Massage & Bodywork

November | December 2014

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SAVVY SELF-CARE best practices The desire to help people release their pain and heal is what draws most of us to the massage and bodywork profession. This is a wonderful mission and yet it can be a challenge to keep something as intimate as physical touch contained in a professional manner. This is where boundaries come in. As massage therapists and bodyworkers we must be clear and consistent with our boundaries in order to protect our clients and ourselves. This may feel like an insurmountable challenge. Boundaries may feel rigid and unyielding, which is the opposite of the result we are hoping to create in our clients' bodies. But let me assure you, having strong boundaries enhances your clients' abilities to relax. When your clients trust they are in safe, capable hands, and when they are not wondering about things left unmentioned, then you have created the perfect place from which to begin the healing process. SQUARE ONE Establishing boundaries starts from the very beginning. You can do this by being clear in your early communication about the hours you work, the way you accept payment, and the results people can expect. I fi nd that nothing is better at establishing certain boundaries than having policies in writing for clients to read and sign before we start working together. On my client policies form, I give information about my missed appointment policy, severe weather closings, and payment policies. There is also a disclaimer that clearly states my scope of practice—both what I do, and what I don't do. This form not only spells out everything about the business side of our relationship, it also sets the stage for what will happen in our therapeutic relationship. Boundaries By Jennie Hastings Stancu 32 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k n o v e m b e r / d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 4

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