As reflexologists, we all keep records of our clients contact information and health history, including what their chief complaints are.
It’s a standard in the field and if you’re nationally ARCB certified, you already have what I think is the best client intake form ever. For those of you who aren’t (why wouldn’t you be?) there are client health history forms in many books.
Some intake forms are long and some are short, but there’s one very important question that I hope you are asking.
On the surface this question might not seem as important as many of the others. Don’t be fooled by how simple it is. Early in my career, I wasn’t sure how important it was but I quickly learned its value, and now I never start without it:
“How would you rate your present state of health? (circle one) Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor.”
That’s it. Almost…
It’s not enough to stop there because after getting the answer, I then need to ask one more question.
After looking at the client’s answer, my next question is… “and what would it take for you to say _____”?
For example, if they reported an answer of “Good”, next I’ll say “and what would it take for you to say – Excellent”?
If they reported Fair, I’ll say “and what would it take for you to say, Good… or Excellent”?
If they reported Poor, I’ll say “and what would it take for you to say, Fair… Good… or Excellent”?
The only time I don’t use this second question is if they say they already rate their current health as “Excellent”. There’s always room for improvement, but I usually take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude here.
Okay, getting back to the second question… are you seeing a pattern here?
Why would I want to know what it would take for some improvement to occur? Haven’t I already gotten information about past and recent illness, injury, etc.
Yes indeed. And I will definitely work to help the organ system reflexes, but this particular question is more about quality of life. It points to health goals and personal goals like no other question can.
Let me give you an example: “Client 1” reports that they would rate their present state of health as “Good”. (Remember, I already have the health history, so it’s great information in addition to all the rest.)
I’ll ask: “and what would it take for you to say… Excellent”?
They might report that they are trying to lose some weight, or report that they would like to exercise more, or have some time for themselves.
That’s when I become a “cheer-leader” for these quality of life goals.
Once I have this information I can align with supporting them in this aspect of their journey as well.
I’ll have suggestions or referrals to make. It might be simple ideas about exercise or diet, or I might know someone who I can refer them to for more expert advice.
Sometimes just talking about these goals will start the wheels turning in their head as well as mine… and sometimes not. I never force the conversation and I will ask for their permission before I make my suggestions. That way I’ll stay within their expectations for a reflexology session and my scope of practice.
This is always a great component to the session, so don’t lose out on this additional supportive opportunity.