Whether you’re using a table or chair, most event massage set-ups are less formal than the traditional office appointment. Patients are generally clothed, appointments are shorter, and often back to back with minimal intake and assessment time. Events may be triathlons, festivals, rodeos, trade shows, or even family reunions. You might be volunteering for an organization, or setting up to promote your own business. Like packing for a trip, theres no end to what you could use, but what’s actually necessary?
Looking after the Patients
Comfort is not the number one priority, hygiene is. If there is no readily available soap and water, bring your own unscented hand sanitizer. Don’t forget cleaner or wipes for your vinyl, and face cradle covers. I like using cloth, but disposable covers are very efficient. If you prefer some glide, bring a tube of non-greasy unscented cream that won’t stain clothes. And remember, 15 minutes is not going to remedy a lifetime of injuries, but a bit of Biofreeze or Herbal Heat applied after some trigger point release can make it feel like an hour’s worth of treatment. .
Look after Yourself
If you’re not accustomed to onsite or event massage, practice a simple routine that will cover the basics and leave people feeling relaxed. We recommend providing an abbreviated intake and consent form for people to sign before you treat them. If you are organizing for yourself, have a sign up sheet with specific time slots. Some large scale events will have people sign a waiver before they see you, so check with your organizer for more details. Remember to take snacks and water, schedule breaks, pace yourself, and don’t get caught in the trap of trying to “fix” everything in 15 minutes.
Look after your Business
Be professional, efficient and personable. Wear your regular work clothes and footwear, as you will need to be able to move and bend your patients and yourself as you normally do. Bring more cards than you think you need, as each person who you see should leave with two, one for themselves and one for their significant other/soccer coach/pet-sitter.
Personally, I prefer walls. Borders for my practice, limits to my scope. But, some of my best patients have actually come from massages with no walls, and even the occasional spectator. Going where the people are means that when they are in pain, when they need relief, you are available. Never forget, five minutes of trigger point release on a bad day is worth an hour massage on a good day.
In health, Faye Parenteau
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