The Reason Your Medical History Is Important
The New Trend In Health Care
Currently, the new trend for some Health insurance is to include CAM providers. CAM providers will take an entirely different approach to your care, health and wellbeing. Therefore, it behooves you to give as much of your medical history as possible.
CAM stands for Comprehensive Alternative Medicine and includes many Holistic and Natural Care practitioners, like Massage Therapists.
Massage is often recommended for pain management, preventative care, and accident/injury recuperation. This provides flexibility in care options. Some insurances have CAM providers in their network that you can seek out for your Holistic care.
Under a Physician’s Care
If you are under a physician’s care, seeking treatment from a CAM provider; you must provide your medical history. Most people don’t realize the importance of providing this information to Massage Therapists, even when requested to do so.
They give cursory information at best, often because they don’t feel we need to know. Most people assume incorrectly, that the doctors discuss their medical history with the therapists, but this is not the case.
Avoid Massage If You Are Sick
The most important thing to communicate with your therapist about is any condition that is contagious. It doesn’t matter whether it is a skin condition or an immune system condition.
In other words, don’t go see your Massage Therapist while you are sick. Spas are environments that require cleanliness due to the personal nature of the contact between the therapist and the client.
For instance, if you are suffering from muscle pain after taking a cruise, you need to see a doctor. You may have caught the Norovirus because muscle pain is a symptom of that condition. You must get clear on that from your doctor prior to seeing a Massage Therapist.
If you come to see a Massage Therapist after exposure to the Norovirus; you may transfer the virus to the therapist. This affects the therapist personally, but also every person they work on immediately following their contact with you. An Influenza infection transmitted onboard a plane would have the same effect.
Unders a Physician’s Care
If you are under a physician’s care, you may be asked for a written release from your doctor. It depends on the condition in question, but you may need medical clearance for receiving a massage.
A good example of a condition that requires a release is cancer. This is because massage increases circulation, and can cause cancer cells to spread.
It is incumbent upon you to communicate to your Massage Therapist about any accidents and injuries, or surgeries that are recent. The client’s pain level and the sensitive nature of the injury will often dictate the type of therapy they should have.
Addressing An Injury
If there is a lot of inflammation, light Swedish Massage is best to reduce it. Once eliminated; Therapeutic Massage techniques would eliminate adhesions, knots, and shock to the muscle caused by an injury.
Of course, the therapist still must be mindful of the client’s level of comfort or discomfort. This does not absolve the client from the responsibility of communicating with the therapist to inform them of pressure issues or to let them know if a particular technique is making them comfortable or uncomfortable.
Typical Pain Management
Previously, I was working at a pain management clinic. They brought a client to me that had been under a physician’s care at that location; for over 2 years. He never got any real relief prior to seeing me.
The doctors there were anesthesiologists. They just pump their patients full of drugs and shots they called “facets.” Some of these shots were referred to as “trigger point.” However, this is not what the real trigger point is.
They were treating what I call the “AGI” or “Area of Greatest Intensity,” which is not the trigger point.
My client’s medical history indicated that he had pain in his face around his eye, upper cheekbone near his nose and just below his eyebrow near his nose. He suffered from debilitating migraines which had been unexplainable up to the point in which I started treating him.
An Intuitive Approach
Most therapists only want to know about something that has taken place in the last 6 months to a year. However, there are others, like myself, that might ask for more medical history information on older surgeries, injuries or scars.
When a Massage Therapist asks for more information or for more medical history, it is not because they are being nosy. It is because they are either seeing evidence of something they feel the need to question you about; or, if the therapist is intuitive, your body is communicating something that they need clarification or confirmation on. For me, the later is usually the case. I am intuitive, and because of this, I find things that doctors miss.
A Rebel With A Cause
When I began treating this client, the doctor told me to massage his neck. I have always been in the habit of asking clients to tell me what and where their pain problem is. I don’t just rely on a medical assessment if I have one, because most clients don’t write everything in that. Plus, doctors usually don’t provide the massage therapist with any information on the patient’s condition.
I asked this man where his pain was. After he showed me the areas in his face, I told him that the doctor had said to massage his neck; which really didn’t make any sense, considering where his area of pain was. So I gave him a choice because my first instinct is to help the patient above all. I asked if he wanted me to work on his head and face, or his neck.
Now, I do have to say that this doctor, and many I have worked for; had no idea of the full extent of my capabilities with regards to releasing pain, nor any idea what kind of techniques I utilize. They simply expected me to do the standard thing. That’s not really my thing, because I’m about giving my patients real relief.
Finding the Root Cause of the Pain
My client, a 57-year-old male; wanted me to work on his face and head, so that is what I did. Immediately as I began to release his head, he felt a change in the pressure and relief washing over him in waves. As I was working on the anterior part of his head, I came to an area that felt very different than everywhere else. There was an indentation there as well.
When I asked him about it, he didn’t know what it was, so I asked him if he wanted me to work on it. His answer was affirmative, so I began to release this seemingly damaged area. As I did this, he indicated that he was feeling a lot of relief from the pain in his face and his head overall.
I told him that I thought that we might have stumbled across the root of his migraine problems, and he agreed. As I worked on this injured, scarred up area and released it, it seemed to release his memory as well. He had a sudden awakening.
Because I was working on an area that had not really been touched for years by any practitioner, his memory was activated and he had a sudden realization of what might have caused the disturbance in that area of his head.
A Forgotten Injury
He had been just 7 years old. I don’t know the full circumstances surrounding the injury or how it happened, but as a mother myself, I cringed when he told me what had happened to him. My son was still young at the time, and I just could not imagine an injury of this magnitude happening to him.
As a mother, I would be just dying inside if something of this massively impactful had happened to my son. I could not imagine the pain he would suffer, and even worse would be the fact that I could not help him or ease that pain in any way. It would just kill me to see my child in such agony.
What happened to this poor child at the tender age of 7? He was struck…in the head…with…a golf club. Can you imagine this? Doesn’t it make you just cringe to think about this happening to anyone, let alone a 7-year-old child? I’m telling you, it just hurt my heart when he told me.
The Doctor Never Knew
Now imagine. If I had simply done what the doctor ordered, and just worked on his neck, instead of going with my gut, asking my client, and giving him the options in his therapy; he may never have even remembered this incident in his childhood.
The doctor had never gotten this information from him after 2 years of “treatment,” but because I communicated more and asked questions, I was able to draw information from him, and work on the area that was the unknown, hidden root cause of his pain.
In conclusion, providing the medical information requested is crucial to assist your Massage Therapist in providing the best and safest treatment for your particular needs and requests.