When you book your first appointment for an holistic therapy, you’ll be advised we need to allow time for a consultation. It may seem a little excessive if you’re booking for a bit of relaxation, but it’s actually really important.
A consultation allows you time to get used to your therapist. If you walk in for a massage and get told to undress it can be unnerving when you haven’t met them before, so a consultation gives you a chance to feel more at ease.
It also tells us important information that you may not realise is important. Sometimes people will say they have high blood pressure but low blood pressure can be more of an issue if you’re having a therapy. An hour relaxing means your blood pressure may drop further, so your therapist will ensure you’re sat up and feeling fine when the therapy has finished, and that you don’t try to get off a couch too quickly.
If someone has a health condition such as diabetes, this is important as you may have neuropathy (reduced feeling) in your hands and/or feet. In the case of reflexology we need to be careful we’re not applying too much pressure which could be painful for you after the session.
Some people are concerned they can’t have a therapy if they have had cancer. Luckily, this myth is slowly disappearing, but a history of cancer is important to know about, as we may need to adapt a massage if lymph nodes have been removed.
If you’re on medication it’s important to know what types. Some, such as blood thinners, will affect the pressure we use. Others, such as anti-epileptic medication, will mean some essential oils won’t be used.
Why do we ask about your family? You may not think it is important to mention you’re still breastfeeding, but that information will change the blend I use for my reflexology session and will mean I choose different oils for your massage.
As we are holistic therapists we do ask about your lifestyle. It’s not to judge you, it’s to understand more about you. You may not be doing formal exercise but if you’re running after a toddler you’ll be bending, lifting, and probably experiencing issues more on the side you end up carrying your child. You smoke? So many times people say they ‘should’ give up. We all know the health issues around this and we’re not here to make you feel worse. It just helps us to understand that your physical stress levels in your body may be a little higher.
My ‘trick’ question is what do you for hobbies and relaxation. Some people have lots of hobbies and others have no time out for themselves. This question is to get you thinking about yourself, and to encourage you to incorporate relaxation into your week.
We also need to know you consent to your therapy for our records, for many therapists this will be a requirement for their membership body or insurance and is also good housekeeping.
So, the next time you book a therapy and you’re told to allow time for a consultation, don’t worry. It’s confidential and designed to make sure we can get all the right information so we can give you the best therapy we can
Louise is an holistic therapist who owns the Therapy Centre, BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information visit louise-morgan.co.uk or contact her clinic on 01275 217160