I have been providing massage services for about 5 years in NZ and before any sessions begin, my clients are required to sign off a consent form from me. I seldom have a client refused to read and sign it off but there is always a chance that one client does not want to sign any forms. Thus, it raise my concern about new clients who book for a session with me. I would not like to have a situation whereby, they book a session with me online and when they arrived I have to reject them because they were not aware of the form and refused to sign.
It is a best practice for massage therapist to request clients to sign off the consent form/waiver form. The information in the form is important because the form hugely benefited client’s treatment, built trust between the client and therapist. The information in the form can consist a lot but I keep my form simple to ensure client’s privacy. The form that I use in my practice includes only client’s name and age, and with a few screening questions about clients health history, current health conditions; Covid19 screening questionnaire and an agreement of legal terms and conditions. The information I have collected from you is confidential and solely for me to access when you come for the treatment, the information will store for 3 years and then shredded before dispose. The form will only be used when there is a conflict arise. Below is the form that I have been using in my practice.
From a PRACTICAL standpoint, clients should understand and agree to my guidelines for the massage, disclose certain things to me, and clients are be informed that personally responsible for themselves and their bodies when they come to see me, so clients don’t get confused or injured and come after me.
When you read up to this point, you may think that’s unfair to you as a client but I as a practitioner had experience client came after me when I started my massage 5 years ago. Before I started to practice using the form, I practiced verbal inform consent with my clients before the session begin. Somehow, a client contacted me, after a few weeks later from our last session, that my massage injured the client and the client was told from the doctor that client had a health condition, which client did not know and , I was not aware of as well when he came for the session. At that point, I had no legal document to prove that when the client came to me, client did not suffered any health conditions. Therefore, as a matter of fact, to avoid further argument with the client, I refunded the payment and of course the client never came back again.
From that day onwards, I decided to create a consent form, ensure client fully sign to declare their health history and conditions and fully agree with my term and conditions of my service. Even clients who came for my service regularly, they have to sign again each time they visit, this is to remind them if there’s any changes in their health, they have to inform me. We often forget that our health changes all the time and we can’t stop but we can monitor and observe any tell-tale signs that tells us our body is not feeling well. If not feeling well, please seek the right medical team for assistance.
Lastly, it is my legal right to practice using consent form and this practice has also been practice by other therapists. It helps therapist to feel more CONFIDENT and EMPOWERED to our business knowing we are protected and safe on the legal fronts, which supports me and also protect you as a client about your health.