resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
September, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 09
Safety While Working Alone
By Colleen (Steigerwald) Holloway, LMT
During massage school, never once did it occur to me that I was preparing for a career that would leave me isolated for the majority of my workday. After all, my technique classes were full of other students chatting and learning.Even the student clinic was brightly lit and somewhat noisy.
It wasn't until about a month into my career, when I was waiting for an unknown male client to arrive for a six o'clock appointment, that it dawned on me that I was going to be alone in the office - and in a room for an hour - with someone I did not know. Not only was this client a stranger, he was a stranger who was about to be completely "in the buff," covered only with a sheet. "If I'm going to be vulnerable, I should at least have a plan for my safety," I thought, while awaiting his arrival.
We've all been in this situation. Even male therapists experience the occasional female client who makes a suggestive or inappropriate comment that leaves the therapist wondering what kind of services the client is seeking in addition to professional massage. As massage therapists, it is essential to create a safe environment and plan your exit in advance so you will know what to do if your safety is ever at risk.
Screening Clients on the Telephone. Safety begins when the client calls for an appointment. A caller should not hesitate to give you a last name and telephone number. If the caller refuses, I would question the reason why and, in turn, refuse to grant the caller an appointment. Likewise, if a client refuses this information on the health intake form, I would refuse the appointment.
If the caller asks if you accept "tips," nine times out of 10, you are being asked if you will include sex in your treatment for extra money. My response would be, "Gratuities are accepted for exceptional professional services; however, sex is never a part of our service."
When the Client Arrives. Just prior to the arrival of your client, close any doors to other rooms so the client will not know if other people are present in your office or home. Keep several lights on outside the treatment room, as well.
During the Appointment. Make sure someone knows where you are, with whom, and when your appointment will be finished. If you have a cell phone, bring it into the treatment room with you and keep it within reach, or place it in your pocket. Of course, you will turn the ringer off, but keep the telephone turned on. If the client makes an inappropriate comment or gesture during the appointment, it is best to end the appointment and leave the room.
Whether you collect the fees for the appointment is not important; what is more important is your safety. I have known many therapists who tolerated an inappropriate client because they needed the money. It is never worth the money to risk your safety. If you let a client act inappropriately, the client will think the behavior is acceptable and continue.
On-Site Appointments. Your safety is most at risk if you are going to a client's home or hotel room because you will be unfamiliar with the location. Make it a point to survey the location inside and out, taking note of all exits when you arrive. This will prepare you for a quick exit should it become necessary.
After you arrive and greet the client, use your cell phone to call someone (or your answering machine) while in the client's presence. State where you are, including the address and/or room number, who you are with, and that you will call back when the appointment is finished. This will deter anyone with preconceived ideas from taking action. Keep your cell phone in your pocket or apron as a backup.
In my career of 10 years, I am thankful to say I have had only two mishaps with clients who acted inappropriately, although I've warded off many potential problem clients on the telephone. The first client was a nudist and thought I should adhere to his belief system. The second squirmed for 10 minutes on the table before flipping over without my prompting. Instead of accusing the clients of acting inappropriately, I simply told them that I was uncomfortable and left the room.
If you have a safety plan in place, you will be less vulnerable. Unfortunately, sometimes we come across those in our profession that abuse or misunderstand what massage is all about. Plan for your safety and enjoy your career.
Click here for previous articles by Colleen (Steigerwald) Holloway, LMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.