Thursday, July 19, 2012

AMTA and ABMP's Code(s) of Ethics

"He who has any why can endure any how."

- Friedrich Nietzsche     


I received two comments of why my Code of Ethics posts have been geared on the topic of dual relationships and sexuality. Thank you for the comments! Here is why: the topic of discussion in those posts are about the subjects aforementioned, I am simply providing support to some aspects of what I have written to make some points more vivid. In any case that you are wondering about the full and detailed Code of Ethics for massage therapists and bodyworkers, I have here the Code of Ethics from AMTA and ABMP. Again, thank you for reading my blog. Comments and suggestions  (C&S) are always welcome.

- Leo Feraer-Oporto     

Professional Code of Ethics

The following Codes of Ethics are summary statements of the standards of conduct that define ethical behavior for massage, bodywork and somatic therapists from the two leading professional organization in America. Adherence to their Code is a prerequisite for admission to and continued membership in their respective organization.

I am a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), not the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), but I pledge to abide by both the AMTA and the ABMP Codes of Ethics as outlined below:

ABMP Code of Ethics

Client Relationships:
  1. I shall endeavor to serve the best interests of my clients at all times and to provide the highest quality service possible.

  2. I shall maintain clear and honest communications with my clients and shall keep client communications confidential.

  3. I shall acknowledge the limitations of my skills and, when necessary, refer clients to the appropriate qualified health care professional.

  4. I shall in no way instigate or tolerate any kind of sexual advance while acting in the capacity of a massage, bodywork, somatic therapy or esthetic practitioner.


  1. I shall maintain the highest standards of professional conduct, providing services in an ethical and professional manner in relation to my clientele, business associates, health care professionals, and the general public.

  2. I shall respect the rights of all ethical practitioners and will cooperate with all health care professionals in a friendly and professional manner.

  3. I shall refrain from the use of any mind-altering drugs, alcohol, or intoxicants prior to or during professional sessions.

  4. I shall always dress in a professional manner, proper dress being defined as attire suitable and consistent with accepted business and professional practice.

  5. I shall not be affiliated with or employed by any business that utilizes any form of sexual suggestiveness or explicit sexuality in its advertising or promotion of services, or in the actual practice of its services.


Scope of Practice / Appropriate Techniques:

  1. I shall provide services within the scope of the ABMP definition of massage, bodywork, somatic therapies and skin care, and the limits of my training. I will not employ those massage, bodywork or skin care techniques for which I have not had adequate training and shall represent my education, training, qualifications and abilities honestly.

  2. I shall be conscious of the intent of the services that I am providing and shall be aware of and practice good judgment regarding the application of massage, bodywork or somatic techniques utilized.

  3. I shall not perform manipulations or adjustments of the human skeletal structure, diagnose, prescribe or provide any other service, procedure or therapy which requires a license to practice chiropractic, osteopathy, physical therapy, podiatry, orthopedics, psychotherapy, acupuncture, dermatology, cosmetology, or any other profession or branch of medicine unless specifically licensed to do so.

  4. I shall be thoroughly educated and understand the physiological effects of the specific massage, bodywork, somatic or skin care techniques utilized in order to determine whether such application is contraindicated and/or to determine the most beneficial techniques to apply to a given individual. I shall not apply massage, bodywork, somatic or skin care techniques in those cases where they may be contraindicated without a written referral from the client's primary care provider.


Image / Advertising Claims:

  1. I shall strive to project a professional image for myself, my business or place of employment, and the profession in general.

  2. I shall actively participate in educating the public regarding the actual benefits of massage, bodywork, somatic therapies and skin care.

  3. I shall practice honesty in advertising, promote my services ethically and in good taste, and practice and/or advertise only those techniques for which I have received adequate training and/or certification. I shall not make false claims regarding the potential benefits of the techniques rendered.




AMTA Code of Ethics


The AMTA's Code of Ethics are divided into two: Principles and Rules:


Principles of Ethics. The Principles of Ethics are aspirational and inspirational model standards of exemplary professional conduct for all members of the association. These Principles should not be regarded as limitations or restrictions, but as goals for which members should constantly strive. Massage therapists/practitioners shall:


  1. Demonstrate commitment to provide the highest quality massage therapy/bodywork to those who seek their professional service.

  2. Acknowledge the inherent worth and individuality of each person by not discriminating or behaving in any prejudicial manner with clients and/or colleagues.

  3. Demonstrate professional excellence through regular self-assessment of strengths, limitations, and effectiveness by continued education and training.

  4. Acknowledge the confidential nature of the professional relationship with clients and respect each client’s right to privacy within the constraints of the law.

  5. Project a professional image and uphold the highest standards of professionalism.

  6. Accept responsibility to do no harm to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of self, clients, and associates.


Rules of Ethics. The Rules of Ethics are mandatory and direct specific standards of minimally-acceptable professional conduct for all members of the association. The Rules of Ethics are enforceable for all association members, and any members who violate this Code shall be subject to disciplinary action. Massage therapists/practitioners shall

  1. Conduct all business and professional activities within their scope of practice and all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

  2. Refrain from engaging in any sexual conduct or sexual activities involving their clients in the course of a massage therapy session.

  3. Be truthful in advertising and marketing, and refrain from misrepresenting his or her services, charges for services, credentials, training, experience, ability or results.

  4. Refrain from using AMTA membership, including the AMTA name, logo or other intellectual property, or the member’s position, in any way that is unauthorized, improper or misleading.

  5. Refrain from engaging in any activity which would violate confidentiality commitments and/or proprietary rights of AMTA or any other person or organization.



- Leo Feraer-Oporto     







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