Keep your office clean and equipment in good repair. Check your table’s hardware and parts regularly. If your table is set fairly high, provide a step stool for your short stature clients. Wipe your client’s feet before they get up, and clean up any oil spills off the floor. A tidy, uncluttered environment goes far in reducing your liability risk.
Be sure to keep all electrical cords (extension, telephone, lamp and appliance) away from foot traffic. Put non-skid mats under area rugs. Keep the exterior access to your office clear of debris and snow. If you use candles, do not leave them unattended.
Communicate Regarding Pain
Pay attention to your client’s pain threshold and be aware of the pressure you are using. Ask your client if the pressure is comfortable. If you have a new client, tell him/her that it is normal to be sore in certain areas for a day or two. Informing clients ahead of time will relieve their concern and a possible complaint.
Be Proactive Regarding Potential Dizziness
Tell your clients to take their time getting off the table in case of dizziness or lightheadedness. If they continue to be lightheaded, have them sit in a chair for a while. You might consider offering to help them out to the car.
Provide Complete Privacy and Personal Security for Clients
To help avoid sexual harassment charges, give your clients complete privacy while they undress and get on the table. Have them remove only what is comfortable, and provide a secure drape for them. What may be an innocent comment or touch to you may be interpreted differently by a client. Be aware of your remarks and explain the type of touch you will use so they will know what to expect.
Communicate Regarding Expectations
Communicate with your clients before the massage about their expectations. Do not assume they will know what to expect during or after the massage—tell them. Communication shows you care.
Follow up with New Clients
For new clients, consider calling them the next day to learn how they are feeling. This is especially important with elderly clients.
Animal Massage Therapists: Consistently Communicate
When practicing animal massage, communicating with the primary caregiver of the animal, whether the owner, trainer or vet, is of primary importance. Many times the issue presented by the owner may not be where you want to work first. Pay close attention to the animal’s body language. For your own protection, try to keep in close physical contact to the trunk of the animal because you will be able to sense if the animal is getting ready to kick or have some other sudden movement.