What should I expect at my first visit?

How to prep for your first visit

For clinical work, there's no need to undress as you would for a relaxation session. Please bring or wear gym clothes. During this type of session, there can be quite a bit of movement while on the table. Keeping clients appropriately dressed allows us access to shoulders, neck, knees, and lower legs without worries of exposure. For men, a pair of shorts will do. For women, a pair of shorts with a sports bra and sleeveless top is best. We have a table warmer and blankets to ensure clients stay comfortably warm. 

Please show up on time for your appointment. If you are early, there is a waiting room down the hall as well as saunas and steam rooms in the locker rooms, but you will need to bring yourself to the studio at the time of your appointment. A link to complete the intake forms is emailed once the first appointment is booked. Forms should be filled out prior to your appointment or it will eat into the session time. No receptionist is available to give you paper forms before your appointment.
 

The Personalized Evaluation

First, we will take time to discuss your reasons for seeking therapy, your expectations, and your health history.  
 

Next, we will thoroughly assess your condition using a combination of range of motion, resistive tests, functional movement screening, orthopedic tests, observation, and palpation. This process helps to identify further the soft-tissue structures needing attention.

A good evaluation is the key to determining the techniques needed and outlining a treatment plan. This process can take between 5-20 minutes.

The Treatment

Orthopedic massage is not anything that you would probably recognize as "massage therapy."  That is to say; you don't immediately go into a room by yourself, get under a sheet, and wait for the massage therapist to come in - that much you have realized after reading about the evaluation procedures.  The session that follows is not usually passive but instead active and engaged.  It focuses less on relaxation and stress relief, more on finding the root cause of a particular pain and relieving it. 

Brute force VS Finesse

Orthopedic Massage is a very deep therapy but also pain-free. For many people who have experienced deep tissue massage, that may seem like an oxymoron. We work with the muscles rather than against them. If the muscles tense against the discomfort of the work, it defeats the effectiveness of the techniques. We have spent years learning how to take our clients right up to the pain threshold without crossing it and simply torturing them. 
 
Using various soft tissue manipulation techniques, we work to alleviate various painful conditions caused by soft tissue strain. We may release tight muscles, stretch shortened muscles and tendons, and decompress joints. The goal is to normalize the body's soft tissues to treat specific conditions and non-specific pain issues.

Depending on your issue(s), multiple sessions may be recommended to treat the problem - to ensure that the problem is eliminated and build up strength and resistance in the affected area so that the condition does not reoccur.

Home Care Recommendations

A teaching session and homework follow your treatment.  You will be taught techniques that you can do on your own to assist in the prevention and elimination of soft tissue injury & pain.  These techniques may include problem-specific stretches, strength-building exercises, and tips to improve posture during daily activities. The suggested homework you receive will help maintain what we achieved in the session. Home care gives you control over how good you feel.

Credit where credit is due 

The ideas and text expressed herein are not ours alone, but a culmination of theories, techniques, and protocols learned from Masters in the fields of massage therapy, orthopedic massage, anatomy, and corrective exercise - such names as Whitney Lowe, James Waslaski, Dr. Hedley, Mr. Libbey, Dr. Dalton, Dr. Brookbush and so many others.  We are dedicated lifelong learners and would not have gotten this far without years of study. We are humbled by the beauty and diversity of the human body. We are grateful for the opportunity to change lives by eliminating pain.