Essential Info

Your first appointment

Massage is a two-way process/informed consent
A sports massage is a two-way process in which you, the client, are involved at all times.   That means I’ll explain what I’m doing, how and why I’m using particular techniques and ask for feedback from you about pressure, comfort levels and what you are feeling.  At each stage I’ll make sure you understand the process and that you are happy to proceed.
Medical info

I’ll need a range of info including:

  • why you’ve come for sports massage
  • if you have any ongoing medical conditions
  • if you take any medication – including the names, doses and frequency
  • if you’ve had surgery in the last six months
  • details of your GP and any other relevant health professionals
  • information (through signing an extra form) about your current risk of Covid-19 or recent contact with someone showing potential symptoms of Covid-19.

The information is needed to make sure there are no contraindications ie conditions or circumstances which would make it unsafe for you to have a massage.  Massage affects body systems and it’s in no one’s interest for you to be massaged if it will compromise your health in any way.

All your medical information and details of your massage remain confidential under GDPR rules. I am regiestered with te ICO’s Data Protection Registration Department, with reference number A8484146. Your datais not stored on a computer.

How has Covid-19 changed things?

Registered sports massage therapists have had to make some changes to minimise risk to both clients and themeselves. Here’s what you can expect.

Massage is contraindicated for more people than before.  Please see ‘Medical Info’ above.

Before your appointment

  • You’ll need to complete a Covid screening and consent form on the day of your appointment and bring it with you. I’ll keep it with your notes and each time you come I’ll ask you to resign and date it.
  • Please bring and wear a mask/face covering
  • Please leave as much of your kit/bags/coats in your locked car boot rather than bringing it inside, including jewellery/watches etc. As far as possible, come ‘massage ready’, clothes-wise. However, because of the need for ventilation between clients, you might need to keep clothes on if you think you might get cold. I’ll have the heater on.  
  • Ideally you’d sanitise your hands before you leave the car, but I’ll ask you to wash your hands again when you arrive
  • An email beforehand with an update on any symptoms/massage objectives would be useful
  • Consultation for new clients may happen on the phone or via Zoom before  you arrive for your appointment.

When you arrive

  • I’ll be watching out for your arrival – please don’t ring the door bell. Before you come in I’ll take your temperature and record it. As far as weather allows, we’ll do our initial brief consultation outside.
  • I’ll ask you to leave your shoes outside the room
  • Let me open doors for you
  • I’ll be wearing a mask. For the actual massage I will be wearing gloves and if I’m working on your back, neck and shoulders, I’ll also be wearing a visor.

Your appointment

  • The room is rather empty and clinical to allow frequent, thorough cleaning and sanitising
  • Towels, couch roll, my uniform etc will be fresh for each client and everything will have been washed and disinfected between clients, including the floor
  • There will only be couch roll on the bed – no towelling cover.
  • I’ve provided a lidded plastic box for your clothes. This is disinfected between clients
  • When your massage is finished, please let me clear up. Please don’t be helpful and start removing/folding towels etc

After your massage

  • Payment can be by BACS/online in advance, by card or by phone. For online payment the bank details have changed: Candover Consulting Ltd, 55-50-05, 55602185
  • Card: Contactless but you’ll need to insert your PIN. The card reader will of course be disinfected between clients
  • Phone: my understanding is that there is no contactless limit using Google Pay or Apple Pay
  • If you’d like to pay by cash, please bring the correct amount in an envelope
  • After careful consideration I’ve increased the price for a massage by £5 to £50 (£45 for WADAC members).

For your info (no action required) I will also supply a copy of my risk assessment document outlining the changes I’ve made according to government and professional guidelines. I will also ask you to sign my own daily Covid declaration statement indicating that I too am asymptomatic and well. You may bring your own pen or I will supply a disinfected one (wiped with alcohol wipes in front of you).

Any questions please do get in touch. Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you.

How can I pay?

You’re welcome to pay by cash, card or bank transfer. Contactless payments above £30 require a PIN entry but you no longer need to insert your card into the machine. My card reader accepts tap and go payments from phones.

Contraindications

Absolute contraindications ie massage cannot proceed:

  • Trauma/acute inflammation – fractures, open wounds, new sprains and strains, head injuries, haematoma, surgery within past six months
  • Young people under the age of 16 without an accompanying adult
  • First trimester of pregnancy (or longer if there were complications in a previous pregnancy)
  • Anyone under the influence of alcohol or recreatiional drugs
  • Infectious skin complaints, rashes, infections
  • You have been contact/traced as having been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 or you believe you have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19.
  • You have symptoms of Covid-19, even if it could be a cold or other viral infection. There is no cancellation charge – please ring/email asap and cancel your appointment.

Potential contraindications (which may or may not mean massage cannot proceed on that particular day):

  • cardiovascular conditions eg high/low blood pressure, angina, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, recent heart attack etc
  • arthritic/respiratory/neurological/skeletal conditions
  • infections (bacterial, viral or fungal) – including apparently trivial infections such as colds, coughs, athletes foot, ingrowing toenails
  • cancer, tumours.

Covid-related contraindications which may or may not preclude sports massage (please contact me to discuss massage if you fall into one of these categories):

  • Aged over 70
  • suppressed immune system
  • type 2 diabetes, overweight (BMI over 30)
  • cardiovascular disease/stroke
  • respiratory conditions
  • pregnancy
  • if you are an NHS or frontline worker (including in a care home)
  • you are living with someone who is shielding
  • if you feel there is anything else you feel might put you at risk.

This is not an exhaustive list.  Please contact me in advance if you are unsure as to whether to book or keep an appointment. If you have a condition which may be a contraindication to massage, it is a good idea to consult your GP/specialist first and to ask them to write you a letter and to bring along a copy of that letter that can be kept with your notes. It should outline the circumstances under which it is ok to proceed with massage.

Please do not come for the massage if you have a heavy cold or flu. I understand that these things can strike out of the blue and we can rearrange your appointment. If you are ill, massage is not good for you, for me (if I catch your cold) or for other clients coming that day.

What happens during a massage appointment?

What to expect and what to wear

Sports massage benefits depend on you and your needs at the time.  There is no set routine or set of techniques and no two massages will ever be the same, even for the same person. However here are some things you could expect:

  • You may need to demonstrate the movements/actions that are causing you problems
  • I may need to observe your whole body even if you have identified a problem in one specific area
  • You will probably need to remove some clothing to allow me to work on the problem area(s)
  • Only the area of your body being worked on will be exposed. Everywhere else will be covered with towels
  • I will probably need to tuck a towel into your clothing, partly to protect it from oil and partly to expose the area to be massaged. I will always ask for your permission first
  • I may ask you to work with me with some techniques and to move around during the session.

Overall it is best to wear loose, comfortable clothing, that are easy to remove if necessary. If in doubt, get in touch.

 

Informed consent
A sports massage is a two-way process in which you, the client, are involved at all times.  That means I’ll explain what I’m doing, how and why I’m using particular techniques and ask for feedback from you about pressure, comfort levels and what you are feeling.  At each stage I’ll make sure you understand the process and that you are happy to proceed.
Will it hurt?
Lots of people think sports massage has to hurt. From my experience, both as a therapist and a massage client, I believe a great deal of sports massage can be pretty much pain-free. To work best, massage wants the tissues to be soft and pliable – which they won’t be if you are either in pain or waiting for the pain to start.

However, as we all know, muscles, tendons and ligaments get sore when prodded if they’re damaged or tight. Because one of the many great things about sports massage is that it is very hands on, it involves touching and working directly with those  muscles.  So there can be discomfort.  But a good therapist will work with you to understand your pain threshold and minimise discomfort. It’s not a case of gritting your teeth and putting up with it. Many people describe a ‘good pain’ along the lines of  ‘youch that’s uncomfortable but don’t stop because it feels right!’.

Can I train afterwards?
Unless you are injured, in most cases, you can exercise or train on the same day as a  massage.

Some people’s muscles or limbs feel ‘heavy’ for a few hours or even a day after a massage whereas others feel ‘light’ and energised straightaway. In some circumstances you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness in the day or two after your massage.  I’d always aim to let you know beforehand if this is likely to happen.

There’s no way to predict exactly how your body will react, but again, typically, the more used to massage you are, the smaller any adverse reaction.

How many sessions will I need?
There is lots of evidence to show that regular massage can prevent injury and keep muscles, ligaments and tendons in good condition.  Many elite athletes and coaches believe in two or more massages a week.

Everyone has different needs and responds differently to massage. A single session can have a huge positive effect and you may just benefit from a single session to be in top condition for a specific event.  However, if there is a lot of work to be done (eg if you have had a problem for a long time or if you have been doing lots of training without massage) it may take several sessions to get your muscles etc to respond usefully.  Everyone is different.

I aim to maximise the effect of each session by giving you ideas and techniques for self-treatment so that you can continue the good work between sessions.

Email

lou@louwalker.com

Enquiries and appointments

Phone
07764 189516

 

Call or text for more information

Price

£50 per one hour session
(£45 for members of both Winchester Running Club and Winchester & District Athletics Club members)

Clinic hours

Daytime: Monday to Friday, from 7am

Last appointment: 5pm

What people are saying

This is definitely working. I can turn my head easily and no longer support my arm at the end of the day because of the pain.  The ‘lump’ on the side of my neck is considerably reduced – it’s noticeable even in the mirror and drying my hair is much easier! I’d like to keep working on this to see if it’s possible to clear it altogether. Liz W

Pilates teacher, walker and climber

I am so happy Lou is round the corner. She is fabulous: kind, strong, knowledgeable and an early riser so I can go to her before work. I have had lots of massages/masseurs – she is the most effective so far by far

Sophie A

You worked wonders in my legs.  Needed at sub 1:37 for New York. Ran 1:36.46 at Gosport today.  Thank you so much. Susan B

Runner

I’ve been having massages with Lou for 8 years and always felt better as a result, both before and after racing. She’s a very friendly expert and you can always guarantee restored legs and spirits after a session.

James M

sports massage benefits
sports massage benefits