A very common question I get asked when somebody books in who is new to my services is what do I need to wear? This is a very valid and appropriate question as different therapists will have their preferences depending on the type of treatments they are trained in. Here at Pro-Am it is ultimately down to what is comfortable for YOU.
As a manual therapist we are trained to adapt our techniques to suit your needs. In the UK you should never be expected to lie on a table in the buff exposed, this is not acceptable practice, you will keep under garments on and there should always be towels provided for modesty and also warmth. Most of the time only one area will be exposed to treat, for example an arm, leg or back.
We will always explain what we are going to do as we go through the treatment so you can give consent for us to go ahead. You have control and can say No Stop at anytime.
What is best?
At Pro-Am if it is your first visit to us for an injury consult then just make sure you wear comfy clothes you can move in. Sometimes we may need to expose the area we are assessing to be able to see how it moves or look for signs of injury like swelling, redness and bruising. For example if you have a knee injury wearing shorts or having shorts to change into is helpful to the therapist. If it is for the shoulder or back then removing your top can be helpful, again to assess movement. Females will never be asked to remove their bra for any assessment purposes. If you are uncomfortable unclothing, do let us know, we can still assess your injury fully clothed. You have come to us because you are in pain and we want you to feel safe and comfortable.
Sports massage/soft tissue treatments may require you to disrobe to your under garments. We will always provide towels for you to keep covered and only the specific area we treat will be exposed, unless it is the glutes then we work always through the towel. If we want to finish with some exercises like stretching then we will ask if you want to get clothed first, as some positions can make you feel a bit exposed.
The reason we ask you to disrobe and expose the area to be treated for massage is so we can visually see what we are treating and so we can use oil/wax, this helps us use more gliding type techniques which can have a soothing effect on the body and help warm up the tissue before we go into deeper techniques, if required. A therapists hands should never work underneath clothing or towelling, the therapists hands should always be visible. For more deeper techniques, we tend not to use oil/wax and quite regularly apply through towelling, we may just expose the site to get a sighting of specific landmarks to where we need to treat.
Groin injuries are the one injury most will put off seeing a specialist for, it is a sensitive area for obvious reasons. We would never ask you to expose your genitals. Wearing shorts or big knickers/pants is ideal but we can work through trousers, it can just be harder to find our anatomy reference points to make sure we are palpating specific and appropriate structures. When dealing with males we may ask you to cup and scoop sensitive areas out the way either with your own hands or provide a towel to make sure we do not come into contact with anything we should not. No palpation should ever go below the pubic bone. If this is uncomfortable for you then we can ask and direct you on what muscles/tendons/bones/ligaments to palpate. Palpation is used to find specific pain sites but it is not compulsory for diagnosis or treatment. We will always explain what we are going to do so we can ask permission for consent to go ahead. If you find it uncomfortable, tell us and we can try another position or skip it all together. We have other techniques to use if hand position in the groin area is not right for you.
If you feel at all uncomfortable during your treatment please do let us know, as we can change and adapt our treatment approach to suit you.
So if you come to us for an injury consult or massage then we do not expect you to disrobe if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Just let us know how you feel so we can make your treatment approach specific to your needs and comfort.
If the therapist finds your behaviour inappropriate at any stage they also have the right to stop your treatment and ask you to leave.