Part 1: Before we even start massaging you!
Getting the best massage with the most benefit out of each appointment depends on what your goals are for that session. The Sasquatches (barefoot massage therapists on staff) are highly trained in both realms of relaxation and injury treatment massage. We can easily blend the two approaches within a session. We have not gained clairvoyance and we are not psychic, though. Intuitive? Yes. Educated and experienced? Hell yes.
To help us help you specifically, we need to hear what you are feeling before, during, and after the massage.
Interoception: What do you feel right now?
Assuming you are a repeat client, before each appointment, our front desk staff hands you a clipboard with a daily intake. The intake features a drawing of a body from four points of view – and we usually just ask you to draw something representing where your body is feeling crabby. I like to think of it as a personal reverse voo-doo doll: just draw where it hurts to help remove the pain! Many of our clients will circle the entire body. Some of you draw mohawks on his bald head! There’s always that one day when you REALLY need a massage, and that’s when we see violent scribbles and arrows drawn on the form.
Pain is relative to the person, and completely different in everyone. Our daily intakes are an attempt to see what you feel like RIGHT NOW. It’s one step of many that we take to understand your observations. We also use it to document your pain patterns for future appointment treatment plans.
As our Sasquatches take you back to the massage room, they are usually asking you a few more questions about what you drew. We are also observing your gait and movement patterns. Our Licensed Massage Therapists can see reflections from past visits, or typical compensation patterns that tend to stem from common areas of tension, old injuries, etc. The Sasquatches decipher these daily forms based on our understanding of the musculoskeletal and fascial systems of the body. We add notes to your daily intake based on our pre-massage interview with you.
“Whats this all about?!” “How did it feel after the last session, and when did it start creeping back in?” “What movements or positions have you noticed help to relieve this pain – and which trigger it?” Digging deeper before we even put a foot on you sets the stage for the best massage experience.
Now lets back it up here. If this is your first visit to Heeling Sole, your clipboard will have what we call a Health Intake form on it. It’s a 3 page monster that becomes our “How-To” for you! Many new clients, especially if they are running a little late, rush through filling this important paperwork out. The info on this document impacts all future massages you get with us, so please, be thorough. This form asks for a simple circle or check next to anything that’s ever impacted your body – even dating back to when you were a kid. Why do we need to know that you broke your arm in 2nd grade? It won’t disqualify you from receiving a session. It WILL help to explain any range of motion hiccups. Or it will shed light on the calcification or twist we feel along the bone, and how that changed the shape and function of your forearm muscles forever!
Everything that has happened to your body is still there in some way. Sometimes not physically, but stored neuromuscularly in what some people call their “muscle memory.” We’ve seen old buried treasures seemingly cause ticklishness, protective guarding, or even muscle atrophy. If you’ve avoided using that part of your body in certain actions for years, it will impact something else, too. Let us know about all injuries and surgeries on your health intake form, so that we can streamline our massage treatment plan to find the root issues sooner.
OK OK OK. Fast forward now back to the part where we’ve left the massage room and you are getting ready to hop on the massage table. We’re out mixing our warm foot soak and cleaning our feet. We’re adding a few notes to your chart based on whatever we spoke about together in the room. YOU, meanwhile, are about to get to work and tell us what to do!
“Wait, what? I thought the next step is where I get to take a nap!”
Haha! Sort of.
To be continued in another post.
OR, find out for yourself what happens next, and schedule a massage with one of our Sasquatches!