January 4, 2015

I belong to a number of Facebook groups, many of which deal with massage therapy. I came across one post in the Massage Nerd group that was quite troubling to me. You see, a massage therapist had called into her job at a franchise massage business and told them that she would not be in because her 7 year-old daughter was very sick and throwing up. Her manager told her that she had a massage on the books and that she needed to be there. They also told her to bring her daughter in with her to wait.

That alone is scary in so many ways. First off, the manager has no compassion for their therapist who must take care of a sick child. (Their compassion only seems to be to the almighty dollar.) What next caught my eye was that they told her to bring her daughter in with her. Now, where is this child going to be as she is constantly throwing up? Would she be waiting in the lobby? Sitting in the bathroom? Worse yet, they were telling the therapist to bring in a sick child to a place of business where she could infect not only clients, but other therapists. (I am sure we have all seen the situation where the sick person comes into the office job and infects everyone else because their job is more important than taking care of themselves. In fact, I have been there myself when I was programming computers.)

Now, I had a similar situation happen here. One of my therapists called in and told me that her daughter was ill. I told her to take what time she needed, as taking care of her child should be her number one priority. I also had one Saturday where one of my therapists could not work due to her full time job committing her to that day. Although I had plans, I came in to work in her place. And I was not angry about it at all. Stuff happens and we simply adjust.

But the number of unprofessional and unethical things done by the franchise owner are numerous. And a lot of these go back to corporate greed, and the fact that a lot of people that own massage franchises really do not understand massage. But the ones that bother me the most are the ones where there is lack of concern for the staff and the clients.

Massage is healthcare. No matter how you look at it, that is the bottom line. The last thing we want to do is infect our clientele. We are here to make them feel better, not worse.

At Caring Palms, we will never come in while we are ill, and work on clients. We will postpone or cancel that session even if that means losing their business. A number of years ago, a client told me that they had an allergy. Well, I caught that 'allergy' and was closed for a week. Some of the sessions I cancelled did not rebook. But I would rather see that happen than come in and give an illness to someone else.

The same is true for contraindications. A contraindication is a situation where massage will make someone worse. This could be a recent injury where more time has to pass before the area is workable, or a medical condition that could cause life threatening problems, like thrombosis.

I had a client come in for a massage that listed this on his intake form. According to my medical book, thrombosis is a condition where a blood clot could be knocked loose and end up blocking blood to the brain or heart. Since massage increases blood flow, there is that possibility. I told my client that I could not work on him without a doctor's note. He, of course, told me that he has received massage before without any problems. I did not want to take the chance of hurting him. And I never saw him again.

So, no matter what the reason is, if we have to cancel a session, it is because we are concerned about you, our clients. We will not knowingly do anything that will harm our clients whether it be because we are ill, or they have a condition where we could make them worse. In those cases, we will cancel a session even if it means losing their business. We would rather lose someone's business than cause them harm.

This is our pledge. This is our promise.