If you've had a massage from more than one person, at different locations, in other states.. one thing you may have noticed is that we all ask similar questions. Or at least we SHOULD be asking these questions. The therapists at The Massage Connection in Frisco will begin your first session with questions to help us build of picture of you as a client. The more we know about you, the better we are able to create a service just for you. Here are 7 common questions asked before, and possibly during, your session and WHY we ask them.
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US?
This is a fun question! We always love to know how our clients find us. We're a small, local business and every dollar we spend on marketing is an important dollar. So if we know which method works, we know which basket to put our eggs in. But word of mouth is by far the best! And we want to know who's out there supporting us. So.. How did YOU hear about us?
DO YOU HAVE ANY INJURIES I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
No amount of client history is too small. Anything from a stubbed toe to shoulder surgery helps paint a picture of what you're experiencing. The more we know about you as a client, the more effective we can be. Have you ever broken your foot? That can effect your gate. Did you just get a mole removed? We know to stay away from the area. Dealing with injuries can also affect your emotional health and stress levels, which is just as important to us as a broken bone. What injuries has massage helped YOU with?
WHEN WAS YOUR LAST MASSAGE?
When you come in for your session, we want to be sure we’re on the same page. If you’ve had a massage within the last few days, you may still be a little sore. On the other hand, if you’ve never had a massage, you might not know what to expect. Your answer also tells us if you’re already on track with regular massages - and how we can help you get there if you aren’t. One last thing we learn here is whether or not the treatment you had two days (weeks?) ago is working for you.
WHAT MEDICATIONS ARE YOU TAKING?
This is an important question! We ask this to learn if you are on any medicines that could effect your body’s response to the massage. For example: if you’re on blood thinners, you may be susceptible to easy bruising and we may need to lighten the pressure. If you’re on nerve depression medication, your pain perception may be off so we need to pay extra attention to not hurt you. The take away here? Tell us what medications you’re on so we can make a massage plan that fits your body.
HOW FAR ALONG ARE YOU?
THIS QUESTION IS SO FUN!! It means there’s a prenatal massage about to happen ❤️❤️. It’s also important for us to know so we can modify (or not modify) our plan. There are a lot of different opinions about what types of massage are good/bad during pregnancy.. for example, many therapists won’t massage a pregnant woman in her first trimester. Some doctors agree with this, some say there’s no reason not to! If you’re pregnant, we’ll talk to you about your concerns and make a plan just for you.
ARE YOU ALLERGIC TO ANYTHING?
Can you imagine getting a massage and all of a sudden your skin starts itching or burning because you’re allergic to the lotion/cream/oil being used?? WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!! Always tell your therapist what you’re allergic to. Even the detergent used to clean the sheets could cause a reaction. (This happens less than anyone should worry about, but it’s a possibility!)
IS THE PRESSURE OK?
This seems like an obvious question, but it’s the simplest way for us to get feedback from you as a client. The message here is: If you don’t tell us it hurts, there’s no way for us to know. Everyone has their own expectations and we aren’t mind readers. Some clients think if they squirm or make noises we know to stop or lighten up. But that’s just not true. One client will want us to ignore them, while another thinks that a grimace or grunt is sufficient. USE YOUR WORDS.
Let's be honest with each other.
The truth is, there is no reliable research that says massage therapy is an answer to the great mystery that is pain. The studies that have been done are inadequate. At best, they have found that massage therapy can be effective but they aren't sure why.
And this isn't a popular opinion to hold as a massage therapist! Many in the industry make claims about our techniques and abilities that come close to being outside our scope of practice and completely unfounded. And knowing all of this, I market my company on the platform of "massage for pain relief". I hire therapists that are skilled at techniques taught to reduce pain. But pain is complicated. The body and the brain act together in ways that the scientific community has JUST BEGUN to understand.
What is an effective massage to alleviate chronic pain? Is it trigger point? Is it deep tissue? (Can you tell me the difference between those two? And while I'm asking, do you know the difference between a sports massage and a deep tissue massage? What about a therapeutic massage?) Massage techniques that work for you may not be the best fit for your friend. Pain is different in all of us. Our brains process it differently; which means we experience it differently. And just the same, each massage therapist has been trained differently; applies pressure differently.
The one thing that I know for sure? When you come in for your appointment we won't make false claims. I believe massage can be a great tool for managing pain. I have experienced it myself; our clients have experienced it. If you've been dealing with pain and aren't sure what to do.. massage therapy is a great place to start. And while the studies typically say "more research is needed", results do show that massage therapy may be beneficial for those experiencing pain.
This is the philosophy that drives The Massage Connection. Deep tissue, myofascial, trigger point, sports massage, therapeutic massage.. call it what makes you comfortable. The point is, we will do everything we know how to bring you as much pain relief as we can; immediate, temporary.. we'll do our best to get you the results you're looking for. If we can't help you, we have many connections and are happy to refer you to trusted partners.
*At The Massage Connection, we choose to use the term "Therapeutic Massage". Therapeutic literally means "related to healing" and we believe it's a great umbrella term. We tailor each service to fit the individual - so when you book your appointment online, you don't have to be confused by a huge menu of choices. "Relaxation+Recovery" is the term used for my signature service I have created over my 11 years of being a massage therapist. It's also a way to separate me, the owner, from my staff of massage therapists.
Want to read up on some of the massage studies? A simple Google search will give you many options.. this is one of them.
Erin Conner is a massage therapist and owner of The Massage Connection and Erin Kathleen Spa - both located in Frisco, TX. She's a runner, cyclist, dabbles in power tools, and has her own experience with chronic low back pain.