Holistic Massage School Reflects on Importance of Massage Therapists’ Code of Ethics

“The career path of a Massage Therapist requires more than physical dexterity and knowledge of a few massage strokes”, said Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. (HH)  “They must also be able to make sound ethical decisions and navigate a myriad of difficult dilemmas that may arise during a client’s care.  Students need a capacity for personal introspection, an awareness of the law, and respect for the ethics of the Massage Therapy Professional”, she added. A Massage Therapist’s choices and actions, both inside and outside of the therapy room can dramatically impact their personal and professional lives.  State licensing boards and professional associations set forth codes of ethics to define standards of professional conduct that ensure the highest good for the client in therapeutic relationships. The first step ethical practice is to become aware of these established regulations and to implement them.  In the Massage Therapy Industry, there are some ethical ‘absolutes’ of professionalism which include:

 

 

  • Professionals do not breech sexual boundaries with clients.

  • Client care is focused on help, not harm.
  • When the therapeutic skills required are out of the Practitioner’s scope,they refer the client.
  • Clients are to be informed.

 

The following Code of Ethics, developed by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), is considered an industry standard and used among many massage clinics. The NCBTMB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to defining and advancing the highest standards in the massage therapy and bodywork professions through Board Certification, Approved Providers, and Assigned Schools. For more on the NCBTMB go online to: http://www.ncbtmb.org.

CODE OF ETHICS

(Copyright 2007 National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork)

 

  1. Have a sincere commitment to provide the highest quality of care to those who seek their professional services.
  2. Represent their qualifications honestly, including education and professional affiliations, and provide only those services that they are qualified to perfor
    m.
  • Accurately inform clients, other health care practitioners, and the public of the scope and limitations of their discipline.
  1. Acknowledge the limitations of and contraindications for massage and bodywork and refer clients to appropriate health professionals.
  2. Provide treatment only where there is reasonable expectation that it will be advantageous to the client.
  3. Consistently maintain and improve professional knowledge and competence, striving for professional excellence through regular assessment of personal and professional strengths and weaknesses and through continued education training.
  • Conduct their business and professional activities with honesty and integrity, and respect the inherent worth of all persons.
  • Refuse to unjustly discriminate against clients and/or health professionals.  
  1. Safeguard the confidentiality of all client information, unless disclosure is requested by the client in writing, is medically necessary, is required by law,  or necessary for the protection of the public.
  2. Respect the client’s right to treatment with informed and voluntary consent. The certified practitioner will obtain and record the informed consent of the client, or client’s advocate, before providing treatment. This consent may be written or verbal.
  3. Respect the client’s right to refuse, modify or terminate treatment regardless of prior consent given.
  • Provide draping and treatment in a way that ensures the safety, comfort and privacy of the client.
  • Exercise the right to refuse to treat any person or part of the body for just and reasonable cause.
  • Refrain, under all circumstances, from initiating or engaging in any sexual conduct, sexual activities, or sexualizing behavior involving a client, even if the client attempts to sexualize the relationship unless a pre-existing relationship exists between an applicant or a practitioner and the client prior to the applicant or practitioner applying to be certified by NCBTMB.
  1. Avoid any interest, activity or influence which might be in conflict with the practitioner’s obligation to act in the best interests of the client or the profession.
  • Respect the client’s boundaries with regard to privacy, disclosure, exposure, emotional expression, beliefs and the client’s reasonable expectations of professional behavior.  Practitioners will respect the client’s autonomy.
  • Refuse any gifts or benefits that are intended to influence a referral, decision or treatment, or that are purely for personal gain and not for the good of the client.
  • Follow the NCBTMB Standards of Practice, this Code of Ethics, and all policies, procedures, guidelines, regulations, codes, and requirements promulgated by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

To date, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for you. To find out more about the more than 80 Massage and Holistic Health classes available at HH please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego. 

 

Massage Therapy School Shares the Importance of Reputation

According to Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH), as a Certified Massage Therapist, YOU are your business!  Because of that, it’s essential to create a professional and positive reputation for yourself. To do that, you will need to be mindful of your attitude, energy, appearance and treatment of clients in every interaction, every day of your working career. That said, having a “good reputation” is one of the best ways to attract clients, earn their loyalty, and inspire them to refer friends and family. 

How do you want to be perceived by your clients? Keep in mind, for clients, perception is reality.  The perceptions (opinions) they draw of you will come from more than your therapeutic skills.  It’s important to be aware that your reputation is also determined by how you dress, how you speak, how hygienic you are, and how you educate and interact with clients inside and outside the therapy room.  Everything you do, post, write online, or communicate publicly reflects on your reputation and can positively or negatively impact your business reputation, so take care to nurture and protect it. 

Your aim should be to project a trust-worthy image of a competent and happy professional who values their career and their clients. Your reputation should convey that you are prepared and eager to provide your clients with extra special treatment to speed healing, diminish their physical pain or discomfort and enhance feelings of well-being.

Controlling your image is important also.  Be prepared to receive negative feedback from clients from time to time.  Rather than take offense, ask questions to find out why. For example, if your client reveals they felt uncomfortably sore for more than 3 days after a Deep Tissue treatment, you would learn that you need to reduce your pressure next time, check in on pressure more often, or go more slowly.  Although you may not be able to change what has already happened, asking questions will reassure your client that you care, and keep you from repeating the same mistake with another client. 

Serving residents through three regional campuses, HH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California.  To date, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for you! To find out more about our 80+ massage and holistic health classes, visit us at www.healinghandsschool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, (858)505-1100 in San Diego.

Holistic Massage School Reveals: 14 Ways Massage Therapists Can Profit from Their Business Cards!

  1. Have your cards printed with a special, Introductory Offer on the reverse side for 1st time clients.
  2. Be sure all your friends, relatives and close neighbors have a small stack of your cards to make ‘safe-referring’ easy.
  3. Stock your favorite hair salon or barber shop with a small supply of your business cards with a “Special Offer” for new clients, and “Mini-Massages” for referring Stylists.
  4. Give all your current clients a few cards and ask them to refer select friends and family who need Therapeutic Massage.
  5. Exchange a supply of cards with business ‘Partners’ in a complementary field i.e.: Aestheticians, Personal Trainers, Neuromuscular Therapists, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Pilates and Yoga Studios, Neighborhood Salon Suites & Nail Salons.
  6. Attach your card to promotional materials you distribute at trade shows or networking events you attend.
  7. Include your card when you distribute promotional items, flyers or postcards to potential clients in your market area.
  8. Leave a ‘fan’ of your cards on Spa, Athletic Club, Gym and Fitness Center bulletin boards in your market area.
  9. Provide a card to service providers you encounter regularly i.e.: your Starbucks Server, Bank Teller, Dental Hygienist, Eye Doctor, Personal Trainers, Tutors, Pharmacist, etc.
  10. Leave your card with a tip when dining out at a favorite restaurant in your market area.
  11. Include your card with a healthy snack and a ‘special offer’ for parents at Halloween, Easter and other special occasions.
  12. Keep a supply of cards in your wallet, purse, and glove compartment of your car so they are always available.
  13. When giving information, write it on the back of your business card whenever possible.
  14. Give your card to attendees you meet at seminars, workshops, trainings.

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH) has been serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 25 years and just launched a new location in San Diego this April.  To date, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for successful careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for YOU! To learn more, visit www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call them at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego.

Holistic Massage School Touts Stress Relief Benefits of Yoga!

“New studies confirm that the mindful movement of a Yoga work-out is linked to lower levels of Cortisol (stress hormone) and higher levels of Serotonin (good feeling hormones)” says Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH).   These hormonal changes coupled with an increase of the relaxant GABA, naturally reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression, making Yoga an important part of an effective holistic health program”, she added.  

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices for whole health, which originated in ancient India more than 5,000 years ago. Yoga is considered ‘active relaxation’, which allows one to develop present moment awareness of the way we are feeling emotionally and physically.  Yoga integrates your breath with movement.  By moving pent-up energy throughout your whole body, you can directly and immediately change your mood. 

Below is a sequence of restorative yoga poses that will leave you physically and emotionally relaxed, yet mentally focused and energized.   For a stress-busting, restorative 15-minute workout, learn these 5 simple poses.  Repeat the active poses (2 & 3) three times each before finishing with the inversion pose for optimal holistic benefits.

1 – Alternate Nostril Breathing:

To quiet your mind and energize your body, sit in a cross-legged position with your spine tall and upright.  Using your right thumb, place it across your right nostril to close, then inhale for four seconds through your left nostril.  Then close your left nostril with your right ring-finger, then exhale for eight seconds out of the right nostril.  Keeping your left nostril coclosed, inhale for four seconds.  Then close the right nostril and fully exhale out of the left nostril for eight seconds.  Repeat this process of inhalations until you have completed seven or eight rounds.  The technique balances the opposing sides of the brain.  The left (responsible for vigor and alertness) and the right side (receptive, calming).

2 – Standing Forward Bend:

Stand with feet parallel to one another and slightly wider than your hips.  Your spine should be tall and your knees slightly bent.  Fold your torso over your legs and lift your butt toward the air and let your hands fall to the back of your legs.  Bring your chest as close to your legs as possible, then release your hands and allow the crown of your head to fall toward the floor.  Relax and settle into the pose for ten deep breaths, (approximately 60 seconds) then slowly bend your knees and roll your body up one vertebra at a time.

3 – Balancing Half Moon:

Stand with your feet spread wide, your left foot facing to the left and your right toes at a 45-degree angle.  Reach down towards your left calf with your left arm and shift your hips to the right, then place your left fingertips on the floor about 10 inches in front of your left foot.  Bend your left knee, then raise your right leg as you straighten your left.  Stack your hips, and reach for the ceiling with your right hand and pull your right shoulder back to the same plane as your left and hold the pose for 30 seconds then switch sides.

4- Legs-Up Inversion:

Find a portion of wall that is clear of obstacles. Sit sideways by the wall with your legs straight and as close to the wall as possible.  Lie back and rotate your torso away from the walls so you can bring your legs up against it.  Inch your butt as close as possible keeping your legs flat against the wall and your back flat on the floor.  Let the floor support your head, and feel your thigh bones release as they drop back toward your pelvis.  Close your eyes and hold the pose for at least five minutes to restore and relax your mind/body.

 

Serving residents through three regional campuses, HH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California.  To date, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for you! To find out more about our 80+ massage and holistic health classes, visit us at www.healinghandsschool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, (858)505-1100 in San Diego.

Holistic Massage School Supports ‘Stand Down’ Event for Homeless Veterans

“The annual ‘Stand Down’ event for homeless veterans is modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War” said Harmony Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH)- Laguna Hills. “The event allowed battle-weary soldiers time-away from the battle-field to unwind, enjoy warm meals, receive medical care, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends. Today’s ‘Stand Down’ events, offer street-weary homeless veterans a similar ‘safe-retreat’, she continued.

Stand Down events were not conceived as a hand-out, but more a hand-up, where homeless Veterans are given a chance to begin again.  The event provides Veterans access to VA benefits, shelter, meal services, psychological counseling, legal services, integrative medicine, and employment/job counseling and other services to help them get off the streets and back on their feet.  The recent Stand Down coordinated by the San Diego Veterans Village took place from Friday, July 21, to Sunday July 23rd 2017 in San Diego.  HH’s Staff Instructor, Sandra Christie, attended the event along with several volunteer Massage Therapy students from HHSHH.  Together, Instructor and students provided hundreds of therapeutic massages to Veterans during the three day event.   

 “According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, these Stand Down events are recognized as the most valuable outreach tool for homeless veterans in the nation”, said Paula.  “Today, I’d like to thank all Healing Hands Student volunteers for the generous donation of their time, compassion, and therapeutic touch extended to these homeless veterans.  A special thanks to Staff Instructor, Sandra Christie, for inspiring student participation  and handling logistics for the group”, she added.

Volunteering for a Stand Down is a great way to show homeless veterans how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice.  For more information about HH or the more than 80 Massage therapy and Holistic Health courses we offer, visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego.

Holistic Massage School Comments on Ethics and the Client/Practitioner Relationship

“Every few months or years there is head line news about reports of unprofessional conduct by people in positions of perceived power, authority and trust” said Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH).  “For Massage Therapists who work so closely with clients, it’s imperative they maintain high standards of professional conduct with firm boundaries, even when the client becomes provocative.  Failure to comply with the industry’s code of ethics can not only jeopardize a therapist’s professional reputation, it can jeopardize their career as well”, she added.

The trust factor is essential to any client/practitioner relationship. For a client to receive the full benefits of a therapeutic massage, they need to feel safe enough to completely relax.  It’s up to the practitioner to ensure that their clients don’t misinterpret their words, motives or touch as being sexual in nature.  It is also their responsibility to address any issues that could potentially jeopardize professional ethics. If boundaries become unclear for the practitioner, it is their responsibility to consult with a respected colleague or manager who can help identify potential problems and solutions. The following is a list of common warning signs that can help practitioners recognize when something is not right in the client/practitioner relationship. 

  1. Accepting unwanted touch or gifts.
  2. Feeling overwhelmed by a client.
  3. Neglecting your personal value system.
  4. Feeling drained of all your energy from 1 client.
  5. Falling in love with your client.
  6. Realizing that boundaries have been crossed – after the fact.
  7. Touching a client without permission (failure to obtain informed consent).
  8. Allowing others to make decisions for you.
  9. Letting others define who you are or what your goals are.
  10. Feeling a sense of dread toward massaging a client.
  11. Not being able to clearly define your scope of practice – believing that you can do more than you are educated to do.
  12. Expecting a client to anticipate your needs as a practitioner.
  13. Allowing your feelings and emotions to get in the way of your massage.
  14. Wanting someone to “rescue” you.
  15. Fear of saying no because you dread the consequences.
  16. The environment feels unprofessional.
  17. Your “gut response” tells you something is wrong.

 

As a professional massage practitioner who provides therapeutic services to the public, it is important that you understand your legal rights, obligations and risks while practicing good ethics. For more about Ethics and Professionalism for Massage Practitioners go online to www.ncbtmb.org/code-ethics.

Serving residents through three regional campuses, HH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California.  To date, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for you! To find out more about our 80+ massage and holistic health classes, visit us at www.healinghandsschool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, (858)505-1100 in San Diego.     

Holistic Massage School Shares Ethical Guidelines for Massage Therapists

 

“As Professional Massage Therapists, our ethics, values and professionalism are of great importance to our careers” said Harmony Curtiss, Operations Manager for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH).  “Since our behavior as Massage Therapists impacts our profession and society as a whole, we urge all Graduates to become knowledgeable of the laws, regulations and Code of Ethics that pertain to Massage Therapists”, she added.

The word ‘Ethics’ is defined as:  Rules or principles which govern right and correct conduct based on moral and cultural standards as defined by society. ‘Values” are defined as beliefs and abstract ideals that shape an individual’s thinking and behavior. ‘Professionalism’ pertains to one being a specialist in a specific field.  ‘Ethical Decision Making’ is the application of ethical and professional skills to determine appropriate behavior and resolve ethical dilemmas. Choosing the right and correct path for treating clients requires an awareness of consequences and thoughtful, ethical decision making.  Below are 10 guidelines that can help Professional Massage Therapists stay clear of any unintentional breach of ethics that could ultimately jeopardize their licensure, reputation, or career future.

  1. Clients should be given a clear choice about wearing or not wearing articles of clothing during a massage therapy session.
  2. Clients should dress and undress in private.
  3. Make sure to obtain Informed Consent (verbal) with every client; and obtain Special Consent (Signed Form) before providing massage to minor children.
  4. Practice appropriate draping procedures at all times when working with clients
  5. Take care to avoid accidentally touching any private body part.
  6. Refrain from using Inappropriate terminology when speaking about body parts.
  7. Refrain from sexual innuendo of any type.
  8. Should a sexual relationship between a therapist and client begin to develop, the professional relationship must be terminated.
  9. Expose only one area of the body at a time – to maximize client privacy, comfort and warmth.

Serving residents through three regional campuses, HH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California.  To date, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for you! To find out more about our 80+ massage and holistic health classes, visit us at www.healinghandsschool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, (858)505-1100 in San Diego.

Holistic Massage School Shares Secrets to Massage Therapists’ Practice Success

According to Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HH), “The client’s perception of you and your business begins the moment they enter your massage room or clinic.  If you want a successful massage practice you must conduct yourself professionally at all times.  This means:

  • Have regular and convenient practice hours, that include one or two evenings per week or weekend appointments to accommodate clients who work a day job.
  • Build your business by engaging in practice building activities such as distributing promotional materials, attending community events, social media marketing, networking, e-marketing and snail mail campaigns.
  • Schedule one or two networking lunches with either other professionals or services representatives that may be able to refer business to you, and you to them. (Hair & nail salons, Gyms, Yoga Studios, Chiropractors, Doctors, Gynecologists, etc.)
  • Remain available by telephone, email, and/or via automated scheduling online and strive to return all telephone calls within twenty minutes or be prepared to lose a potential booking, or worse, a client.
  • Set your cell phone’s notification so your clients can reach you immediately for an urgent appointment.
  • Establish a reasonable massage fee schedule that describes both the services that you provide and the fees you charge for each service. (i.e.: $60 for an hour massage, $75 for Pre-Natal and $90 for a 90- minute massage.)
  • Create an online presence in the form of a website that promotes your image in a positive, professional manner and offers clients a little information about you and your qualifications (professional profile) as well as a menu of your services, fees and/or retail products being sold and testimonials from satisfied clients.
  • Create a positive social media presence to establish “Top-of-Mind-Awareness” and refrain from posting anything that could negatively impact your reputation.
  • Create and maintain Client Intake Forms that capture client health issues and potential contraindications as well as treatment notes and plans.
  • Be sure your massage room is clean, neat and free of any offensive odors.
  • Ensure that all linens are freshly washed and that all pillows, bolsters and supportive wedges are sanitized regularly.
  • Stock the massage room with a box of tissues, hand sanitizer, and small garbage can.
  • Dress for success. Women should refrain from wearing low cut, backless, sleeveless, or otherwise revealing blouses.  Best bet:  Yoga pants & plain colored polo shirt
  • Find a way to make your massage services stand out above others in the area. Consider specializing – Relaxation, Sports, Thai, Energy-work, Neuro-Muscular, Deep Tissue.
  • Consider enrolling in Healing Hands School of Holistic Health’s Structural Analysis or Neuromuscular therapy classes to learn a system for assessing posture, providing massage therapy, giving take home exercises. Clients who understand the value of the services you provide will keep their appointments and refer others.

 

Serving residents through three regional campuses, HH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California.  To date, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and can do the same for you! To find out more about our 80+ Massage and Holistic Health classes, visit us at www.healinghandsschool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, (858)505-1100 in San Diego.