Ethics is about creating a strong foundation for your massage business or job so that you can build a career that will allow you to last a long time and be wildly successful as a massage therapist. I bet you never really thought that ethics could get wild!
Studying ethics and learning about your own values and needs is what will help you create the boundaries that will help you throughout your career. When you can set boundaries that support you, your chances of having a long and rewarding career increase significantly. It is about living and working in integrity with your values. This is the real law of attraction at work. Your marketing plan, website and everything you do will be supporting you every step of the way.
You also have to be aware of the many things that can happen for a client who is on the massage table. Touch has a way of bringing up many old patterns of relating to people. When people are in pain and under stress, they often are not thinking clearly. Understanding transference will help you help people more. The clearer you are about yourself and your boundaries, the more possibilities there are for healing at a deeper level than just the physical pain. While we don’t deal with the emotions as a massage therapist, they can not be denied or ignored.
The Therapeutic Relationship is what holds a massage business together. It is the sacred relationship that occurs between the massage client and the massage therapist. The main focus of the therapeutic relationship is on the client. When the therapist does things like gives advice (especially unwanted advice), or is unaware that they get most of their own needs to feel important and needed out of the relationship, problems can occur. Preserving the therapeutic relationship requires that massage therapists be involved in doing their own personal growth work and to be getting regular supervision sessions or participating in a peer group.
Relationships with clients are tricky though. Because massage therapists work so closely with people, many massage therapists will often feel like that they can’t charge what they need to make to make a living and stay in business. They may also feel like they can’t charge for no shows or late arrivals making it difficult to stay in business. When massage therapists work so close with others, they often will feel like they are friends and invite clients to personal events like barbeques, baby showers and other events. Each situation will be different and there may be a few clients that you can be friends with but there is always a change or risk involved in doing so.
This is why creating the framework for your massage business involves creating policies and procedures that support your massage business and you! Your cancellation policies are really a reflection of your values and self esteem.
Ethics are the heart and soul of a massage business. It isn’t just some boring class you have to take in massage school. It is a process of learning what it is that you need and learning to get your needs met outside of the massage room or at least becoming aware of how your needs are influencing your massage session.