Treatment plans are not used or needed for general relaxation and wellness massages. But if there is a physical problem that needs to be addressed and if a client returns complaining about the same issues time after time, a treatment plan can be very helpful. It not only helps the therapist be organized and guided, but also helps educate the client so they can take an active role in their recovery and commit to improving health and well-being.
A treatment plan doesn’t isn’t only applied to a series of sessions, but can also be used to determine how a single session will take place and what areas to focus what style of massage and treatment on. The later is usually a quick mental assessment based on the conversation with the client and the first impression when starting the massage.
Treatment plans can take many shapes and include different elements. It is not only the therapist planning how to treat a client and what type of massage to give, but often giving the client things to do. This can include stretch and strength exercises, advice on posture and work habits, even food and general health advice.
When a treatment plan is put together it will often work in different phases addressing the problem at hand and changing as the muscles are normalized and problems are reduced. At first it will usually be rather intensive and often a massage is suggested and to the end a general monthly maintenance and wellness massage is recommended.
Before any treatment plan is laid out, it is important that the therapist speaks in depth with the client. All problems must be discussed beforehand. The first massage session will help the therapist assess and examine the reported problems and most likely find others related to it. After the session the therapist will determine the best treatment plan and present this to the client along with homework to support the massage the most possible.
A treatment plan can change over time and be adapted to each situation. It can turn out that a problem is more serious than first assessed and the plan needs to compensate for this. It can also be that normalizing certain muscles and postures take shorter time than anticipated and the plan will be modified accordingly. Or it can be that other problems occur during the timespan and must be taken into consideration as well. The plan is a guideline meant to aid both therapist and client in obtaining the best health and wellness.
If a therapist makes a treatment plan can be very individual. For some it is an regular occurrence, for others only in certain situations. For massages which are not medical creating a treatment plan or not is no indication of the competences and capabilities of the therapist. If you are interested in a plan and homework to improve your health and wellness, do discuss the matter with your therapist. Together you can find what will be the best for you.