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I've just joined a wonder Wellness Center and am very happy there...except for this one thing.  The intake form asks for the clients height and weight.  I've requested an explanation from the owner, and am waiting to hear back. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd ask here, do you request your client's weight on your intake form and why?  I think it would be a deterrent for larger people who may feel uncomfortable sharing that information.  Obviously, we all know what overweight looks like.  What's the point of making them spell it out for you?   Is it a matter of table capacity? 

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I've never heard of that before.  I can't imagine it serves any useful purpose.  If the tables have a low enough capacity that the clients' weight is an issue, I'd be seriously concerned about the quality of the table!  Tables need to be strong enough to support the weight of the client and therapist together, just in case the therapist needs to be on the table with the client.  I do that quite a bit.

Anyway, sorry that doesn't answer your question directly but I wanted to offer my thoughts!

Our intake forms used to have a question about height and weight.  Most did not answer the question.  I am not sure why the question was on there in the first place or why it was removed.

While I was in school the intake forms had that question on it.  As a student I found it helpful.  I could glance at it and decide if I should adjust my table height prior to greeting the client.  

Great questions. I would suggest making it something optional, put it in a place that makes it feel like it is an option, and not strange if they skip it. Like in a section at the bottom with a square around it. Ask some optional questions there

I can't think of anything useful that would be added by knowing the client's weight. It isn't even a good indication of what their body type or physical condition is likely to be, since a very muscular, athletic individual can be exactly the same weight and height as a obese person. And by the time someone is in front of you filling out an intake form, you can tell just by looking whether they are thin, frail, obese, muscular, or fairly average, or unusually tall/short/whatever else might be relevant.

I never use an intake form anyway. 

I can maybe see having that information with a return client... maybe. It will help you to decide if you need to lower the table or not. But then again, as someone mentioned, if the person is just muscular and not over weight, then the table height may not need to be adjusted. So it kind of makes that information pointless.

 

I tend to just put the information in my notes as a reminder next time they come in. That it would help to adjust the table next time. That way I'm prepared and no one has to tell me their weight/height. I know I wouldn't want to tell anyone my weight either. Not because I'm overweight, I'm actually more muscle then anything, but because I feel no one needs to know.

Thanks for all of the responses.  I still haven't received an explanation from the owners.  I just keep marking it off with a big X when I hand out the forms.  I really don't think it's anyone's business, except the client's doctor.

The only explanation I could potentially see would be if you combined those stats with other information.

as Carrie said,

It isn't even a good indication of what their body type or physical condition is likely to be, since a very muscular, athletic individual can be exactly the same weight and height as a obese person

This is true, however if this is a wellness center, which may include exercise programs among other things, height and weight may be needed for BMI calculations.  Is the intake form exclusively for massage?  Or is it used by other departments?

I've never seen a massage intake form but I could see how it could be useful for other services?  I have a posture analysis program that asks for that information as it is used in calculations for stress on the body.  With my one case study it calculated his head weighed about 30 pounds in the beginning.  After working on his head forward posture, we got that down to 19 pounds.

Interesting ... I never thought about how much specific body parts weighed!

Laura Garza said:

I've never seen a massage intake form but I could see how it could be useful for other services?  I have a posture analysis program that asks for that information as it is used in calculations for stress on the body.  With my one case study it calculated his head weighed about 30 pounds in the beginning.  After working on his head forward posture, we got that down to 19 pounds.

I agree. I think it would make almost anyone uncomfortable. We should tell our clients about a mole or skin condition that we notice a change in. However, "I noticed you have put on some weight." is not a conversation opener I want to have with ANY client. They know...

Weight (and height, age and gender) are all great visual clues that help identify a client. In private practice, it is not an issue since clients are personally known, but when working in a busy spa, clinic or massage chain, this information makes it easier to identify a client sitting in a crowed waiting room. It also helps prevent taking the wrong client into the treatment room - yes, this can happen if you have two 'Jane Smith's' waiting for a massage.

Weight change is also an indicator of some medical conditions or a new drug regime. If your client shows a significant increase or decrease in weight, it is a good time to ask if there have been any changes in their health history. 

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