Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to my patients’ frequently asked questions. If there is something I’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to ask. For more information, get in touch, and I will endeavour to answer your query.
What should I expect from my first session?
After completing your consultation form (link included in your appointment confirmation email) remotely, I will see you at my home clinic (waiting area to left side of house). Generally, I schedule a longer (65 minute) initial appointment. We will run through your new client questionnaire together, and I will ask for extra relevant information I need; I may also question you about other medical conditions listed. After this I may examine you, and carry out orthopaedic testing, movement or postural observations if required. Clinical Massage & Bodywork treatment will include a combination of therapies & techniques which I feel will be most beneficial for your problem/s, but you are free to veto any therapies you do not with to receive (e.g. Acupuncture), or any areas you do not want treated (or undraped).
What 'are you'? Are you a Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Chiropractor?
My job title is a Clinical Massage & Bodywork Therapist and my main professional qualification is a professional diploma (level 6 BTEC) in Advanced Clinical & Sports Massage; I specialise in the treatment of chronic (i.e. longstanding) pain. I am not an Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor, though I do use a number of osteopathic techniques in clinic, and treat many of the same conditions as the aforementioned Allied Health Professionals.
How should I prepare for my first treatment (and what shall I wear)?
It is best if you arrive for treatment relaxed, rested and not overly full (though I appreciate this is not always possible). Avoid taking/applying painkillers or anti-inflammatories for 4 hours prior to your appointment; also please avoid using body oils or moisturiser on areas to be treated that day. If you are having Thai Massage or Tui Na treatment, please ensure you wear comfortable loose fitting clothing including trousers (no jeans please). Avoid tight trousers for Reflexology and please have clean, infection-free, feet. For Clinical Massage & Bodywork, or Sports Massage/Injury Treatment, what you wear is not so important as you will usually be asked to unclothe the area/s to be treated. You will be draped to keep your modesty, and can request to be treated through clothes if you prefer.
How much does a treatment cost?
Different treatments, and different lengths of treatment, have differing costs. Some holistic & relaxation treatments are cheaper than Clinical Massage & Bodywork or Sports Injury Treatment; this is because of the specialist nature of my Massage & Bodywork therapy, and the greater time and money spent studying in these areas.
A 50 minute Massage & Bodywork treatment is my most popular treatment at £55.
For a 50 minute Holistic Therapy or Relaxation treatment the cost is around £45.
Why doesnt the NHS offer specialist treatment like you offer?
My specialist massage & bodywork work falls outside the remit of conventional medicine, which the NHS is part of. Physiotherapists are part of conventional medicine, but get little specialist training in massage & bodywork as part of their degrees, or NHS training. NHS musculoskeletal Physiotherapists also lack the appointment time to give decent massage and bodywork treatment, plus their focus tend to be on assessment, diagnosis and rehabilitation exercise (i.e. motivating you to help yourself, not 'giving hands on treatment').
Also, most NHS departments/specialties are overstretched and cash-strapped; the government is not looking to spend hundreds of millions extra expanding the range of musculoskeletal therapists available on the NHS to include Bodyworkers and Osteopaths in addition to Physiotherapists, unfortunately.
Will my health insurance (or health plan) pay for my treatment?
This is really a question for your insurance company, not your therapist. Different insurance companies have different rules/criteria for what they will cover. If they cover Sports or Remedial Massage, then they should pay for treatment with me. However many only pay for Allied Health Professionals such as Osteopaths, Chiropractors or Physiotherapists; if this is the case then they will likely not cover your costs with me. Many issuers cover Acupuncture, which I offer (only Medical Acupuncture, not Chinese). However insurers may only cover this part of your treatment, and not other therapies used (i.e. they may pay for part of your treatment, if I incorporate Acupuncture). My main qualification is a level 6 BTEC in Advanced Clinical & Sports Massage and I am a member of the CThA; insurers may require this information.
Do you have disabled access, or do house calls for disabled/elderly individuals?
My clinic is on the ground floor with 1 step into the clinic (I can add a second 1/2 step, if this is easier). If you can walk 10 meters, and manage a step or two, it should be fine for me to treat you in clinic (just remind me to leave the driveway clear for your vehicle). If you are disabled and not able to manage treatment in clinic, I am able to do house calls (though times and spaces are limited). However, I will not do a house call out of client preference to be treated at home, only through clinical need, due to the extra time, effort and expense it incurs.
A £10 call out charge is applied for house calls, strictly within 10 miles of Alton.
Do you treat children, or elderly clients?
I treat, and have treated, a very wide range of clients from young children to very elderly/frail clients. I do not treat babies and toddlers but I am happy to treat children from the age of three, provided they are able to stay relatively still while I work and don't play with my equipment. I am also happy to treat elderly clients , and have treated patients into their mid 90's, including those with mild-moderate dementia (the client must be able to stay relatively clam and still for therapy to take place, however).
How many treatments will I need? Do you offer courses of treatment?
How many treatments you need need, and how often you require treatment, varies a great deal according to a number of factors including the condition/injury, how long you have had it, your age, your health and whether you cease aggravating activity (i.e. work, sport, hobbies, housework). Most chronic conditions require weekly treatment initially, reducing to fortnightly then monthly etc. Acute conditions, tendonitis and recent injuries may initially require treatment twice a week, reducing to weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc. An average length of a treatment course is 6-8 treatments, though may clients get considerable improvement in fewer treatments.
You are able to book a course of six treatments, which has a 10% price reduction!
Do you have parking at the clinic?
My clinic is a home clinic and I have a driveway with two (small) parking spaces. Often one is free, which clients are able to park in. However, I cannot guarantee this, and the alternative is 'on the road' parking in Florence Way. Please do not use the turning area in front of the house to park, and park considerately to my neighbours.
What is Bodywork Therapy and/or a Bodyworker?
Bodywork Therapy is an umbrella term for specialist 'hands on' treatment of the body to address chronic pain, postural problems, musculoskeletal issues and sometimes emotional/trauma issues. Bodywork includes, but is not limited to, specialist massage & myofascial techniques to treat the bodies soft-tissue (i.e. muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia). However, bodywork also includes treatment and mobilisation of the joints and spine; I also use oriental bodywork from China & Thailand in my clinic.