Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2010

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reader forum WHAT YOU ARE SAYING I understand that when you dress to go to work you need to project a professional, clean appearance, but telling people to cover their tattoos offended me. Candice Nantz Mooresville, North Carolina Stay Fresh I just read your article "Stay Fresh" in the July/August 2010 issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine (Practitioner Parables, by Robert Chute, page 127) and wanted to say thanks! I recently received my license to practice massage in March of this year and have been working steadily three days a week. It's not much, I know, but I've defi nitely questioned if I made the right choice to become a massage therapist since I've started working. I've already developed aches in my phalangeal joints and have worked with less-than-pleasant clients, employees, and employers. Your article was a good reminder for me to focus on the reasons I chose to pursue this career. I made the decision after prayers for a purpose in life and a profession I could use to help others of this world who could really benefi t from the healing powers of touch and compassion. I just wanted to say thank you for contributing your advice and knowledge to me and the many others who read Massage & Bodywork. STACY YOUNG BROOKLYN, NEW YORK Dress for Success I normally don't write in about the articles I read, but I felt like this time I had to. I was reading the Ten for Today by Rebecca Jones titled "Dress for Your Success" (July/August 2010, page 78). I was really disappointed by one part in particular. I understand that when you dress to go to work you need to project a professional, clean appearance, but telling people to cover their tattoos offended me. I have a half sleeve and wrist tattoo on one arm and I wear scrubs to work, so they are visible at all times. It would be impossible for me to do my job with a long sleeve shirt on and downright annoying to roll the sleeve up before I start a session. If I have to stress over whether my tattoo is covered or trying not to let anyone know I have it, then I'm not going to be doing the best massages I can do. I understand that there are some PLEASE EMAIL YOUR LETTERS TO EDITOR@ABMP.COM. people who want tattoos to be covered for various reasons, and I believe that some, like side, stomach, and chest pieces, should be covered, but to say that all of them should be is not only impossible but simpleminded. I have been a therapist for fi ve years now and haven't had one person complain to me yet. All of my clients repeatedly comment on how much they like my half sleeve and usually ask me for the phone number of my artist. I believe my tattoos, as do some of my other therapist friends who have them as well, help to put the client at ease. When they walk in and see me, they don't feel like I'm better than them, or that I'm going to talk down to them. I have several clients who have tattoos tell me what a relief it was to walk in and see someone else with a tattoo that was going to do their massage, because they knew they could relax without worrying about being judged themselves. I never want any of my clients to feel uncomfortable around me and if I ever did have someone who didn't like my tattoos, then I would gladly refer them to someone who didn't. When I fi rst looked into doing massage therapy, one of the things that drew me into the profession was that you are accepted as you are. I never thought that people in our profession would start turning their noses up at colleagues and telling them how to be just because they can. It doesn't help our fi eld; it hurts it greatly. Everyone has their own sense of style and no one should be asked to change, cover, or modify it for any reason. All that matters to me when I go to work in the mornings is that I am able to go in and help people get rid of stress and muscular pains. After all, I am a massage therapist and at the end of the day, if I helped my clients get rid of those things, then I know I did my job and did it well. CANDICE NANTZ MOORESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA connect with your colleagues on massageprofessionals.com 15

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