I am a massage therapist in private practice and I am registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Why is this significant?
Because I want you to be clear on what you are letting yourself in for when you book a treatment with me.
I want you to know that you will not have a spa experience.
My rooms are comfortable, spacious and surrounded by a gorgeous, albeit wild, garden. But it is not luxuriously done-up in hip and happening design trends.
And I don’t incorporate the latest fad in body treatments either. Remember chocolate massage and coffee massage? And that the one treatment I could possibly add to the menu thanks to an overabundance of the creatures in my garden, namely the snail massage?
Well, I do none of that.
And I don’t do a particular type or style of massage e.g. Swedish or deep tissue or sports massage.
Having completed the compulsory two-year diploma in therapeutic massage, I have experience in a number of techniques and I select the ones most appropriate for you depending on your wants and needs.
I also don’t combine massage with any other health modality. Not even aromatherapy or reflexology.
Why? Because I have not received training in any other modality besides massage. Under South African law, therapeutic massage, therapeutic aromatherapy and therapeutic reflexology are three separate therapies each with its own scope of practice set out in the Allied Health Professions Act No 63 of 1981.
The bottom line? I offer full body massage treatments and basic postural assessments.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with going to a spa. Any opportunity I get to go, I go too.
Rather I want to explain what I do and how I do it and what you can expect when you come for a massage:
It starts with our pre-treatment chat and filling out health and medical history forms.
I ask general questions about your health and lifestyle, what areas you would like worked on, whether there are any particular conditions I need to know about, which medication you are taking, all to establish if massage is appropriate for you.
There are a few medical conditions that would make massage inappropriate including colds and flu in the early stages, infections and undiagnosed lumps or pain.
In some cases I might have to ask your permission to speak to your doctor or for you to provide a referral letter from her.
These things we need to sort out before the treatment.
Now it is time for the postural assessment, or what some clients refer to as the ‘police file procedure’ because it resembles and identification parade – front view, back view and profile views.
I do this to later combine what I have learnt in our discussion with what I see in your body with what I feel when massaging and what you experience during the massage.
That way, after the first treatment, we can design a personalised treatment plan for you. Each client’s treatment is unique and based on their age, needs, physical condition, emotional state and temperament.
Finally the time has arrived to enjoy the massage.
WHAT TO WEAR OR NOT TO WEAR
Well almost but first we have to deal with the sensitive question of undressing - what and how far?
It all depends on your level of comfort. Although most people prefer to undress completely for the massage, you have the choice to keep on your underwear. Also you will be able to undress and dress in private.
HERE WE GO ... AT LAST!
Now we can start the massage treatment with you on a table especially designed for your comfort. You are not required to do anything besides close your eyes and relax. Or if you want, feel free to talk. The choice is yours.
The session takes place in a temperature-controlled, comfortable and quiet room. You are covered with a bath sheet at all times. I only uncover the area being worked on and no areas will be exposed without your consent.
I use grape seed oil unless the client prefers and supplies another type of oil, lotion or gel.
I have only one rule in my practice; you are not allowed to suffer in silence.
SUFFERING IS RULED OUT
You need to tell me if the pressure is too deep, if you are experiencing pain or if you need to change your position.
Feel free to ask questions at any time or mention if you feel any discomfort so that I can use another approach or technique.
THE END RESULT
You will feel relaxed, sometimes so relaxed that you might feel slightly disoriented when getting up from the massage table. Give yourself a minute or two to get your bearings before getting up.
Once you are up however, you could feel less stressed, more energised, refreshed and aware. Also you may experience less intense discomfort and pain and increased mobility.
However it is possible to feel sore for 24 to 48 hours after, the same way you would feel after a work-out. This is a normal physiological response.
I have tried to summarise the procedures I follow but in order to truly appreciate a massage treatment, you have to feel it.
PS. This is my blogpost for Day Two of the 7 Day Bizblog Challenge put out by South African Business & Blogger Tribe and Sam Posselt, Speaker of Hashtags #rsabizblogs
Body-mind or mind-body? If you are struggling with physical and mental pain and feel that the dominant health paradigm’s dualistic approach to mind and body seems inadequate to explain anything, I want to talk to you. Join me under the tree in my garden for a cup of rooibos tea and let’s talk massage and SomaSense!