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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

4 Things your massage therapist should be doing for your health & safety

4 Things your massage therapist should be doing for your health and safety

1. Client Health History Assessment

Short Answer: Massage therapists must assess clients' health histories thoroughly before sessions, gathering details on medical conditions, past surgeries, allergies, medications, etc., to customize treatments and ensure safety.

More details: Massage therapists, as healthcare practitioners, need information about a clients' health background before a massage. This is important to deliver customized and safe treatments. An assessment of health history is not meant to be invasive or prying, but it allows the therapist to be aware of a range of factors, including medical conditions such as musculoskeletal issues or cardiovascular concerns, previous surgeries with potential implications for massage techniques, allergies to avoid adverse reactions to oils or lotions, and current medications which may influence sensitivity or interaction with massage therapy. Beyond these specifics, therapists may also ask about lifestyle choices and stressors, in order to help understand the client's well-being. Through this thorough evaluation, therapists craft personalized treatment plans, integrating modalities and adjustments to accommodate individual needs, thereby optimizing the therapeutic benefits while prioritizing client safety and comfort.

4 Things your massage therapist should be doing for your health and safety

2. Informed Consent

Short answer: Even if the client is a regular who comes in for massage sessions frequently, Massage Therapists must gain informed consent from clients prior to sessions, explaining treatment nature, techniques, benefits, risks, and alternatives. Clients should have a chance to ask questions and express concerns.

More details: Even if someone comes often for massages, massage therapists still need to make sure they have permission before starting a session. This means they need to explain what they're going to do during the massage, like the types of techniques they'll use and what good things it can do for the body. They also need to talk about any possible risks and other options available. It's important that clients can ask questions or talk about anything worrying them before the massage starts. This way, everyone is on the same page and the massage can be as helpful and comfortable as possible.

4 Things your massage therapist should be doing for your health and safety

3. Hygiene and Sanitation Practices

Short answer: Maintaining hygiene is crucial in massage therapy to prevent infections and keep each client healthy. Therapists must wash hands before and after sessions, regularly clean/disinfect equipment and surfaces, launder and sanitize sheets & towels, and follow protocols for disposable items.

More details: Keeping everything clean is super important in massage therapy to make sure nobody gets sick. Before and after each session, massage therapists need to wash their hands really well to get rid of any germs. They also have to make sure all the equipment and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly. That means wiping down tables and chairs and using clean sheets and towels for each person. If they use anything disposable, like cups or tissues, they have to follow special rules to make sure they're thrown away properly. By doing all this, therapists make sure all their clients stay healthy and safe.

4 Things your massage therapist should be doing for your health and safety

4. Client Comfort and Boundaries

Short answer: Massage therapists prioritize client comfort by creating a welcoming environment, respecting privacy, using proper and secure draping procedures, and encouraging open communication for adjusting treatment to ensure safety and effectiveness.

More details: Massage therapists are very strict about making their clients feel comfortable during their sessions. They make sure the room feels cozy and welcoming, and they always respect their clients' privacy, both due to HIPPA laws (which massage therapists, as health care professionals, are bond by), as well as being diligent about making sure the client feels safe, secure, and protected while on the table during a session through proper draping procedures and providing privacy before and after the massage for the client to disrobe or redress. They also want their clients to feel free to talk about anything that might make them feel uncomfortable or if they want something different. Open communication is the key to making sure that the massage can be just right for each person, and accomplishes their expected goals and outcomes.

4 Things your massage therapist should be doing for your health and safety

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