Massage Ethics is really the backbone and heart of becoming a massage therapist. Ethics is really just understanding relationships and values.
Terri Yardly Noir in her book "Ethics for Massage Therapists" says:
"Understanding your own personal beliefs and values is important in the profession of massage and bodywork, because these beliefs and values contribute to your personal ethical principles.Ethics quite simply is the study of moral principles and appropriate conduct."
But the problem is that what is appropriate is not always easily determined and there are some things you need to know about the special client/massage therapist relationship that creates healing called the 'therapeutic relationship'.
No matter what techniques you learn and do, you will be touching people. Touch is a two way sense. You can't touch without being touched yourself. Massage clients are seeking massage to help them with some problem - stress, pain, injuries or to just improve their lives. From the minute they think about calling a massage therapist the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship begin.When people seek help from others and the nature of helping professions brings up other dynamics that resemble the parent/child relationship from early childhood. Within this type of relationship healing occurs for both parties usually to some extent.
What is important is that the massage therapist take a deep look at why they are massage therapists and understand the dynamics of the helping relationship. Through this process of becoming more aware of your beliefs that lead you to take actions you can come to know your true self more. You will be able to see more clearly what your needs for appreciation and love are and learn to get them met outside of the therapeutic relationship that happens between the client and the massage therapist. As this happens you will be a better massage therapist all the way around.
Because massage therapists work so closely in a one on one
relationship it is important for the massage therapist to be responsible
for getting their needs met outside of doing massage. But what happens
is that various client interactions will always challenge your
boundaries and the dynamics of doing business.
Massage Ethics is just looking more closely at relationships and learning
to become more conscious and make better choices. Clients will want to
become friends or ask you out on a date. They will want discounts and
special favors like giving them more of your time when they are late for
an appointment. They will bring you favors to win your trust. They
will come to you in pain and grief and many deep old wounds.
Ethics is the study of the relational dynamics that take place between the massage therapist and client. Professional associations will have their own Code of Ethics that you must adhere to when you join. Most are written so loosely that they can be easily be interpreted in many different ways. Your success as a massage therapist will depend on you successfully creating your own Code of Ethics and engaging in ongoing personal growth and awareness work through the process of peer supervision. When you take your code of massage ethics and turn it into your policies and procedures, you can build a stronger foundation for your massage business that will help you to be more successful and stay in the profession for a long time!
The clearer you get about what you want in your practice and focus on getting your ideal massage clients, the easier building a practice gets. You will be creating your Ideal Massage Business. This is the real 'Law of Attraction'.
Why do you help? Looking at your issues around why you want to help people can help you to break the cycle of helping and move towards being of service which is quite different. People who 'help' usually end up burned out. People who are being of service usually thrive.
Values and Beliefs
Transference/Countertransference Client/Therapist relationship challenges