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  • Writer's pictureMeg Donnelly

What to Expect on your First Visit . . . and Every Visit

It can be confusing to know what to expect on your first visit as the type of massage and services offered can differ depending on where you go and who you see. Whether you've never had a massage before or if you have them frequently, here is what you can expect on your first visit (and every visit) to my office:

  • Proof of Training and Licensure: As a Licensed Massage Therapist in Virginia, you will see my current Virginia Massage Therapist License displayed in my office, as required by law, along with my Fairfax County Massage Establishment Permit, Fairfax County Massage Therapist Permit and Massage Business Permit for the Town of Herndon.

  • Client Intake Form: A Client Intake form will be completed before your first appointment and should be updated after any changes to your medical history. If you don't have a chance to complete one prior to your first appointment, just arrive about 15 minutes early to ensure additional time to complete and review. I will use this information to help guide our consultation and assist in planning your personalized session. Your intake form and any session notes are stored following HIPAA standards of compliance. Hard copies are safe locked or scanned and shredded and electronically stored documents are encrypted and password protected, to ensure your safety and privacy. Client information will be kept confidential, unless a separate Release Form is signed by you .

  • Pre-Session Consultation: Before each session, I will review your intake form and any notes from your previous sessions with you. Together we will discuss your goals for your session and your preferences . . .reviewing anything from your medical history to your preference for music and anything in between. This consultation typically lasts around 5 to 15 minutes. (This time of consultation does not affect the time of your massage. When you book a 60 or 90 minute massage, I build in an additional 15 minutes of time pre & post massage for consultation and review, to ensure you receive your full massage time booked). Before I leave the room for you to prepare for the session, we will review your level of undress, which is always based on your level of comfort. While it may be traditional to completely undress, many of my massage techniques can be performed over clothing and it is never necessary for you to remove any clothing if you are not comfortable. Under the linens so you are fully draped and covered, you have the option of leaving all or some your clothing on, leaving just your undergarments on or removing all of your clothing.

  • During the Session: After allowing you time to relax and wind down for a few minutes on the table, I will knock for permission to enter and will enter only after you are ready. To ensure your privacy, you will be draped with linens during the massage, with the exception of the areas we are currently working on. I welcome your feedback at any time during your massage. During the session, I will check in with you once or twice to ensure the environment is comfortable for you and ask about the level of pressure. If you would like to request more or less pressure, if you would like any changes to the environment, if anything is painful or uncomfortable at any time or if there is anything you wish to change, we can make adjustments accordingly or begin working on another area.

  • Follow Up: At the end of the session, I will leave the room for your privacy. Once you are dressed, you can open the door to signal you are ready and we will then review the session. I will ask to follow up with you the next day to see how your are feeling post-massage. After you depart, I will enter your session notes into my secured system, to ensure we are prepared for your next session.

The above highlights much of what you can expect during your appointment. I also offer the option of an Office Consultation appointment which does not include any hands on time, but provides a pre-session consultation in my office to see if and how massage may be a good fit for you. If you have any questions or concerns about this or anything massage related, please feel free to contact me.

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