Safety Guidelines & Practices for Massage Therapists

Instructor: Alyssa Campbell

Alyssa is an active RN and teaches Nursing and Leadership university courses. She also has a Doctorate in Nursing Practice and a Master's in Business Administration.

Facilities that provide massage require standard guidelines to protect the safety of their clients as well as their therapists. Read this lesson to learn more about general safety policies and precautions taken when providing massage services. Updated: 12/11/2019

A Safe Place

Eager to have his dream come true, Otis excitedly plans the opening of his own massage facility. He has been providing massage therapy to clients out of an extra room in his house for a long time and looks forward to having a formal treatment space of his own. His massage business has grown steadily over the years, also requiring him to hire additional therapists to manage the workload.

While he lucked out on leasing a building in a popular spot downtown, it is old and needs some work. He knows some updates will need to be made to bring the space up to general safety standards. Along with ensuring the building is safe, he plans on holding a mandatory education event to teach his new employees about workplace policies focused safety guidelines.

Safety Guidelines and Practices

A state of safety is well-being and protection from harm, pain, or injury. Otis explains that while providing a great massage experience is important, safety is critical and will always be his utmost priority. In an effort to teach his new employees the safety guidelines of the facility, he reviews policies that will govern behaviors.

Facility Safety

When arriving to the facility, the client should feel and be kept safe while entering the building and receiving their massage. Therapists should also be protected from harm or potential injury while at work. Otis acknowledges some of the repairs and necessary precautions to have in place prior to opening day. He shares a list of general precautions, or safeguards, regarding their massage facility:

  • Trip hazards like throw rugs are removed; uneven floors and steps are fixed
  • The facility is handicap accessible
  • All railings and fixtures are secured
  • Entrances and parking is free of snow and ice prior to the office opening

Personal Safety

To protect both the therapists in his practice, Otis enforces standard precautions and shares the expectation that hands, arms, and any other equipment is cleansed appropriately. Use of protective gear, like application of gloves, masks, and even gowns can not only protect the therapist but also the client.

Other safety rules that apply to both client and therapist include:

  • Open communication, including thorough explanation of what the client can expect from their massage treatment
  • Easy access to medical supplies like first aid kits and defibrillation machines in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest
  • Use of alarms that alert other employees of need for help, also includes the use of security and anti-theft alarms
  • Proper body mechanics are to be used to prevent harm to the therapist and ensure client comfort
  • Awareness of pain or other contraindications and reasons to stop the massage

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