Educating your patients on the importance of massage therapy for their overall fitness and well-being can be a wonderful way to bring added value to your session work and enhance the benefits your patients receive when they book an appointment with you. Discussing the links between massage therapy and fitness may be especially important when dealing with patients who make fitness a central component of their lives.
With each new patient who strolls into your practice, make it a point to perform a thorough intake evaluation, during which you should aim to discover what type of exercise, sports or other fitness activities they engage in on a regular basis. Another piece of this intake evaluation should address any past or current injuries or other issues the patient would like to address within the massage therapy or bodywork session.
This information on the patient’s concept of fitness and how he or she weaves fitness into daily life, along with insight on injuries or other issues, should give you a good starting point for discussing the links between fitness and massage therapy with your patients. Of course, many people may define fitness simply as overall wellness and not necessarily relate it to exercise or sports, and this is a fair concept of fitness as well.
For example, a new patient may come to you and share on the intake evaluation that he is taking medication for high blood pressure. In this instance, you could explain to the patient that receiving massage therapy has been connected to decreased blood pressure, thereby boosting general fitness. The patient may not only appreciate this information, but also take it into account and decide to book further massage sessions, which will benefit you as the professional massage therapist, too.
For a different scenario, imagine a new patient explains during the intake evaluation that she is an amateur bodybuilder, and that she is in the gym six days a week lifting heavy weights and doing quite a few cardio sessions. This same patient may also report recurring issues with her rotator cuff and want to address those issues via massage therapy.
When discussing the connections between fitness and massage with such patients, you might begin by explaining the notion of overuse injuries, where the muscles or joints may be damaged or worn down through repetitive movements; for example, when performing pull-ups several times a week for months or even years on end. You may point out rotator cuff issues can be associated with such repetitive movements.
Then, take the discussion in a different direction by explaining how massage therapy can be a big benefit to patients like this, who are engaged in vigorous and repetitive fitness pursuits over long periods of time. You want to let your patient know massage can help when used on a regular basis, because it can heal and rejuvenate muscles and joints, thereby working to balance out all the hard work her body is being put through during such intense fitness sessions.
Written by Brandi Schlossberg for MassageMag.com