Massage & Bodywork

November/December 2013

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education CLASSROOM TO CLIENT | PATHOLOGY PERSPECTIVES | BODY AWARENESS | FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY | SOMATIC RESEARCH Safety First Sanitation and Hygiene Practices By Anne Williams It is impossible to know if a client who walks through the door of your business is infected with a pathogen. Similarly, you may be infected and not know it. Because pathogens that cause serious illness are all around us, good sanitation and hygiene practices are required at all times to prevent the spread of disease. These practices include therapist hygiene and the use of standard (universal) precautions. CLEANLINESS OF BODY AND HAIR Shower daily and wash your hair on workdays. Avoid the use of scented aftershaves, antiperspirants, body care products, colognes, and perfumes because these may cause sensitivity or allergies in some clients. Hair can act as a reservoir for pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus, and must be tied back so it does not touch the client during massage. Men should shave before each work shift or keep facial hair neatly trimmed. If you touch your own hair during a session, including facial hair, you must sanitize your hands before touching the client. Keep your nails short, natural, and filed to a smooth edge. Long nails, nail polish, and artificial nails are breeding grounds for pathogens and may scratch a client; they are best avoided. Brush and floss your teeth before the shift and directly after eating food during breaks in the day. Because therapists and clients come into close contact 40 massage & bodywork november/december 2013 during massage, it is a good idea to rinse your mouth with mouthwash before each new client. Therapists who perspire heavily while giving massage can wear sweatbands on the forehead and wrist to prevent droplets of perspiration from falling onto the client. A clean towel can be used to absorb perspiration throughout the massage if necessary. CLEAN AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING Launder your work uniform or clothing at the end of each working day. Short sleeves are better for massage, because long sleeves may touch the client's skin, become contaminated, and contaminate the next client. While many therapists like to work barefoot, this is not advised. Your feet may

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