Massage Ethics – What You Should Know Before Your Massage

Massage and bodywork are two areas of health that continue to grow, even in our weakened economy. As the number of people interested in massage increases, so will the number of practitioners willing to provide it. As with any health service, there are a large range of styles and qualities available from an even wider range of therapists, body workers and practitioners.

Because of the specific work involved in bodywork, massage ethics play an important role in providing a safe and professional atmosphere for any potential client. A massage practitioner sets the tone even before a client steps through the door. The business card, the phone answering message and the waiting room all start creating the atmosphere in which the client must ultimately feel safe even before they greet the practitioner in person.

For the best results, most massage and bodywork is performed with the client unclothed, under a sheet. This fact demands the utmost professionalism from the practitioner. If the massage is done in a salon or clinic, it should be clean and inviting to the client, and if the work is done in a home (many massage practitioners practice their art from home to save money on overhead and be closer to their work), 홈타이 there should be a separate entrance for the massage clients and the entry should be free of as many personal items as possible to maintain a professional feel. Both locations should provide a comfortable place for clients to sign in and fill out the necessary forms before beginning any treatment. The actual massage room should continue the theme of professionalism. Here is where the practitioner’s personal tastes can shine through a bit, remembering to create a calming, inviting atmosphere for the client. Massage rooms should be free of offensive music, images or smells and uncluttered.

The appearance of the massage practitioner is also important; they must be cleanly dressed in a manner that will foster trust and safety from their clients. A uniform may not be necessary, but a clean, professional appearance, trimmed fingernails, long hair tied up, beard tidy, is a mandatory feature to any professional body worker. Overtly sexual dress or slovenliness will only take away from client confidence. After greeting the client, the practitioner should always leave the room and allow the client to change and get under the massage sheet on the table alone, only re-entering the room after making sure the client is ready for them to return.

How the practitioner speaks to the client conveys a lot as well. Eye to eye conversations are always best; these downplay the power differential between body worker and client. It is also important to discuss the details of what the massage/treatment will include before the client is on the table. Once the client is undressed on the table, the relationship often reverts to a parent/child dynamic. This is not a good time to be determining what should be included in the treatment for either party.

The space between people as they speak to each other is also important and can vary. In some countries, people speak much closer to each other, while others, like North America, tend to give at least a couple of feet between each person. This also applies to how the practitioner greets the client, some people hug, others may shake the hand, while others may use no personal touch at all. The massage ethics here should follow the accepted standards for the country in which they are being practiced.

With the simple tone of their voice, practitioners have the power to create and maintain healthy and safe boundaries with their clients. How the body workers speaks to the client, including timbre and choice of words can make the difference between a successful massage and one that fails, regardless of the body workers technical skills. An honest, sincere tone of voice goes a long way in creating a safe and relaxed atmosphere for quality bodywork.

How the practitioner speaks is just as important as what they say. Massage ethics require the practitioner to disclose some personal information, such as training and experience, but too much personal disclosure may create an air of inappropriateness. The body worker should never reveal personal information that would make the client feel uncomfortable; this becomes an infringement of ethical boundaries ultimately detracting from the massage treatment. This is not to say that the practitioner must be a robot with their conversation, some personal stories may be fine, especially if they refer directly to the clients current situation or treatment.

As touch is the main feature in most bodywork treatments, massage ethics play a vital role here. A touch that is either too invasion or too light can often be considered inappropriate by the client creating an uneasy atmosphere for both client and practitioner. The practitioner must use confident touch to help instill the safety and reassurance necessary for a good treatment. This is where good technical skills of the body worker shine through. The flow of the touch is just as important as the manual skill; a good massage combines both of these abilities to create a relaxing and/or invigorating treatment.

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