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Download: The Massage Client Intake Form
Your Page-by Page Guide to an Intake Form
1. Page or Section 1: General data and contact information.
2. Page or Section 2: Health-related questions and contraindications. With this page, you are making sure that the massage today is a safe form of treatment for your client by prompting the client with specific questions.
3. Page or Section 3: Body diagramming. Include a visual representation of the client’s body needs. X marks the spot.
4. Page or Section 4: Consent for massage and disclaimer.
5. Page or Section 5: This section should include the HIPPA statement. This page informs the client that you do not share their personal or physical information. This protects the client’s rights and their personal information.
6. Page or Section 6: Treatment progress notes, or S.O.A.P. (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) notes for each session should be included here.
Download: The Massage Client Intake Form
Your Source For Free Massage Intake Forms
Massage intake forms are your opportunity to have frank and honest discussions with your clients about the massage therapy process. You will collect important information including their personal information, emergency contacts, health history, and more. You’ll also have a chance to cover the reasons behind why they have come to you for a therapeutic massage.
But just creating your own form or searching the web for “free massage intake forms” isn’t a guarantee that you are getting an intake form that has everything it needs to. Here, we’ll provide you with free intake forms with space for SOAP notes so you can be sure you are covered and compliant from the very start.
What is an Intake Form for Massage?
Motivations behind clients seeking a massage vary considerably. Some are in pain from a past injury, others need stress relief, some are just exploring what massage therapy is all about. You will have an incredible diversity of clientele as well. Young, old, pregnant, special needs—your client base can be as diverse as the demographics in your city. While massage brings its health and wellness benefits equally to all, there are differences in therapy style that the skilled therapist provides on an individual level.
Setting this individual level of care starts with the very first session, where, hopefully, you are utilizing a massage intake form. This is your chance to cover all the in’s and out’s of a client’s health history, the reason for desiring a massage, personal information, and more. With an industry that’s as hands-on as massage, covering your bases is a good way to start building protection from liability—more on this concept later.
In a quality intake form for massage therapists, you’ll find at least three core sections, each with its own set of unique questions. These sections include:
- Personal Information: This is the somewhat ubiquitous part of any information form you have ever filled out. There are spaces for their name, address, phone number, email, etc. but you can also use this space for additional information that can really help your business in the future. Segmentation is the act of putting clients into respective categories depending on different aspects like age or occupation, which can help in your marketing and acquisition strategy down the road. You should also see emergency contact information and can even ask something like “how did you hear about us?” to see where you are currently garnering your client base.
- Medical Information: medical information is a crucial part of the massage intake form. Here, you’ll discuss current medications, allergies, chronic conditions, past surgeries, and other information that can readily dictate what therapy you should provide. This helps present openness and honesty between therapists and their clients.
If you have an older client with hypertension and who has had several back surgeries, you need to plan your sessions accordingly and pay special attention not to overexert. If a client comes in who is pregnant or who has cancer, you need to be ready and able to provide the right kind of care. If you are ever unsure of your ability, it is absolutely okay to refer your client to another therapist. While it can be hard to see a client go, it is so much better for you and for them to get them to someone who is skilled in that particular condition.
- Massage Information: here is where you get to discuss what brought your client in today and what kind of service they are looking to receive. You can ask whether they have been to a massage therapist before, what kind of massage they are looking for, intensity levels, and other details. It’s also a chance to ask what areas they’d rather not address during the session. Many intake forms include a graphic of the human body, where clients can circle areas of emphasis.
At the end of the intake form, you should have a signature line with an acknowledgment that the client has read and understands everything in the form. Take a moment to go over the form with them and ask if they have any further questions before signing and dating the form. Keep this form safe in your records as it contains a lot of personal and private information (PPI) that you have a duty to keep secure.
What are SOAP Notes for Massage?
SOAP notes are a chance for massage therapists to document in detail their sessions with clients. These notes provide a professional level of structure to each session, with an accompanying set of documentation regarding each and every interaction. The SOAP note model has been around for decades and stands as one of the most widely used formats around.
As you might have guessed, SOAP is an acronym and stands for subjective, objective, assessment, and plan. We’ll hit on what each means in greater detail below.
S-ubjective: this portion should include information that the client expresses to you in terms of why they came to you (i.e. what hurts), the areas of emphasis they wish you to focus on, history, etc. all based on the clients’ own account.
O-bjective: this section is where you, as the therapist, describe what you see during your session. Answering questions like “how is their posture?”, “how would you describe their muscle tone?”, “what is their range of motion like?”, “were there areas of tenderness or swelling you saw?”. Documenting these details in a clinical-like manner will provide better notes for a better course of treatment over the long term.
A-ssessment: this is where you provide your own thoughts to how the client responded towards your session with them and how they are progressing throughout their treatment sessions. If a client comes in with a sore lower back from lifting weights, over the course of treatment you want to see a benefit. The assessment phase also can help you adapt your therapy to be in line with the ultimate goals for the sessions.
P-lan: taking into account everything you have documented, the plan phase provides a “next steps” for the client going forward. You can detail the at-home instructions you provide e.g. gentle stretches, hydration, and other beneficial actions in-between sessions. Your plan becomes a benchmark where you can measure progress and help the client see a way forward.
The SOAP model is a great framework and something you can add to your massage intake form in each patient’s file. This provides you with plenty of documentation to chart the best therapy for clients, their progress, and also provides a layer of protection if someone accuses you of malpractice.
How to Make Your Massage Intake Form Compliant
One of the most important aspects of a massage intake form is to ensure it is in compliance with local regulations. The governing body for massage is your state board for massage therapy. Always check to make sure you have met all the requirements specific to your location as these can differ greatly from one state to the next. There can also be local regulations that need to be met so always look into municipal regulations where you choose to operate to make sure you are in compliance.
How to Start Massage Sessions With a Hedge of Protection
Having your intake form completed in its entirety before the first session and following the SOAP notes format for massage therapists is a great way to make sure you are providing a professional level of care and attention from day one. While these instruments are indeed important for providing an exceptional level of care, truly the stoutest form of protection to have in place starts with massage insurance.
At MMIP, we are all about providing massage therapists with the best blend of affordable coverage, great benefits, and support that truly lasts a career. We offer entire libraries of curated content just so your practice can be that much better. Throw in free continuing education, a free professional website, and the encouragement of an entire network of professionals who have your back, and massage insurance becomes an indispensable tool to catapult your career.
Intake forms and SOAP notes can help provide additional protection from liability, but they don’t shield you like massage insurance does. Our insurance for massage therapists provides millions of dollars worth of coverage for the three most prevalent forms of liabilities facing massage therapists today, along with additional protections that provide 360 degrees of coverage from the moment you sign up.
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At $169 per year for all-inclusive massage insurance, today’s professionals can enjoy top-of-the-line coverage for less than 50 cents per day. Compare our offering to the leading competitors to make sure our highly-rated program is right for you. At the end of the day, MMIP is here to support the modern massage therapist however we can be the greatest benefit. You can also check out independent reviews from real members on TrustPilot, where we’re proud to maintain an “Excellent” rating.