Why is assessment necessary when I am getting a massage?

Ever wonder why we ask you to fill out a health intake form?  What do we do with information?  After all it seems massage cannot hurt anyone!  As a massage therapist, it helps us understand your well being and underlying conditions that we may not know of.  It helps us provide you with a safe treatment plan and not cause any harm.  For example, if one's blood pressure is not under control and we do massage where there is a natural increase in blood circulation then we may be indirectly harming you by increasing blood flow and possible increase in blood pressure or the body retaining fluids.  We do not want these so called side effects of massage!  In order for your safety we ask you to fill out the forms to help us understand your health.  It helps us know if any of the medications you are taking can cause bruising.  

Other assessments may include verbal consultation, range of motion testing, manual resistance and other special testing, and may be done before your therapist starts your massage, or as part of your massage treatment and post massage.  Assessment allows your therapist to track changes in your symptoms, so they can adjust their treatment plan as you heal.  If you have a injury then we want to see your current range in every session. The reason for this is to help your RMT best understand your condition, and any changes to your condition, in order to provide the most effective treatment. It is a great way for you to also see the results of the session and feel that you are on the right track.  

An assessment allows for a specialized and targeted treatment; this does more than just soothe your symptoms and allows for lasting results, including decreased pain and increased range of motion. An assessment is not a diagnosis, it is an evaluation of soft tissue and the implications this has for posture and function of muscle and joints.

Assessment really is a process that allows each client to receive the treatment that they need and deserve. Assessment and treatment are two parts of one whole, it allows massage therapists to assist you in your healing.