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Questions for Massage Therapists to Ask to Demonstrate Client Boundary Respect

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When you're a massage therapist who is treating a client, you want to clearly respect his or her boundaries. You do this in a number of ways, such as draping the client's body so that the area you're working on is the only part of the body that is exposed. Due to their full or partial state of undress, some massage clients can feel a little anxious during their treatments. This makes the need for you to respect their boundaries of the utmost important. There are a number of ways that you can respect a client's boundaries, including with the following questions.

Are You OK With Me Going Here?

Think about where you're currently massaging and where you wish to move your hands. For example, if you're massaging the intercostals muscles on a female client, and you feel restrictions that you want to continue to focus on, you should be cognizant that your hands are near her breasts. If you wish to move from her sides to the middle of her rib cage on her torso, for example, you need to ask if she's OK with you moving to your target area, and then describe the area. Doing so demonstrates that you respect her boundaries.

May I Roll This Garment Up?

Sometimes, clients will leave their underwear on during a treatment. This can make them feel more relaxed, but it can also impact your ability to do your job. If you're treating a male client who is lying on his front, you may be focusing on the hamstrings. Should the client be wearing long-cut boxers or boxer briefs, it may be difficult to fully access the hamstrings without rolling up the bottoms of the underwear. Don't just do so without addressing it. Instead, always ask your client if you may roll the cuffs of the underwear up a little, and then explain the need to do so.

Are You Comfortable With This Position?

At times, you'll need your client to move into a certain position, but you shouldn't just tell him or her to do so. It's a sign of your respect for the client's boundaries when you ask if the client is comfortable to move into a certain position. For example, he or she may have physical limitations that make doing so uncomfortable, and no one wants to spend even part of a massage treatment feeling uncomfortable.

Some people are also self-conscious about their bodies, and may prefer not to be in certain positions. The more questions that you can ask that demonstrate your respect for boundaries, the more comfortable your clients will feel with you.

To learn more about professionalism, contact services such as Lansing Wellness Asian Body Works.