Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Art of Silence Part 3: We are Meant to be Heard... Not!

"Do not speak unless you can improve the silence."
- Lao Tzu     

The Things You Should Never Say to a Massage Client:
Part 3 - We are Meant to be Felt, Not Heard Anyways!
Whether during the intake, into the session, or an after-treatment teaching, our professional communication skill is a valuable tool to convey what we really mean and to show our sincere intent. Today, there are CEU(s) available to us to learn this professional way of communicating to the clients in either a therapeutic, business or compassionate way!
There are, however, many barriers to communication (i.e. culture, geography and accent) that may lead your massage clients understanding what you've said in a way other than what you really mean. Your intent can get misconstrued! So what do we say? what do we not? And this is the last part:
Part 1: To B, or not to B! - B is for Blabbermouth
Part 2: Wrong Words Speak Louder Than Gestures!
Part 3: We are Meant to be Felt, Not Heard Anyways!
Here is the last part of my countdown to the top 10 phrases that you should NOT throw caution to the wind when said! Or better yet, as Massage Therapists - don't say them at all!
            Top 10 to 6? Click here
5. "You have this, you have that! Because of this, because of that!". It is referred to as the act of diagnosing. The result is called THE diagnosis. In all US States (and other nations), Massage Therapists are independent health practitioner that do not need a referral from a Primary Health Provider (PHP) in order to provide massage (or bodywork). BUT in all those jurisdiction NO massage therapist is allowed to diagnose a particular ailment or disease or predict their prognosis. Let's us shut up on this one and leave them to the PHPs: a MD, DO, DC, DPT, FNP, etc. (See the Links to Massage Therapy Regulations here per State).
4. "Do this, do that, this many reps, that many sets!" We can give a reliable and educated advice up to a point that it does not comprise a certain form of "Major Health Management". If you assessed that your client needs a certain form of exercise or rehab, recommend to them that they may benefit from it if: (1) done right, (2) under consultation with a physician, and/or (3) under supervision of a Certified Fitness Trainer. Period, say no more. Flexibility/Strength training, Injury and Pain Rehabilitation and other major health management practices may be manage with the help of CAM - Complementary and Alternative Medicine like massage. And to the Physical Therapist, Certified Fitness Trainer, a Rehabilitation Expert - that is just what we are and who we are: A Complement and an Alternate. So again. we keep our mouth shut and leave it to them! (Liabilities, liabilities!)
3. "Take this, take that,  this much, that times-per-day!" Assessment and Referral - those we can do. Beyond that is just way above our call of duty and what the law allows. We cannot prescribe any form of medication be it an herbal preparation, OTC (over-the-counter) or be it prescription-only. We need to know the side effect of those drugs that can impact the effects of massage - for client safety. That's it - client safety. Other than that, there is nothing else we can do to drugs for clients. (See your State Regulations here) Prescribing them is the last thing you want to do! AND that leads us to #2 below: Epsom salt.
2. "Epsom salts! Epsom salts! More Epsom salts! This one I will leave the decision to you if you want to "recommend" it! Believe me you, in all the places I have worked at, this one is the "most-prescribed" by Massage Therapist. Epsom salt is a Pharmaceutical Preparation of Magnesium Sulfate, with emphasis on the "Pharmaceutical". It was first "mined" from saline springs in Epsom, Surrey in England, hence the name. (Mineral spring baths anyone?). It is a surfactant, a desiccant, a laxative, a bronchodilator, anti-eclampsia and of course the ever-so-popular bath additives. If you do "recommend" them to your client, DO include a detailed way of the exact amount and proper way of using it. The last thing you want your client to end up having is an over-dry skin, - or worst: rebound eclampsia or hypermagnesemia! Yikes! Which goes to say that Epsom has had some part in #1...
1. "Massage squeezes toxins out of the muscle, so drink water to flush it out of your body!" (And 17 other most common massage myths!). We all are, in one way or another, guilty of saying one of these misguided beliefs - in one point in our practice! They are called myths for a reason. About that catch-all-bad-things word: toxins... You might need dialysis to get rid of them if they do stagnate inside you, and the emergency room should be where you are, not the spa. And about water flushing them out? Yes, too much will make you pee, but other than urinating, if your circulatory system is blocked with "real" toxin, it will not be flushed by water like a clogged drain pipe! It's A&P would you agree? To see more myths and why(s): click here.
So sometimes some things are just better off not said. If there is a real need for an issue to be addressed, thinking twice before saying a word to our client can be our best bet. And let us back them up with evidence-based clinical research if our client's health and safety is on the line. Professional Licensed MassageTherapists is who we are! Something worth upholding!
As for the words we utter... let us make them soft and as little as we possibly can! They are easier to chew and to swallow - just in case we have to!
Read Also:
Things You Should Never Say to a Massage Client Part 1:
Things You Should Never Say to a Massage Client Part 2:
- Leo Feraer-Oporto     



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