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  • Back to News

    23 Apr

    Posted by -

    Ethics and standards of practice are essential to the integrity and professionalism of any Allied health practice which includes massage. In addition to agreed written rules aside, what else calls us to fair and true action?

    As taught by Evolve College, ethics and standards of practice are an inherent and core part of any massage practice. From the way we take a client’s history, the way we drape, the way we perform massage with the utmost respect and courtesy to the way we prioritise hygiene and safety – the standards of our practice are of utmost importance.

    A business or industry often has a code of ethics in order to inform and guide the decisions and behaviour involved in the provision of goods or services. The professional association for the industry will often offer a set of guiding principles and rules which are deemed necessary to maintain safety, care and responsibility towards both staff and clients.

    Ethics broadly  focuses on:

    • Client and staff well-being
    • Confidentiality
    • Correct representation of your qualifications
    • Legal requirements
    • Appropriate conduct (including an absolute prohibition of sexual misconduct).
    • Abiding by the Standards of Practice in the association that represents the industry.

    Ethics will generally refer to a set of standard practices set by any association you are a member of which seeks to represent the needs and responsibilities of the industry you work in, set and maintain a standard of professionalism across the industry, and protect the interests of consumers. In the massage industry some massage associations have codes of ethics. In addition, in NSW, the Health Care Complaints Commission has published a code for unregulated healthcare practitioners, which includes massage.

    Universal Ethics

    It is essential to have written codes of ethics so that people can be held accountable to a set of standards and appropriate behaviour that reflects the values of the society and culture we participate in. We set rules so that everyone is aware of expectations and consequences to behaviour. Most rules are common sense as innately we do not want to harm ourselves or others in any way.

    As well as this, and rules aside, what else calls us to true and fair action? Whilst rules are an agreed standard that we are expected to follow, and for good reason, it is important to acknowledge that within us there is already a knowing or felt sense of what is true and what is not in any situation. We may have rules in place and standards that tell us to not behave inappropriately or to hurt another, however we actually do in fact have an inbuilt mechanism that already knows that we should not treat others in a way that harms or leaves them feeling less. It is each our responsibility to build our connection to this wisdom within ourselves and to make decisions from this awareness and understanding. 

    When we live from this inner-compass or guide we have our own in-built code that tells us what is ok and what is not and we will automatically and naturally well exceed the standards in most existing codes of ethics or standards. In doing so, we can help set a new standard for how massage therapists and other professionals can behave and practice their profession.