resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
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.
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