Feedback and Progress Analysis in Massage and Bodywork Therapies

Published: Feb 25, 2024
Edited by: Team TB

Somebody writing the phrase feedback

In this article, we discuss feedback and progress analysis in massage and bodywork therapies.

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But first this: the short-term effects of massage and bodywork sessions vary per individual and may be felt up to a week later.

Short-term effects can take many forms: mood swings, better sleep (or perhaps restlessness while sleeping), muscle soreness, tiredness, feeling energetic, having more flexibility and range of motion, feeling highs or lows, activeness or passiveness, among other things.

Most people will have found a new body-mind equilibrium within five to seven days, but exceptions can be the case in which clients need ten to fourteen days to digest therapeutic massage and bodywork.

Feedback after Sessions

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As a therapist it’s advised to always allow clients to give feedback or ask questions in the days after a session. Moreover, if a client doesn’t contact you it’s not a bad practice to contact them yourself and ask after their experiences.

In any case, if a client has periodic or follow-up treatments with you it’s only logical to again do a quick Intake Assessment when they return, which naturally will have more focus on the effects and results of the previous session, the possible lifestyle changes embarked on, and the exercises (if any were prescribed) the client did at home.

Therapists will commonly maintain a client log in which they note the specific assessments they performed, their diagnosis, the client’s feedback, new observations, and the client’s progress in relation to their health complaints, and so on.

Feedback during Sessions

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Nevertheless, feedback also comes to us during the actual sessions. For instance, we may see changes in facial expressions during the session flow, we hear the sounds our clients utter — sighing, moaning, coughing, sometimes even crying or screaming.

We answer the client’s questions that come up during a session. Sometimes, a client suddenly has long forgotten memories surfacing which may give us valuable information to understand the root cause(s) of their health condition.

We feel the client’s body reacting — little shocks, contractions, trembles, evasions, but also softness, openness, and relaxation.

Like the general feedback after a session, this more immediate client feedback during a session can be very important, and as such it’s advised to also note these observations in the client log for further study or consultation.


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