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An overview of what to expect if you’re a first time massage client of Synergy Massage Therapy…

What to expect from your first massage

Are you new to massage and unsure of what will happen in your appointment?  Not sure how you will know if you are going to a reputable therapist?  The following article will give you some tips on what to look out for to know that your therapist is properly trained and what to expect when you go into your appointment.

How do I know that I am seeing a trained and qualified therapist?

In Australia Massage is an unregulated industry, which means that any person may set themselves up as a massage therapist, despite holding no qualifications.  So how do you know that the therapist you are attending is trained and qualified to perform massage?  Your initial point of contact may be a website, Facebook page or advertisement.  It is here that you can look out for some indicators that the therapist is trained appropriately.  Some indicators may include advertising that they are a member of an association, advertising that they are insured, stating their qualifications and offering rebates for health care funds for Remedial Massage or Myotherapy.  Most qualified massage and remedial massage therapists belong to an association and as such are bound by a ‘Code of Conduct’, required to be first Aid trained and to complete a specified number of ongoing professional education units per year.  This means that you will be able to expect a level of professional conduct from these therapists (and have a place to contact should you feel that your therapists conduct is not what it should be).

When you enter the therapists clinic or room they should have their qualifications clearly displayed in the room, along with a certificate of membership if they belong to an association.  Your therapists should require you to fill out a medical history questionnaire at your first appointment in order to ascertain any contraindications for massage and plan treatment which is individually tailored.  If your therapists launches into a treatment without obtaining a history they will not be aware of any factors that may effect your response to massage such as if you are on blood thinners, if you have osteoporosis or are on pain medication, all of these factors should be taken into account when planning a treatment.  When completing your medical history it is important to fill it out thoroughly and correctly.  You must also ensure to let you therapist know of any changes to your history or if you have taken any pain medication prior to your appointment as the therapist will need to adjust the treatment appropriately.

relaxation massage

How do I know what type of massage to ask for?

Once a medical history has been taken and discussed your therapist will then discuss you reasons for massage.  Are you there for relaxation purposes, or is there a specific issue that you would like addressed?  If you are there purely for relaxation purposes your therapist will discuss if there are any particular areas that you would like focus on and may perform a postural assessment.  A purely relaxation massage cannot be claimed on your private health insurance.

If you have a specific issue or area of pain that you want addressed the therapist will ask further questions regarding this, and perform a postural assessment, range of motions and special tests to ascertain where this pain or dysfunction might be originating.  This type of massage is ‘Remedial’ and the therapist will then focus their treatment on the areas that the testing has indicated are dysfunctional or out of balance.  This is not a full body massage.  After the treatment the therapist will perform any required post treatment assessment and provide advice on stretches, strengthening or other things that you can do at home to assist the treatment.  A number of treatments is usually required to address a specific problem.


What should I expect to happen during my treatment?

treatment room

Your therapist should discuss and gain consent for the areas that they are going to treat.  They should leave the room and allow you adequate time to undress and lie on the treatment table covered with a towel.  The therapist should use appropriate draping techniques throughout your treatment where only the area being treated is left uncovered.  Throughout treatment underwear should be worn to allow appropriate tucking of towels.  Bra’s can be either left on or taken off depending on the clients level of comfort.

Throughout your treatment the therapist will check in with you regarding level of pressure.  If you are finding the pressure too much or too little it is important to advise the massage therapist so that they can adjust their pressure.  Every individual is different and your massage therapist will be more than happy to adjust the pressure to suit, they will not be offended!

At the end of the treatment the massage therapist should leave the room allowing the client adequate time to get up and dress.

Massage Etiquette

foot massage

If you are unable to keep your appointment please let your therapist know as soon as possible or within 24 hours at the latest to allow the therapist time to make alternative arrangements.  Failing to attend an appointment with no notice will result in the client paying the full fee as the therapist has put aside this time.

Please refrain from undressing while the therapist is still present in the room.  Although you may be comfortable doing this, the therapist may not be.

It is best to have a shower prior to your treatment to maintain appropriate standards of hygiene.  If you would like your feet to be massaged, please ensure that they are clean.

Please let your therapist know if you have any skin conditions, such as broken skin, eczema or allergy so that they may adjust the treatment if needed.  If you have sunburn in the area to be treated it is best to postpone treatment until the skin is no longer sore.  If you have any infectious conditions such as lice or scabies please refrain from massage until you have been cleared from infestation.

If you are unwell or feel that you are becoming unwell it is best to postpone your treatment.