Not sure what to expect at your first massage?

Here’s what to expect when you attend Niggles & Knots for the first time:

Arrival

We respectfully recommend you plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before your first appointment. This will give you plenty of time to help yourself to a drink, settle in to our comfortable reception, and fill out our intake form.

When you first arrive you will generally be greeted with a smile by one of our friendly team members.
If no one is in reception, never fear – your therapist is just finishing with their previous client, and won’t be far away. Please take a seat and start in on our intake form – you’ll find it on a clip board on the coffee table in reception.

Intake form

We ask you to fill out a short intake form before your first treatment. It covers some information about any particular complaints or reasons that bring you to us, as well as some general health and medical history information. Please be detailed and note the basics of all health conditions, as some may influence what techniques we can use safely with you. This provides your therapist with the necessary information to be able to make your initial consult and assessment efficient and effective. Rest assured that all details you fill out on your form will remain private under our privacy policy.

Assessment

Once you’ve filled out your form and your therapist has prepared your treatment room for you, they will invite you through. Your therapist will then have a chat with you about what you are seeking from the massage. They may ask you to perform physical tests to help them determine possible cause of dysfunction or pain.

Your therapist will then generally summarise what they have observed in assessment, and confirm what you want addressed today and in future. They will ask for your input here to confirm the areas of the body they will treat, and techniques and equipment they will use – its really important at this stage to let your therapist know if you want them to use or avoid specific techniques, or to work more or less on certain areas of your body. This helps them to plan your treatment time to ensure it is as effective as possible. Together, you will agree on a treatment plan to address any dysfunction you and / or they identify.

Assessment can take a bit longer at your first treatment as we usually have a fair few details to cover, but we still do our best to ensure as much hands-on treatment time as possible. Please note however that consult, assessment and re-assessment at the end of session are all included in your treatment length / time – so if you are after a minimum of 60 minutes hands-on treatment we recommend you book a longer session.
Assessment time ensures your treatment is much more focussed and effective, so it is time very well spent.

If you have any concerns about timing, please speak to your therapist as soon as possible after arriving.

Disrobing

Once you’ve agreed on a treatment plan for your massage sesion, your therapist will explain how they wish you to lay on the table, and what level of undress they require for the treatment plan you’ve agreed upon. Generally this is undress down to underwear, however if you are uncomfortable with this please let them know and they can adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

Your therapist will then leave the room for a few minutes to allow you to undress and lay on the table. We provide a large sarong to cover yourself with, and your therapist can cover that with blankets if you are cold when they return. You will always be draped professionally during your treatment, with only areas to be worked upon uncovered as necessary.

Please note that we have treatment options available if you prefer not to disrobe or are unable to lie in certain positions (e.g. you can’t lie face down or can’t lie down at all).
If this applies to you, please call and speak to us before you book in, so we can make recommendations to see specific therapists for specific treatment types.

The Massage Treatment

When your therapist returns to begin the massage, they will generally check on your comfort levels. Please feel free to let them know during the treatment if they can do anything to make you more comfortable. Music and room temperature are easy to change, as are technique or pressure if you are uncomfortable with anything being provided. Good communication is a keystone of a great massage – just let us know if there is anything else we can do to make sure your massage experience is amazing!

Re-Assessment and Take-Home Exercises

At the end of the massage session, your therapist will generally perform some reassessment of the physical tests initially performed to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. They will then summarise what they observed for you.  They will also recommend a follow up treatment plan as necessary, and let you know what you can expect from future treatments.

Your therapist may also provide some take-home exercises and self-care advice to  maximise the results of the treatment. Any time dedicated to reassessment, exercises and lifestyle advice is included in your treatment time, so in order to demonstrate exercises your therapist may finish up your hands-on treatment a few minutes before the end of your treatment time. They will generally check with you to make sure this is ok. We encourage you to consent to this as we strongly emphasise the importance of your active engagement in your own well-being between treatments. Some simple improvements in the way you use your body day to day and / or the addition of some stretches or exercises can mean you need to see us less often and when you do you are in less pain. So its definitely worth a few minutes of your time!

Good bye... for now

After completing reassessment and exercise advice, your therapist will invite you back into reception to look at future bookings, and to finalise the treatment. If you have health fund cover with a participating fund, they can lodge your health fund claim on the spot via our Healthpoint terminal.

24 - 48 hours after treatment

While most people feel amazing the day after a good massage, tt is not uncommon to experience some mild post-massage tenderness and sometimes, depending on the techniques applied, mild bruising, swelling or lethargy. We encourage you to drink plenty of water, eat good heathy food and keep moving gently as much as possible. Apply heat or ice as per your therapists’ instructions. You may also enjoy a warm epsom salts bath.

If post-massage symptoms persist more than 48 hours after treatment, or if they are anything more than mild or impact your function in daily life, or if you have any concerns at all, please contact us immediately. We are very happy to help with post-treatment care advice but can only do so effectively if you contact us as soon as possible.

 Here’s some other common questions that clients ask:

Do I have to undress for my massage?

Your therapist will only ask for you to remove the level of clothing that you are comfortable with, and as required for the treatment. They will always keep you appropriately draped with one of our beautiful sarongs, only uncovering the area of your body they are working on at any one time. For most remedial massage sessions you will need to undress down to underwear, particularly if the treatment requires work on the back, stomach, glutes or thighs. However if you do not wish to undress at all, we do have several options for treatment that do not require undress. Talk to us at the time of booking so that we can direct you to the most suitable therapist and style of treatment.

What if I get cold / hot during my massage?

Your therapist is very happy to adjust the heating and / or air conditioning and apply blankets and layers to accomodate to your needs. Please just let them know and they will do their utmost to make sure you are comfortable.

What do I do if a massage technique makes me feel uncomfortable or is painful?

Please tell your therapist immediately if anything makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, or if any technique is overly painful. As therapists, we understand there is “good” pain and “bad” pain. “Good” pain is that somewhat-uncomfortable-but-oh-so-relieving pain. “Bad” pain is any pain that is not relieving, just painful – most notably, you tend to find yourself “fighting” to relax into it, tensing up and resisting it. We love to hear about both “good” and “bad” pain spots, as it is only with your feedback that we can really hone in on the spots that need releasing, and adjust our techniques to work within your limits and tolerances.

Does Remedial Massage have to be painful?

The short answer is NO! We can achieve most results with little to no real pain. In fact, remedial massage can at times be very relaxing and STILL achieve good musculoskeletal results.

Some people feel that a massage has to be painful to be “achieving”. We have learnt over the years this is not necessarily true. If you request pressure and your therapist does not feel it is necessary, or thinks a different gentler technique will be more effective, they will explain this to you before asking for your consent to apply these as an alternative to “deep tissue” work.
However, even though remedial massage is working on the physical musculoskeletal system, we know that massage is as much about the mental aspect – how you “feel” about it. If you feel that you need more (or less!) pressure in a particular area, please let your therapist know and they will be happy to accommodate as best they can.

I don't like the music you play - do you have any other options?

Each of our rooms are equipped with an individual stereo system with several music options including MP3 USB readers. We have a range of music, so please feel free to make a request if you do / don’t like a particular style of music and our therapists will do their best to accomodate. If you are particular about the music you listen to while having your massage, we invite you to bring your own music in MP3 format on a USB and your therapist will happily play it (please note your therapist retains the right to decline if material is offensive or otherwise not suitable to massage to).

What results should I expect after a massage?

Its not unusual to feel a bit sleepy or dazed directly after a massage. We suggest you plan some quiet time after your massage to enjoy this state & recover. Please be careful if you are driving home – if you feel particularly “zonked” (as some of our clients refer to it), you are very welcome to spend some time recovering in our spacious and comfortable reception.

You may experience some tenderness in muscles worked during the massage for approximately 24 – 48 hours after your treatment, particularly if your treatment incorporated deep tissue techniques or more aggressive structural work. This is not unusual and so long as the tenderness is bearable (tender to touch but not painful on a constant basis, and not preventing normal function), should not be a concern. We recommend that if you do experience tenderness, you avoid excessive exercise (particularly heavy resistance exercise), drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy food, and consider taking a hot epsom salt bath (if nothing else, all the above is relaxing and good for you!).
If you do experience ongoing soreness after 48 hours, or extreme soreness, loss of range, or any other adverse reactions immediately after the massage, please contact us as soon as you become aware of the issue.Whilst we are a team of highly experienced therapists, we do note that every body is unique and every body has a unique way of integrating and / or reacting to treatment. We can only learn about and accommodate to adverse reactions when you advise us of them. Whilst this sort of thing is not common, over the years we have found that when they do occur they are often precipitated by a combination of activities or events pre- or post-massage, and / or are a symptom of chronic underlying issues that may be stirred up by treatment (and hence addressed in future treatments). Either way, if you contact us we can give further home-care advice, assessment, treatment and / or referral if required to rectify the situation.