Massage Therapy Intake Form
Set Clients at Ease: Establish Bodywork Policies
By Angela England
When a massage therapist works with a new client, it is important to establish a professional working relationship, explain policies, and make him or her feel comfortable. A clear bodywork intake procedure can achieve all these goals.
A few months ago, I made an appointment for a massage with a new therapist I had never visited. She didn't know I was a veteran massage therapist.
When she arrived at the salon, she disappeared quickly-I assumed to get the room ready. I had allowed an extra 10 minutes for any paperwork, but when she returned, she just escorted me to the dark massage room lit only by candles. Then she said, "Just get undressed, and I'll be back in soon, " as she walked back out the door.
I was shocked! Not only did it make me feel a little uncomfortable in a what-do-I-do-now kind of way, but I was also disappointed not to be able to communicate what I was hoping to obtain from the bodywork session. My neck and shoulders always appreciate extra work. At the time, I was three months pregnant, and I wanted to make sure that my condition was communicated to the therapist, so she could avoid certain acupressure points.
Later, as I began talking to other massage therapists, I was fascinated to learn that many had not learned a strong intake procedure in school, nor did they understand the benefits of using it in their business practice.
Why Intake Procedures Are Important
Proper intake procedures can help bodyworkers in a wide variety of ways. A standardized intake will help keep a therapist safe from potentially unscrupulous clients by establishing clear boundaries. It will also help protect a therapist's reputation, because each client is treated the same and hears the same guidelines when he or she comes in the door.
A properly worded, strong intake procedure will set nervous clients at ease and help bodyworkers establish an immediate, professional rapport. Most importantly, the intake procedure gives both therapist and client a starting place to engage in a dialogue about the upcoming treatment session. While crucial for new clients, intake procedures should be revisited with continuing clients. Updating the details helps keep therapists updated on clients' ever-changing health.
Components Of A Solid Intake Form
Let's take a look at the intake form all clients should fill out before their first bodywork session. At the minimum, a quality intake form should include:
A Medical History And Questionnaire
Your form should cover allergies, any recent surgeries and injuries, areas of concern, blood-clotting issues, infectious diseases, medical conditions, medications, and contraindications.
Personal Client Information
Name, address, phone number, and e-mail are all tools therapists can use to keep in touch after the session ends. A birth date allows the therapist to send a coupon or personal note and is usually required when billing insurance.