Assessment, session planning, and documentation are interrelated skills that, when mastered by a massage therapist, ensure the client’s safety and comfort and the choice of effective and appropriate techniques.
Topic 12-1 describes subjective and objective data and how to collect it before, during, and after massage sessions. Palpation is an essential skill discussed in depth in Topic 12-2. Using these guidelines, you are likely to pay greater attention to what you feel in soft tissue and begin to differentiate tissue textures and types.
Topic 12-3 explores session planning for both a standardized wellness massage and a custom wellness massage.
Topic 12-4 describes how to record data on either a SOAP chart or wellness form. The skills discussed in this chapter form the foundation for more advanced assessment, session planning, and documentation methods described in Chapter 19.
customized wellness session
health intake form
health intake interview
standardized wellness session
Having read the chapter and used the related student learning tools, the student will be able to:
- Explain the concept of assessment and explain its role in a massage session.
- Discuss the purpose of session planning and describe one method for getting the client involved in the process.
- Compare and contrast subjective and objective data.
- Provide three examples of information to include on a health intake form and explain the relevance of each.
- Summarize the information that is explained to the client as part of the informed consent process.
- Evaluate the goals of a health intake interview and defend the value of a thorough interview process.
- List the objectives of palpation assessment.
- Describe the skills a massage therapist must develop to palpate effectively.
- Compare methods for palpating muscle tissue with methods for palpating skin and superficial fascia.
- Identify the reasons why massage therapists document sessions.
- Interpret the acronym SOAP.
- Give examples of the types of information that are recorded in each section of a SOAP chart.