Allow about hour-and-a-half in total for your first appointment.
To start with we’ll have a conversation so I can find out why you’ve come for treatment, check your medical history and cover some admin details. I will need to know about any past injuries, your regular activities and details of the pain or restricted movement you’re experiencing.
I’ll then want to have a look at your posture and check out areas of restriction and pain. I may use some widely recognised movement and palpation tests to help establish what’s going on and assess the best approach to take with your treatment. You’ll probably also have questions.
This will take a little time but is important to make sure we get the best results right from the start of your treatment programme, whether that involves one or many appointments. We will then spend about an hour on the treatment itself and you should allow about an hour-and-a-half for your whole appointment.
What you should wear
Ideally, arrive in loose clothing (t-shirt & shorts/yoga pants). For at least part of the treatment you will be in your underwear (please wear some! – pants plus your normal bra if you wear one, but not an all-in-one body), covered with towels/blankets apart from the area of your body I’m working on. There will be times when it’s better for you to be clothed but I will still need to get to your waist/neck/hip or whatever, so loose clothing is really helpful. Please avoid using moisturisers on the day of your appointment.
How you’ll be treated
Treatment is hands-on, skin-on-skin. But it’s your body and you need to tell me if you feel uncomfortable at any point. You’ll be in a comfortable position, usually lying down or seated, sometimes standing and I’ll ask you to alter your position during the treatment. Myofascial release is used in most treatments. For this there is no oil or lotion and you’ll experience gentle pressure or pulling and a releasing of the tissues. If oil is needed (usually not) I use apricot kernel oil with a little clary sage or lavender essential oil added – non-allergenic and washes easily out of clothing. Please try not to use moisturisers and definitely not self-tanning products in the hours before your treatment, as this affects the ability to carry out myofascial therapy. I also have sensitive skin and have been known to react to products used by my clients!
The treatment itself should make you feel nurtured and cared for. It shouldn’t be painful although you may experience some discomfort, particularly if we’re dealing with a long-term problem. There are no sudden movements or unexplained crunches. You decide how you feel about your treatment as we go along (I’ll usually ask you anyway). Tell me if you’re not happy and we’ll work out together how to proceed.
You can expect to have less pain, better movement and leave feeling lighter and more mobile. You need to go easy on yourself for the rest of the day, especially after the first treatment, and drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated while your body adjusts. You may feel a bit ‘zonked out’ or a little emotional and you will almost certainly sleep well. Download a copy of my Treatment guidelines to refer to and contact me if you have any concerns.
Don’t worry if your symptoms come back over a few days. This is normal – most problems have built up over many years and it will take between two and six sessions for your body to learn that it’s safe to let go of the pain and restrictions that have developed. You will probably find that a regular treatment every month or so will then keep things improving.