment and the benefits of your therapeutic massage.
- Be honest answering questions. Sometimes it is the things that you may consider unimportant that can have an effect or consideration in your treatment. Medical conditions, exercise or lack of, hobbies, occupation, periods of high stress even if that period has recently ended, are a few things that give the therapist important clues of what is happening within your body and soft tissue system.
- Speaking of medical conditions: Many people are guarded and private with medical conditions. But as with your doctors, honesty is absolutely imperative with your massage therapist. There are very few conditions in which massage should not ever be done, but there are many conditions in which treatment will need to modified or possibly held off for a period of time. Some of these include: heart conditions, erratic blood pressure, flair up of viral diseases such as hepatitis, HIV/Aids, herpes, some flairs of fibromyalgia symptoms, cancer treatments. Remember as a registered or licensed massage therapist, most state regulations hold therapists to the same patient confidentiality as your M. D. Be honest about all medical conditions and treatments for your safety and benefit.
- Do not ignore pain or a symptom because you feel it is insignificant, it maybe the piece of the puzzle needed for understanding the symptoms of your pain or stress. This can include tingling or numbing sensations, those occasional headaches, teeth pain or sensitivity, minor joint stiffness, muscles that occasionally ache, earaches, sinus trouble, breathing difficulty, etc. All of these symptoms and many others can effect or possibly be helped with massage therapy treatments.
- List any surgeries or injuries that have occurred. That car wreck in which you were hit from behind from 15 years ago could have caused soft tissue injury that is now contributing to headaches. The surgery to remove your appendix a few years ago could cause scar tissue build up and adhesions that are now contributing to your abdominal, pelvic and low back pain. And that broken ankle from years ago? Possible connection to ankle, knee, hip and low back pain.
- List your medications. The medications that you are taking can be very important in determining treatment. Blood thinners and heart medications often indicate the probability of easy bruising, high or low blood pressure and medications taken for these conditions are need to know facts, cholesterol and many other medications are known to cause muscle pain and joint stiffness which is a fact needed to determine appropriate treatment. If you take pain medication, whether prescription or over the counter is important information for your therapist as your perception of pain is affected. Being honest about your meds is important to insure that your massage treatment is safe and effective.
- If you are not feeling well, do not make an appointment or cancel if you have one. If you feel like you may be “coming down with something” it is probably not a good time to get a massage. Muscle aches that come with colds and flues are not relieved with a massage and massage could make the symptoms worse. Besides the fact that it is not good for you, it is putting you therapist at risk of becoming ill. The skin to skin contact with a person who is sick and contagious sharply increases the therapist chances of becoming sick. And when we are sick, we cannot work as we will sharply increase our client’s chances of catching our malady.