resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
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.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
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.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
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.
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.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
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!
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
Desexualizing the Touch Experience, Part II
By Cherie Sohnen-Moe
In the March 2011 issue of Massage Today, I wrote about the importance of desexualizing the touch experience and the proactive measures to help prevent clients from crossing your boundaries.I focused on the steps you can take to project a non-sexual image in your marketing materials (business name, email address, brochures, business cards, website) and telephone conversations (creating scripts and handling inappropriate calls). In this follow up, I would like to explore ways to create a safe space and desexualize the massage experience with clients.
Your appearance is an outward representation of your professional standards. Make sure your image projects competence and doesn't sexualize you. Dress appropriately for the working environment, maintain good hygiene, keep jewelry to a minimum, don't wear heavy perfume or cologne, and avoid provocative or revealing attire. Some examples of inappropriate clothing are: tank tops (especially for women); short shorts; shirts that show cleavage; shirts that expose the midriff; shirts that have questionable statements or provocative images; tight pants. Remember, your attire isn't meant to be a distraction or a loud statement.
Office space varies from a room in a professional complex, a free-standing building, a clinic, a spa, to a home office and mobile on-site locations. Many practitioners work in several types of office spaces.
Practitioners often choose an office location based on what's close to where they live or where they can find a good deal. From a marketing perspective, choose a location that's convenient to the majority of your target markets. Most importantly, choose a location where you and your clients feel safe. Check out the location at different times of the day. This is particularly crucial if you plan on being open in the evenings or on weekends. For instance, let's say you are considering renting space in a large complex. During the days there is a constant flow of people in and out of the building. This feels really good to you. You drive by at night and you only see one light shining in a window and a single car in the parking lot. That sight most likely doesn't elicit feelings of safety or comfort.
Establish a professional space. Sight, sound, smell, touch and imagination all have the potential to arouse. Often times practitioners attempt to set up a very relaxing space with dim lights, candles and soft music. These can be wonderful, but they can also send confusing messages — particularly to new clients or people who are in a vulnerable state in terms of their romantic relationships. Ideally, start with the room fairly well-lit and ask clients if they want the light dimmed. You can also offer them an eye pillow. Choose music that is soothing, without being sensual or romantic. You can never know what scent might trigger a sexual response in clients, but in general, avoid heady aromatherapy scents such as rose, musk and patchouli. In general, it's wise to be judicious with scents, as many people have allergies and sensitivities to fragrances.
Create a comfortable, yet professional treatment room. Use high-quality equipment and supplies. Keep extra linens handy for additional draping needs. Consider hanging anatomical charts and other posters that are health related. Limit your displays of personal photos and keepsakes.
When doing outcalls, set up a space that feels like an office. I recommend you have a hard case on rollers that holds your supplies. When you set up the table, also arrange your supplies on top of the case. This helps to make the space look a bit more office-like. Avoid setting up your treatment table in a bedroom unless you are working with an injured or ill client.
General Safety Precautions
If you feel threatened, leave the room and call the appropriate authorities. If you are in a spa or clinic, go directly to the front desk. If you are in a private office, leave the building. If you are doing an outcall session, leave the premises — you can return later, accompanied by someone, for your equipment and supplies. (See the September 2010 Issue of Massage Today, "When a Client Crosses the Line," for detailed information on this safety precautions.)
The manner in which practitioners interact with clients holds many potential cues. Depending on the actual type of hands-on treatment, the specific factors that could allude to sex include: degrees of nudity; the manner of draping; the positioning of the client; the type of touch; and lubricants such as oils and creams.
Many factors effect how a client reacts. Set the tone for professionalism from the outset. Greet clients with a smile and a handshake. Use appropriate language. Make sure that your words can't be easily misconstrued as suggestive. Choose words carefully when describing a client's body and use proper terminology for anatomical structures. Also, be conscious of body language: sometimes just a smile can make a client feel aroused or even scared. Immediately take control of the situation if a client attempts to sexualize a session verbally or physically (see September 2010 Issue for tips); don't let it escalate.
Do thorough pre-treatment interviews on first visits. Discover clients' long-term goals, as well goals for the current session. Work together to determine the course of treatment. Next, explain what is going to be done and why. Obtain written informed consent in the first session and additional consent when changing a treatment plan or working on or near sensitive areas. Keep accurate records and let clients see that you document your sessions. Give explicit instructions regarding the articles of clothing to be removed and the draping procedures. Allow privacy for disrobing.
Express confidence in your work. A hesitant touch could be easily misinterpreted. Apply lubricants with a firm touch and avoid dribbling them. Also, be careful about body contact during sessions. Avoid stray touching or movements. Position yourself in a manner so that only your extremities come in contact with clients' bodies.
Massage therapists are responsible for creating and maintaining a safe environment for clients and themselves. This is done by proactively working to ensure that the touch experience is not sexualized. While the tips in this article can't guarantee that a client won't get sexually aroused or act inappropriately, they set a foundation for a professional, safe, desexualized environment.
Click here for previous articles by Cherie Sohnen-Moe.
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