The are some harsh realities in the massage industry. You could call it the dark side of the bodywork business. I’ve been in this business for 12+ years now, and I’ve seen my share of inappropriate client behavior and misconceptions about the industry overall. I’m sure any business has their shadow sides, and it’s very unfortunate that ANY business, but especially massage therapy, has to have something called a Zero Tolerance policy.
Does a professional therapeutic massage practice really need a Zero Tolerance policy?
Yes! Yes they do, even in 2018. Especially in 2018. Unfortunately, yes, we absolutely need a policy for this very topic.
I’m sure y’all have heard those “happy ending” jokes, right? There are some folks who think that massage is code for something else. It’s not.
In my practice, you get actual therapy from a highly educated, very well experienced sports massage therapist who specializes in deep/sports muscle therapy and musculoskeletal alignment, among other professional healing therapy techniques.
I went to school to do this work, I earned an advanced diploma, and I hold several professional credentials in wellness therapies. I also hold state and national certifications. I’ve received intensive education in anatomy, physiology, and varying modalities and techniques, and I take continuing education classes every year. I have paid thousands of dollars over the years to earn and maintain my professional licensing and practice.
And yet.. the industry still has this stigma related to sexualized inappropriateness. In some cases, massage businesses have been used as a front for human trafficking. This stuff is no joke! If you haven’t read my previously published blog post about this subject, you can read it HERE.
In my professional therapeutic practice, I DO have a policy in place to protect my practice from people who may not see massage therapy as the professional wellness therapy that it is. This policy outlines what someone can expect if they exhibit inappropriate language or behavior towards me. This is a required acknowledgement clients must sign before they ever come through the door.
Most people are shocked when they read that there are individuals that make this acknowledgement necessary. Unfortunately, it’s the reality.
The following is the most current ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for my professional practice. I’m publishing this here for full disclosure, and as reference for those who are seeking a legit massage professional:
ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
This wellness studio is a professional therapeutic massage practice. We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate or sexually explicit behavior.
Any person displaying behavior that is, in our opinion, found to be inappropriate will have their service terminated immediately, and shall be charged the full price for their treatment session.
Even if the client claims to be “joking”, the service will be terminated. There is ZERO tolerance for such behavior in our studio.
If your session is terminated for inappropriate behavior, you will be required to leave the premises immediately. If you do not, you will be escorted out by security. Any future appointments you have booked will be cancelled and you will be blocked from any future re-booking.
Any behavior that is inappropriate, explicit, or threatening will also be reported to authorities. Our staff will absolutely press charges, if applicable.
We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.
I will say, I have had clients test this policy. And they seemed genuinely surprised when it was enforced. This policy is absolutely enforced.
Massage therapy is a gift that helps clients relax, helps to relieve pain, and helps to increase function. The benefits of massage on a person’s health and wellbeing are so very plentiful!
Maybe one day our society will respect this industry as a niche of the the health and wellness industry, as it actually is. Until then, studios like mine have to have policies like this in place.
Love, Cam xoxo