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Why is it so important for you to have a thorough health consultation with your new therapist before getting a massage or reflexology treatment?

A massage therapist should always conduct a detailed health consultation when meeting a new client
We are all a sum of our parts!

You might assume that filling out a form or questionnaire in advance, which your therapist then reads in order to identify key factors in your medical history that might affect your treatment, is the best way to ensure you get a safe treatment. It might even save you a bit of time to do that in advance, after all, we're all so busy these days; and you just want a massage/reflexology treatment, right? not a counselling service... so why the need for any extra 'chat'?

Well, simply put, people communicate in more pertinent detail with other people, than they do on a form. A qualifying question from a therapist on a particular point can result in a completely different picture being drawn about your health, and more importantly, what you want from your time on the couch. It may be that you can let your therapist know about most of your health issues on a very well-thought out questionnaire, but, if instead of just ticking a box to indicate that you suffer from frequent headaches, you can also tell your therapist that you think the headaches stem from a recent lack of quality sleep, because you wake frequently at night with hot flushes because you think you are menopausal, that is better. A treatment aiming to alleviate frequent headaches is very different to one aiming to help you cope with ongoing hormonal flux.

If instead of just ticking two boxes about having 'dry skin' and 'allergies', you can actually explain to your therapist that your dry skin started recently, with your use of antihistamines for hay-fever, that helps paint a far better picture of what is actually going. You won't necessarily need massage oil designed for typically dry skin, but you might need the treatment room window shut because of the trees in pollen outside!

Ticking a box to say your daily exercise levels are 'low', is not the same as sharing with your therapist that you currently have three small children at home and therefore are actually constantly on the go, but simply too exhausted and time-pressed to get out for exercise in the traditional sense. Massage for the latter explanation will be seeking to calm an overly-busy mind, provide some precious me-time and perhaps sort out some toddler-carrying shoulders and hips. Massage for the former, well, meh... A really great massage or reflexology treatment is one which is shaped to you as an individual; comparatively, one which is based on ticked boxes without further discussion can only ever be formulaic.

All of this is why you'll always get better results with a healthcare practitioner who takes the time to understand you better, rather than knowing you as a list of injuries, illnesses or conditions. Extra time spent helping your therapist gain a fuller picture of you is always worth it. Your treatment will always be better tailored if your health consultation before it is holistic, meaning taking in to consideration, you as a whole person.

Holistic massage and reflexology treatments take in to account the whole person rather than simply a list of their illnesses and conditions, a philosophy first purported by Hippocrates in ancient Greece
Hippocrates' philosophy on health care focused on a holistic health care model.

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