What you can expect on your first treatment:
There is a bit of paperwork to be completed prior to your treatment, so please arrive 5-10 minutes early, but no more than 15 to avoid disrupting the treatment ahead of you.
Laura will be running a paperless clinic, so there will be the option of filling your health history out online and sending it to her before your arrival, or there will be a tablet set up for gathering your health information ebfore your first appointment.
The health history information is gathered to inform your therapist about any health concerns you may have that could affect the massage, so please include all conditions and medications to ensure a safe treatment. All information gathered is strictly confidential and is kept in a secure filing system.
Once your appointment begins, you will sit down for a few moments with Laura to review and assess your concerns. If you are coming in for a specific complaint or injury, the assessment time may be longer if it a complicated issue. This assessment is included in your appointment. Testing the length, strength, and range of your muscles may be done, which can be geared to replicate your discomfort. Please communincate any discomfort to Laura to avoid firther injury. Gait and postural analysis may also be done.
Getting on the table will depend on the areas to be treated, generally clients disrobe to their undergarments even if the legs are not being treated as they dont enjoy wearing pants under blankets. It is easiest to treat directly on skin, so if you are comfortable disrobing all areas of treatment to skin that is preferrable. If you are uncomfortable with that, it is quite easy to adapt the treatment to be done over the clothes. When you are ready to get on the table, you will be getting under the top sheet and blanket, and on top of the bottom sheet which will have pillows places to support your lumbar spine and ankles. Your face can rest in the cradle and your arms can either be supported on the sling or on the table at your sides. You should be comfortable, and all aspects of the table are adjustable, as is the music! So don’t hesitate to ask for any adjustments at any point during the treatment.
Your therapist will leave the room to allow to get comfortable with privacy, and will knock before coming in.
The treatment itself will be a therapeutic approach, which may include deep tissue work and joint manipulation, so it is very important that you communicate any pain. Your therapist has no idea what you are feeling unless you tell her. Deep tissue work will cause a slight discomfort, but the goal is to keep you, as the client, relaxed so you can still enjoy the treatment while able to tolerate enough pressure to elicite the benfits. Your therapist will check in to make sure that the pressure is adequate, please don’t hesitate to give feedback for more or less pressure at any time during the session. A good guide is to say that 0 is no pain at all and 10 is unbearable pain, at no point in time during the massage should your pain scale pass a 6. This is relative to the individual client, so what pressure is tolerable for one client may be quite painful to another, which makes the communication from the client all the more important.
After the treatment is done, your therapist will leave the room and you will be able to rest for a few moments. Once you are ready to get up, get dressed and come out to the waiting area where you will be given any homecare, such as stretching or exercises relevant to your treatment plan.
You will then be asked for payment and issued a receipt that can be submitted to your health insurance or income tax. You will also be given an opportunity to set up another treatment.
You can also ask for one of the following Modalities:
Therapeutic taping is not only used for athletic purposes.
You may be offered muscle or postural taping to enhance the massage. The flexible tape used is either Dynamic tape, or Vigor tape, but they both work in very similar ways.
Depending on how they are applied to the muscle, they can inhibit or facilitate to help with an imbalance. Injuries such as tendonitis, bunions, muscle strains, or impingements can be helped with the tape.
Postural taping can be applied to assist with proprioceptive reminders to keep shoulders down and back to combat the “desk slouch”, prenatal clients can get supportive taping around the belly to help with the discomfort of carrying low, altered gait from a “duck toe” walk can also be helped with taping.
Once the tape is applied it can last for up to 5 days with showering and sweating. If needed you can come in for just a taping application if needed between treatments for $10.
Dry needling is a western approach to the acupuncture needle. The treatment is done alongside the massage, generally near the end. The therapist uses acupuncture needles, which are incredibly fine (0.08mm in diameter) and inserts them into problematic areas in the connective tissue, most commonly muscles. The needle can cause the muscle to contract rapidly, followed by a release.
The benefit of this more aggressive treatment is the longer lasting and deeper effects it can elicit. The catch? It can be painful. In a more problematic area the muscle contraction can be quite painful, and can cause muscle soreness for up to 48 hours after the treatment. For the most part, clients who receive this treatment find the pain tolerable, especially when weighed against the results.
If you have a fear of needles, don’t shy away from this option. Take a look at the tiny needles and rest assured that they are not painful when inserted. They are fractions of the size of your flu shot needle. Ask any questions that could quench some fears, and keep in mind that the treatment is integrated gradually. Generally your first needling session will last no more than 5 minutes.
Tool assisted fascial release is another great option to assist with restricted muscles and problem areas. The scary looking blade is not named well. It does not have sharp edges, it is not used for cutting or splitting. The edges of the blade are used to “scrape” over areas that have some fascial restriction. This might be a spot where you are chronically tight, or around a joint that has less range of motion that it should.
The blade smoothes out any adhesions that develop between the tissues and it brings circulation to the area and increased the range of the muscle.
It can be slightly uncomfortable but this modality is also integrated into the massage, so it will be eased into the treatment gradually so you can become acclimatized to the work. At times you will end up with a discolouration of the skin where the work is done that resembles a “hickey”. There should be no residual pain after the treatment, but the redness can be startling without warning.
This modality is extremely helpful for clients who have restrictions related to their jaws. If you suffer from headaches, lock jaw, jaw pain, jaw stiffness or the like, then you may be a clencher or a grinder whether you realise it or not. Usually in these types of situations your dentist will prescribe a dental splint to save the teeth from wearing down. This massage technique gets the muscles on the inside of the jaw to additionally help mobilize the TMJ (temporo mandibular joint) and ease the discomfort.
The treatment is done mostly on the neck, scal and outer jaw. Your therapist will then put on a glove and work on the chewing and clenching muscles on the inside of the joint. Since many people are very sensitive about intra oral work, this procedure will be discussed before it is done. The technique is very gentle and done with very soft fine movements, and only in the mouth for seconds at a time. You are encouraged to alert your therapist at any point if you are uncomfortable and need a break.
Many clients notice and immediate improvement in tension within minutes of the first treatment being done.
Websites explaining more about the taping options
Blade work website:
More information about the governing bodies of massage:
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