Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sustainability to massage

I am going to discuss sustainability in massage therapy and how sustainability relates to our profession, to ourselves and to our clients. I will briefly talk about how sustainability to massage effects our community and the relationships that our clients have with others. I will be discussing massage and enviromental sustainability, massage and human sustainability, massage and social sustainability and massage and economic sustainability.

Massage and enviromental sustainability
In massage therapy lighting, heating and electricity are regular costs we need to account for to maintain a safe massage practice. To help protect the enviroment we could dry our linen out-side or on a clothes-rack inside, instead of using a clothes dryer for drying linen. We could use the cheapest most affordable kind of heating that doesn't cause harm to our ourselves, our client or the enviroment. We need to stay aware of what materials we use in massage therapy and how that may affect the enviroment that we live in. Choosing healthy oils and waxes would cause less harm to the enviroment.
Massage and human sustainability
As a massage therapist we can support our client's into better healthy living by educating them about their body. We can encourage therapeutic exercises, body awareness and good health & well-being. Massage can reduce pain in the body thus giving the individual relief. There are many benefits to receiving massage for an individual and these benefits affect their future and their daily living. Massage also affects how an individual feels about themselves. Massage helps clean out toxins from the body. Massage is one way in which an individual can create self-care. As humans we need to be able to give ourselves the best in order to maintain healthy living. We also need continual individual maintenance by regularly up-dating our personal life skills, education and health care.
Massage and social sustainability
Maintaining social capital by working along the basic guidelines and expectations of massage therapy in NZ. Working as a team to help other massage therapists in their business as well as in our own business. Being a productive part of the community and joining together to help others is social sustainability. Sharing knowledge within the wider community about our experience in massage therapy and being open to receiving knowledge also. Adding to the greater whole is social sustainability which involves cooperation amongst and within the community. Massage can enhance a client's social sustainability because massage has such a positive effect on an individuals thinking, behavior and lifestyle changes, therefore helping them be part of the greater whole and contributing in the community more.
Massage and economic sustainability
Economic sustainability includes being able to cover all the costs of massage and creating interest also. Having affordable massage available to clients. Being considerate of other massage therapists and how they conduct their business. The room needs to be kept warm for the client's health so heating the room up before massage is essential to good massage practice, we need to be sure that our expenses are less than our incomings.

I have covered sustainability within massage therapy and how it affects our profession, ourselves and our clients. I have also talked about the effects it has on the enviroment and our community.

McQuillan, D. (2009). Sustainability of Massage. Retrieved 18/5/09 from

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Time Management

Time Management
I am going to discuss my time management around my study in massage therapy. I will discuss how my time management effects me at present and how I can change my time management to better my studies. I will talk about my strengths and how these strengths relate to my time management and I will talk about what aspects of time management I need to work on. Lastly I will talk about the steps I need to take in order to have better time management while studying.
One of my current strengths in time management is that I always use a diary. I structure my day from when it starts in the morning until when I get home in the evening. I use the same diary for all my commitments so I can have a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly over-view of my timetable. By using the same diary I can see everything that I need to do. My diary involves my personal training hours which can vary between 6am-8pm, it involves our block courses for study and any practical massage I do outside of these hours. When I find space in my diary, I'll use that space for my assignments, checking e-mails, reading blogs and other study commitments that I have. I do not always schedule study hours in my diary because my work hours are different every week. At present I study when I have spare time.
Another strength I have is that I can adjust very easily to change. So if our timetables were to change or our due dates for assignments change, I don't get thrown off course. My job involves constant change which is great practice for my study.
What aspects of time management I need to work on
The aspects of time management I need to work on are procrastination, distractions and justification. I'm very good at procrastinating and doing my assignments on the day that they need to be submitted. I'm also very good at studying on the morning of an anatomy assessment and studying the day before a biology test. The reasons why I do this last minute study are I'm busy with work, I can't find the time or I'm just a procrastinator. I love being able to spend time with family and friends and if I can do something else instead of study; I'll commit to the something else and not the study.
I will create distractions for myself, and sometimes I see myself doing it deliberately. It seems like I have a built-in rebellion that doesn't want to study when I could. Which leads me onto justification.
I will come up with reasons why I deserve to do something else other my study. I'm aware that if I work on these issues, I will have more free time to do other lifestyle commitments.
Managing my time management
I need to start my assignments earlier so I can have time to check them and change them if I need to. By doing this I'll have more free time for other commitments and I won't be under so much pressure. I do see the benefits if I commit to starting my assignments early. I also need to schedule more study time in my diary, instead of waiting for the last minute to study, so I can take my time studying. I've realized I need to change my attitude towards study and look at it as something I enjoy rather than looking at it as though its a chore.

I have discussed my present time management and the strengths I have relating to my time management. I have also discussed what areas I need to work on in my time management and what steps I can take in order to meet these new challenges.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The ethics of professional practice

Here I am going to discuss the therapeutic relationship between a massage therapist and their client. I will talk about client-centred care, infromed consent, confidentiality, scope of practise, professional boundries, power differentials, and over-all the dymanics surrounding the relationship between a massge therapist and their client.

Client-centred care is about meeting the clients needs within a safe practise, discussing a plan with the client to have those needs met and involving the client in any dicision-making process to implement a plan to reach their goals. When the massage therapist uses this approach the client feels safe and is then able to visualise a positive approach toward their massage.
Informed consent is for the safety of our client. Although our client has booked an appointment and has agreed to having a massage, we still need to inform our client of any areas we need to be massaging during the session. This is to help the client feel comfortable and more involved in the treatment plan. If the client is not comfortable with getting a particular area of their body massaged then the massage therapist needs to respect that and must not massage that area of the clients body. Informed consent involves the client and creates trust between the client and the massage therapist. Salvo states, "because clients are vulnerable trust, along with open communication, must form the basis of the therapeutic relationship." (Salvo, p 17)
Scope of practise An important part of our profession is to stay within our scope of practise and not to step outside or go beyond our role as a massage therapist. We need to inform our client of what we can do and where our limitations lie. We are not trained to go beyond our area of massage for example; physiotherapy and counselling are not part of our profession. Basically we must stay within our limits otherwise we are crossing the boundries of other professions and most of all we could harm our client. Salvo says, "therapists are required to know and practise only within the scope of practise outlined by the state in which they practise. We need to know what the limits of our skill and our physical abilities are; taking on a client whom we cannot serve well is unethical." (Salvo, p 24)
Confidentiality is key in massage therapy. Everything our client says to us is totally confidential unless it is something that would or could cause harm to another individual. Clients notes need to be kept in a safe place which is not visible to other clients. This is to protect the clients anonymity. Confidentiality is essential and builds trust between the massage therapist and the client. Salvo states, "Confidentiality concerns each client's right to and guarantee of privacy and safety within the therapeutic ralationship. This concept means that the client's name, details of his or her treatment, and information shared by the client during sesssions are not to be divulged to anyone." (Salvo, p 23)
Boundries Setting boundries is vital to maintaining healthy relationships in massage therapy. Not crossing those boundries is just as vital. Salvo states, " A boundry can be defined as a set of parameters indicating a border or limit. A boundry, with regard to relationships, marks or delineates the differences between client's and therapists." (Salvo, p 25).
Because our profession involves touch we need to respect our client's boundries. Communicating with our client's about boundries allows them the security and safety they deserve. Salvo also states, "By respecting the boundries of others, we instill a sense of dignity and respect to our client's, to our profession, and to ourselves." (Salvo, p 25)
Power differentials When a client approaches a massage therapist they are in need of some assistance from the massage therapist , therefore putting themselves in a vulnerable position. The massage therapist has knowledge and experience in this area which places the massage therapist in an authoritive role. This is power differentials and the massage therapist needs to respect this and treat the client with compassion, understanding and empathy. Salvo says, "Anytime a power differential exists in a relationship and the person who weilds the greater power does not recognize or respect the boundries of the other, client abuse and client neglect can occur." (Salvo, p 19).
Power differentials happen naturally between a massage therapist and their client, therefore the massage therapist can use this position of power to care for their client; encouraging them to be open to healing in this manner.
Relationships massage therapy involves relationships with other professionals and with client's. The relationship between a massage therapist and their client developes overtime. This involves clear communication and setting healthy boundries. The massage therapist should always avoid any conflicting issues and stay within the role of their profession in order for their relationship to stay healthy. Massage therapists also have relationships with other professionals. In this relationship we can refer our client's on to other professionals if the client's presenting issue is beyond our capabilities. We can also get referals from outside of our profession. Our client's care is our main focus.
Transference and Counter-tranference basically the aim of being a responsible massage therapist is to keep the relationship between you and client strictly professional. Salvo states, "When a client views the therapist as someone other than a health care provider, the result is transference. Conversely, the therapist may experience countertransference if he or she sees the client as something more than a client." (Salvo, p32)
Transference can occur at anytime especially if your client is needy and vulnerable. If this issue arises the massage therapist needs to take steps to reduce the transference from getting out of hand. Counter-transference is when a massage therapist brings along their personal issues expecting the client to fix it, or when a massage therapist crosses the client's boundries and begins to feel close to their client. Counter-transference can occur if the massage therapist is not maintaining strong boundries. Detachment is a healthy solution in either of these circumstances. A massage therapist can still care for their client and have detachment.

Here I have outlined the importance of maintaining healthy relationships between the massage therapist and their client. I have covered the scope of practise used in massage therapy, confidentiality, power differentials, boundries, informed consent and a few other important factors of massage therapy.

Salvo S. (2007), Massage Therapy. Principles and Practise. (3rd ed). Missouri, Saunders Elsevier