Our approach may be a little bit different than other sport & remedial/clinical massage therapy sessions you’ve had before, so we want you to know what to expect when you see us.
Number One: What’s Your Goal?
The first thing we want to know is, what do you want from your session(s)?
And we don’t mean ‘I want my shoulders worked on’. We mean – to get rid of the pain in your neck. To improve your 10K time. To find out why you have that niggle in your knee.
We will ask you questions that help us understand what your end goal is so we can develop a plan with you to get you there as quickly as possible, in a way that works with your life.
Do you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed?
Are you looking to use massage as part of your training or life management routine, or are you looking for a periodic MOT?
In your first session, we ask you these and/or other questions so we can make sure your goals are being met. We say we offer specialised sport & remedial massage therapy because we draw on a wide repertoire of techniques to design a session or course of sessions specific to your needs.
So, if you have a session booked in with us, what do you want to walk out with? It doesn’t hurt to have your answer ready when you arrive ;).
How We Achieve Your Goal
Once we (or, your therapist) know what you want, the next step is to identify where your body (specifically your musculoskeletal system) is out of balance and how that relates to your goal/problem.
Because we find a balanced body performs way better than one out of balance. Even if you don’t feel a problem there, you’ll be surprised how much better you feel when tension you didn’t notice before is now gone.
For specific issues, that may mean some very targeted work and testing as we go along to assess cause and effect.
In a general maintenance session, we combine our detailed anatomical knowledge with more general/traditional relaxing or flushing work.
We Want You to Learn Too
One of our aims is equipping you to effectively take better care of yourself, in a manageable way.
We can only do so much in that one hour we see you, vs what you do with your body the other 167 hours a week.
For that reason, we’ll explain to you what we find, and what different things might mean, and how they might all be connected.
We almost always (99% of the time) show you at least one stretch, exercise or posture adjustment to make sure your improvement lasts as long as possible, and talk about ways you can fit it into your life easily.
We’d like you to leave us with a better sense of how your body works and will almost always give you some tips or advice as to how you can help yourself when you’re not with us.
If You Need Other Help
We are confident in what we do and what we do is very specific to soft tissue (so, muscle and connective tissue). If we feel your particular issue needs the care of other health professionals, whether it be osteopaths, physios, or your GP, we’ll let you know, whether that’s instead of or alongside seeing us.
We are happy to coordinate your care with other health professionals and believe in a cooperative approach between disciplines.
What to Expect in a Session
Now that you understand our approach, let’s look at what you can expect in your first session with us.
At the Beginning
We always start the first session with a case history, and posture and movement assessments and in your first session (and later sessions if necessary) before you get on the table.
The timing on this varies – if you’re in for a general massage it is usually relatively quick, but if you have acute pain we usually need to be more in-depth – quick equals about 5 minutes, in-depth is rarely more than 15.
We will discuss your goal(s) for the session, that is, what you hope to get out of it, and give you an overview of what we’ll be working on that day.
Why do we do this?
By identifying where your imbalances from the get-go, we’re able to target the most important areas, which means we don’t waste time on non-essentials that won’t get you to where you want.
It also gives a benchmark to work from.
Most people subconsciously adjust their movements around tension and don’t realise where all the restrictions are – assessments before and after allow us to track progress so we know that we’re actually making it.
We encourage questions, so if you have any at any point please ask!
On the Table
We generally ask people to undress down to their underwear, although you’re welcome to wear loose shorts and/or a bathing suit top as applicable. You also have the option to only undress part-way (for example, if we’re working on your shoulders you can probably keep your trousers on) if you prefer.
While you’re on the table, you’ll be covered with a towel or blanket on all areas except the one being worked on (and, sometimes we work through the towel!).
Is It Painful?
One of the most common questions/concerns people have when they see us is: How much it will hurt?
While it may be uncomfortable, it should never be unbearable or over-the-line painful. Some clients use the term ‘good pain’ vs ‘bad pain’. (Hint: bad pain feels bad, and good pain feels odd like it’s doing good.)
If it’s too painful, it’s likely that your muscles will fight us and you’ll end up overly sore without as much improvement.
We also have a range of pain-free techniques we use on various muscles.
Your therapist should explain this to you in the appointment, but the bottom line is – never feel like you have to brace yourself and bear it. It’s counterproductive and makes for a much less pleasant experience!
At the End
Your session includes time at the end to re-assess your posture and movements and how you feel immediately after.
We also almost always give you one to two stretches and/or exercises for you to take home (more than that and we find people tend to forget).
Most people experience an immediate improvement that gets even better after about 48 hours.
Others have very positive effects immediately after that decrease slightly after a couple of days.
We even have a few clients who don’t feel any different when they walk out but much better the next day.
We love it if our clients keep an eye on how they feel the week after, so we can track how you respond and plan future sessions accordingly.
After Your Session
It’s not uncommon to be a bit sore the next day (or so), and most of our clients experience more relief after the first 48 hours.
It’s important to avoid strenuous exercise immediately after so your body can integrate the changes, and work on the advice we gave you to ensure you get the most out of your sessions.
Hopefully, this overview has given you a better idea of what to expect when you come to visit us.
If you still have questions and/or would like more specific information, you’re welcome to call us at 020 8185 7364 Mon-Fri 8-6 or send us an email via our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
If you’d like to come to see us and haven’t already booked in, you can click here to book online.