Upon arriving at the spa reception, the guest completes a health consultation form that covers key areas of health and well-being that the therapist needs to review. This doubles up as a legal document that requires the guest’s signature confirming that the information given is true and that the treatment being received is what has been agreed upon mutually.
This health consultation includes inquiries about any allergies, past operations, injuries or chronic pain the guest may have. In addition, information is sought about skin sensitivity, pregnancy, proclivity to headaches and rheumatic pain, and if one is undergoing strong medication. Knowledge about blood pressure and therapies received is gained, and an open question is put across giving the guest an opportunity to disclose any other information they feel may be relevant to their health.
These pointers allow the management and therapist to check if the treatment booked is appropriate or an optional therapy is required for the individual. Once the information is given to the therapist, they check it again and go over any questionable points in the treatment room in confidence. This ensures that the therapist identifies the areas of the body that need special attention and the products that may be contra-indicated due to allergies, blood pressure or sensitivity. For example, certain oils may be over-stimulating and raise the blood pressure level, which could be harmful for those with high blood pressure. Certain products may contain nut oils or seaweed and algae, all of which can cause allergic reactions. In addition, guests may have sunburn and still wish to have a massage. The burn needs to be examined first and then gentle massage may be carried out with cooling aloe creams. Oils need to be avoided as they further heat up the body and cause inflammation of the skin.
These consultation forms are confidential and are usually retained with the spa from six months to a year. Critical information can be logged into the software to create guest history files. To this, feedback from guests following a treatment can be added and an ongoing record of all treatments received can be maintained for review at any time. Information regarding products liked and disliked by a guest can also be recorded.
During the treatment, therapists are also alert as they need to gauge the response to pressure and see the condition of the skin so that adjustments can be made, if necessary, to the protocol. A good therapist will always check the guest’s comfort level or an unpredictable reaction to a product. Care is taken at every step of the treatment to ensure satisfaction and safety of the guest.
In traditional Ayurvedic therapy, a doctor’s consultation prior to the treatment can provide a deeper perspective, like which blend of oils and herbs should be used and other healing therapies that might help the guest. Pulse diagnosis as well as an analysis of the ‘dosha’ also gives insight into the best treatment to be given.
More innovative methods for treatment choice can be diagnosed through kinesiology (muscle testing). Reflexology can also be quite revealing as to the state of the body and overall health.