Risk and Hazards of Being a Massage Therapist

May 12, 2020 •

Being a massage therapist is an incredibly rewarding profession but, like all hands-on work, comes with a fair share of risks and hazards. However, having the knowledge of how to create a safe environment for you and your clients will allow you to provide a secure, mutually beneficial experience.

The best tool for protection? Preparedness. 

So, continue reading to discover the best ways to keep you and your clients out of harm’s way and have an organized and successful massage therapy business.

Ensuring the Well–Being of Others

Chances are if you’re looking into being a massage therapist, you care about helping others. Client satisfaction starts even before the massage itself, by creating an accommodating environment equipped with proper safety measures.

Physical Safety of Your Space

Being a massage therapist implies a well-varied client base. Creating a space that is accessible, inviting, and poses minimal risks (in terms of physical design) are all important aspects of a thriving business. 

Here are some security measures to establish and regularly maintain:

  • Try your best to make an entrance that caters to everyone––able-bodied, differently-abled, or injured
  • If your climate has harsh conditions like snow and ice, be sure to clear the entrance
  • Keep stairways, hallways, and any transitional spaces free of clutter
  • Check the stability of railings
  • Keep throw rugs to a minimum, and if you choose to have them, make sure they aren’t susceptible to catching on anything passing by
  • Assure that your massage table is in good condition

Medical Preparedness of Your Business

Accidents happen in every business. For the sake of both clients and employees, it’s good to have the basic skills and equipment to treat situations that require medical attention. Cover your bases in the following ways:

  • Become CPR and first-aid certified
  • Keep your first aid kit easily accessible
  • Remind clients to dispose of mints and gum before they get on the massage table
  • Ask about your client’s medical history, pre-existing conditions and, depending on severity, consider asking for a doctor’s note before performing services

This will not only keep you prepared, but these will help ease the minds of clients as they get comfortable and relax.

Streamline Your Documentation Process

Something worth accounting for is the possibility of accusations––like when a client with a pre-existing condition claims they sustained an injury at your hands. Avoid this by having clients fill out thorough paperwork beforehand, using detailed client documentation or SOAP note forms like those of the American Massage Therapy Association.

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) stresses the importance of having these papers filled out, dated, and signed in the client’s own handwriting so nothing can be disputed later. Just in case, create a standard protocol for collecting incident reports if a client does wish to report an issue.

Insurance options, like general liability coverage for professional liability insurance, and cyber liability insurance will keep you safe should any mishap or accident occur. NOW Insurance offers this coverage for practicing massage therapists. 

Establish Personal Security Measures

While the life of a massage therapist is largely based on healing others, no one is able to properly care for others without caring for themselves first. Putting personal safety measures in place is a foundational aspect of all business ventures, but it’s even more important in a line of work that’s physically taxing and is mainly done in private.

Make Your Own Safety a Priority

The life of a massage therapist is constantly changing. With lots of different clients coming in and out of your business, people’s behavior can be unpredictable, and it’s necessary to establish strict expectations of mutual respect.

Here are some tips for solidifying the safety of your workplace:

  • Ask clients to read and sign an information form explaining what to expect during the session
  • Have an extra screening step for first-time clients to verify that they understand the exact nature of professional massage therapy
  • Install buzzers in your massage rooms in case of an emergency that requires immediate assistance
  • Create a plan for handling inappropriate behavior, comments, or questions from clients
  • Set specific policies regarding damage or loss of personal property, and clearly mark areas with restrictive access

Safety Leads to Success

Minimizing the risks and harms of being a massage therapist with preventative measures is the best possible safety precaution. Having a wide variety of clientele will inevitably pose some risk of unpredictability, but doing everything in your control to establish a safe space is a foolproof way to encourage mutual respect, leading to a successful and professional massage practice.

As a backup plan, NOW Insurance offers the massage therapist insurance you need to feel safe and secure from the risks and hazards of being in the business.