Massage therapists typically work with clients who have physical and mental disabilities, and they really should be prepared to identify possible contraindications in order to very best supply massage therapy to this population. Often, special needs clients may not disclose medical ailments or their will need for accommodation until they arrive for the appointment, so it is up to massage therapists to be well educated about situations when it is, and when it is not suitable to offer massage therapy services.
The term “special needs” is broad, and encompasses a huge spectrum of minor to severe needs ranging from mobility assistance, to cognitive impairments, to clients with medical ailments. When unique wants clients make an appointment for a massage therapy, they often (but at times do not) disclose that they have a physiological or mental impairment that may call for unique assistance. For massage therapists, it is finest to be conscious and prepared to work with clients who require extra attention and techniques to provide a high quality massage while not compromising the client’s health or safety.
How would you work with unique wants clients who require a wheelchair for mobility? How will you approach treatment with a client who has had a full skin graft on his or her back? How do you provide massage therapy to a client with a history of seizures? For numerous massage therapists, the answers to these questions are frequently guesses at best, and educating yourself about achievable unique-requirements situations can support you grow to be knowledge and prepare for any unforeseen requirements and prospective contraindications.
For example, special wants clients with mobility issues may well not be able to assume a supine or prone position on a conventional massage table to receive massage therapy. Whilst a massage chair is a feasible alternative, some clients may well not want to / be able to move from their wheelchair and need to be treated in a seated position. By being prepared with supportive pillows and bolsters, massage therapists can massage a client even though they are in a comfy position in their own chair. Be certain to educate your client about what you are performing in the course of the massage therapy session, and why you are doing it. When working with unique wants clients, ensuring their emotional and physical comfort ought to be one of your highest priorities.
Yet another example is working with clients with visual or hearing impairments. How will you communicate with your client if it is tough for them to see or hear you? For clients who are hearing impaired, massage therapists need to usually know to establish a set of mutually agreed upon hand signals, or have a piece of paper and pen prepared to write down questions or statements. Just since unique requirements clients might not be able to hear you is no reason to not attempt to communicate issues during the massage therapy session like “are you too hot or too cold?” “Is the pressure ok?” “Are you ready to roll over?” As with hearing impairments, massage therapists need to also be prepared to modify their approach of communication with special wants clients who have visual impairments. Prior to you start the massage, describe the room, assist the client to the table, and explain where every thing is. Do not move anything once you have described the layout, as this can be disorienting to your client. Throughout a massage therapy session, clearly describe everything you are about to do, and give the client a moment to give his or her consent.
1 much more example is working with special needs clients who have medical conditions that may possibly be ambiguous to the massage therapist. In school, massage therapists are educated about working with clients with autoimmune disorders, and communicative diseases. But what about clients with full-back skin grafts? What about a client who discloses that she occasionally has seizures? What about working with a terminally ill client? These unique needs clients are examples of conditions that massage therapists will likely encounter in the course of their practice, and every therapist should anticipate these concerns and prepare accordingly to supply high quality massage therapy.
Preparing Your Practice for Unique Needs Clients
For a regular massage therapy session, many massage therapists have a room set up with at least a table, a bolster, extra sheets, candles, and a headrest. But fewer massage therapists have a closet full of bolsters of different shapes (triangular, thin, thick, circular, flat), a massage chair to accommodate clients who can’t lie supine or prone, lights that can dim or brighten depending on a client’s visual wants, or an erasable board to communicate with clients with hearing impairments.
Physically preparing accessories and the layout of your room for a massage therapy session can enhance the positive expertise had by special requirements clients exponentially. Additionally, massage therapists need to take into account how clients will even get to your massage room. Are the hallways in your practice big enough to accommodate clients of all sizes, and clients in wheelchairs? Is your practice ADA compliant with stairs and a ramp to the front door and a method of moving from 1 floor to an additional such as an elevator?
Finally, are you advertising that your massage therapy practice is welcoming of unique requirements clients? By writing a sentence on your web site such as “I am pleased to work with all clients, and request that you inform me of any special needs prior to making your appointment. I appreciate this additional time you give me to arrange your massage room, make a spot for any assistance animals, and prepare to offer you with a quality massage”, massage therapists can let everyone know that they supply massage for special requirements clients.
As previously stated, “unique needs” is a broad term and encompasses several medical, emotional, and physiological requirements. There is a wealth of printed material about providing massage therapy to unique wants clients, and these ought to be read by massage therapists to very best prepare to accommodate all clients. Additionally, often realize that the client you are working with knows their condition better than any person (such as you). Ask them about prior massage treatments, and what did and did not work for them in the past. Constantly be mindful that they are above all men and women and clients with special requirements – not a problem or a challenge to overcome.
More massage schools are offering continuing education courses about accommodating unique needs clients, and massage therapists often have the chance to find out about ADA compliance, medical contraindications, complementary therapies, medical massage, and much a lot more. It is usually a excellent idea to educate yourself to stay informed about very best practices to serve all clients. Subscribe (if you do not already) to a trade journal or newsletter about unique needs massage. Therapists ought to read articles on reputable message boards about accommodating unique wants clients, and constantly be ready to identify possible complications in order to give the best massage therapy achievable.