Tips for Massage Therapists to Provide Massage Therapy to Special Needs Clients

Massage therapists frequently deal with people who have mental and physical impairments, and should be aware of potential contraindications so that they can best offer massage therapy to the population. Many times, special needs patients might not be able to disclose medical conditions or the need for accommodations until they show up for their appointment, therefore it’s up to massage therapists to stay aware of situations where they are, and when it’s not appropriate to offer Natick Massage Therapist.

Special Needs

“Special Needs” refers to a wide range of needs “special needs” is broad and covers a broad variety of minor and severe demands ranging from mobility as well as cognitive impairments to those suffering from medical issues. When clients with special needs book an appointment for massage therapy, they typically (but occasionally don’t) reveal that they have an impairment in their mental or physical health that requires special care. For massage therapists, is important to be prepared and aware to deal with clients who require extra attention and the right techniques to deliver high-quality massages without harming the health of the client or security.

Educating Yourself

What are your options for working with people with special needs that require wheelchairs to aid in mobility? What is the best way to approach treatment with a person who received a complete skin graft to the back? What can you do to provide massage therapy to someone who has seizure history? In the case of many massage professionals the answer to these questions is usually guesses at best and knowing more about special-needs-related situations will help you gain knowledge and be prepared for unexpected requirements and possible contraindications.

For instance, special needs clients who have mobility issues might not be able an supine, or prone, position on a traditional massage table in order to receive massage therapy. Although a massage chair may be an option for some, clients might not wish to move from their wheelchairs and need to be treated while sitting. With the help of cushioning pillows and bolsters massage therapists are able to provide massage to a client even when they sit at ease in their chair. Be sure to inform your client on the process you’re using during your massage therapy session, as well as the reason behind it. If you are working with special need clients, making sure that they are in physical and emotional well-being is among the top priority.

Another instance is working with clients who have hearing or visual difficulties. What is the best way to talk to your client when it’s difficult for them to hear or see you? If your client is hearing impaired massage therapists must be aware of an agreement on hand signals as well as have an item paper and a pen in hand to note down any the questions or phrases. The fact that special needs patients might not be able hear you, there is no reason not to try to convey information throughout the session, such as “are you too hot or too cold?” “Is the pressure ok?” “Are you ready to roll over?” In the case of hearing limitations, massage therapists must also be prepared to alter their methods of communicating to clients with special needs that suffer from visually impaired. Before beginning the massage, outline the room help the client get to get to the table and describe the location of everything. Don’t move anything until you’ve described the layout because this could cause confusion for your client. In a massage therapy session be clear about what you’re planning to doand then give the client time to signify his or her consent.

Another example is working with clients with special needs with medical conditions that are confusing for the massage professional. At school, massage therapists are taught about working with patients suffering from autoimmune disorders and communicable illnesses. What about those who have full-back skin transplants? What happens to a patient who reveals that she sometimes suffers seizures? What is the best way to work with a patient who is terminally ill? Special needs clients are a few examples of the conditions massage therapists are likely to encounter in their work every therapist needs to anticipate these situations and prepare for them in order to offer top-quality massage therapy.

Preparing Your Practice for Special Needs Clients

For a normal treatment, a lot of massage therapists have their rooms which is set up with the table, a bolster along with candles, additional sheets, and an adjustable headrest. There are fewer massage therapists with an entire closet of bolsters with different shapes (triangular thin, thick circular flat) and massage chairs to accommodate clients who can’t lay prone or supine and lights that be dimmed or turned on according to a client’s vision requirements, or an eraser board that allows clients to communicate who have hearing impairments.

The physical preparation of accessories and the design of your room for a massage session will enhance the positive experience for clients with special needs exponentially. Massage therapists also need to be aware of how the clients reach your massage space. Are the hallways at your clinic sufficient to accommodate clients of any size, and those with disabilities? Are you ADA compatible with stairs and an access ramp to the front door , and an option for moving between floors like an elevator?

Do you also advertise that your practice of massage therapy is open to those with special needs? by writing a paragraph on your website that reads “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 extra time you give me to arrange your massage room, make a spot for any assistance animals, and prepare to provide you with a quality massage” Massage therapists should inform everyone that they offer massage to those with special needs.

Continuing Education

As mentioned previously, “special needs” is an umbrella term that covers numerous emotional, medical and physiological requirements. There’s a lot of information available on the practice of massage therapy for those with special needs. they should be read by massage therapists so that they can best ensure that they are able to accommodate every client. Remember that the person you’re working with is aware of their needs better than any other person (including the therapist). Discuss previous massage therapies, and what worked and didn’t perform for their condition before. Always remember that they are superior to any other client or person who have special needs. They are not a challenge or obstacle to be overcome.

Many massage schools offer continuing education programs on accommodating clients with special needs Massage therapists frequently get to learn about ADA compliance and medical contraindications, alternative treatments, medical massage and more. It’s always recommended to keep yourself up-to-date on the best practices for massage for every client. Sign up (if you don’t already) to the trade journals or newsletters regarding special needs massage. Therapists are advised to read posts on trusted message boards regarding accommodating clients with special needs and be aware to recognize potential problems to ensure they provide the most effective massage therapy.