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Why do I need to fill out this intake form, anyways?

Blah, the intake form! Every new client or patient’s least favorite part of getting medical help. It’s a pain to have to share the same information over and over but also a pain to have to write down what you simply want to say to the medical professional you’re there to see. So why must they be? What are the reasons the health practitioner requires these usually before they will see you? Is it any business of the Massage Therapists to even know any of your information?

I know. I hate having to fill those blasted forms out as well. They usually repeat the same questions and half the time, the practitioner I’m seeing doesn’t even pay attention to what I’m saying in them. The truth is, in my couple short years of practicing, I’ve already seen a plethora of situations where the intake form was absolutely VITAL for a successful visit. Here’s just a few good reasons…

1. The initial visits you go to see a Therapist, there’s typically not a lot of time to fit in all the information you want to verbally, especially if you plan on getting in a full massage.

2. Clients have a habit of writing down more medical information than they remember to mention during the verbal consultation so it’s good to have it to discover before doing harm at some point.

3. At the end of the day, a Therapist has to be able to protect him/herself from everything from liabilities to contagious illnesses or even a future lawsuit. You providing clear and accurate medical information is a clear way to communicate with the Therapist so both you and they know what to expect.

4. A very uncommon but realistic situation may happen where if a therapist has to dial 911 or call for help during the session, your medical information could be what gets you to a medical professional for serious reasons. If a Therapist can provide the vital information in an emergency, that means your health and safety are better protected. You want an EMT to know your health information when they get there.

Granted, this scenario is rare but in the several hundreds of clients I see each year, I have unfortunately seen a couple situations where a client has had to go to the emergency room following a massage or the session had to end short after the client disclosed they had a condition they didn’t mention before. Which leads me to a very vital point…

Please consider the fact that the therapist must look after not only your well-being, but the well-being of him/herself as well as clients that get on the table after you. In other words…if you have a medical condition or illness that is contagious…do not get a massage in a public facility! Either stay home and get better, go to the doctor’s office, or request an at-home or mobile massage.

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