In my last massage post, I gave a lengthy account of what to expect from a home massage, from the moment I arrive on your door, to the moment I pack up and leave.

A massage consultation

A massage consultation

I touched briefly on the need for a consultation before the massage itself. The first consultation is always the longest, as it is when I take down the most detail. Consecutive ones can be considered as more of a “topping up” to check on ongoing problems or talk about new ones.

Massage, at least in the UK, is considered a holistic therapy treatment.

The word holistic is defined by the Oxford English dictionary as “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms”. Therefore a consultation helps me get an overall picture of you from a holistic point of view.

Important information would be any factors which may affect your physical and emotional health, such as medical history, diet, lifestyle, occupation, sleep patterns, exercise and relaxation.

To understand why these factors are important, consider someone complaining of tension in the shoulders and neck. During the consulation I may establish that the person works in front of a computer all day, rarely exercises and is often tired. These are all contributing factors to the muscular tension, so in addition to a massage I would also suggest lifestyle changes (more exercise, taking breaks from the computer screen in the day with neck, shoulder and eye 5-minute exercises, no late-night computer sessions etc.)

Any medical information given is necessary to establish there are no contra-indications to massage.

Some conditions may be totally contra-indicated – an example is a fever or high temperature. A fever indicates the body is fighting infection. Massage risks spreading infection due to increased circulation. However it is highly unlikely that anyone would feel like a massage when they have a high temperature.

Other conditions may be locally contra-indicated – an example would be a cut or bruise in the treatment area. The affected area just needs to be avoided, but the massage can be given as normal elsewhere.

We’ll talk in detail about contra-indications in a later post.

The consultation also helps me to find out if you’ve had massages before or if this is your first time. First time clients may be nervous as they don’t know what to expect – or what to do. A consulation is the first point of contact with you and gives me the opportunity to reassure you and allay any fears.

We can pinpoint any particular tensions or problem areas and I can suggest the best massage for you if you have not already chosen one, taking into account what YOU want from the massage (relaxation, tension relief, stress relief etc.).

This includes which massage oils you would like me to  use (neutral or with essential oils such as lavender, orange, peppermint, frangipane).

choosing massage oils

choosing massage oils

A final point: all the information I take down is and will remain confidential.

You can contact me at Just Massage for a home massage appointment in and around the Mérignac and Pessac area (near Bordeaux, France) on: