We All Know It, But Do We Follow It: Ethics

Massage tables
Massage Tables

I asked something quite simple on a massage therapists‘ Facebook page: “got anything about ethics on your site?” to which he replied simply, “nope, but you can go to the Massage Ethics site and post a question there.”  It’s almost as if Ethics is an afterthought for most people.

I think that was the most unimpressed I’ve been in a while about someone’s attitude towards ethics.  It’s painfully obvious ethics doesn’t have much of a role anymore with regards to business, but that it’s actually becoming a norm is a bit – frightening.

Morality, it seems, has become way too inconvenient for those people who “think” they have developed big names.  They strut about inflating their own egos and basing their services on how popular they “think” they truly are.  Meanwhile the entire industry suffers because yet another person has chosen a path inconsistent with “Client Centered Care.”

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) requires 6 hours of ethics  (complete with boundaries) be taken every two years in order to renew national certification for massage therapists, but I’ve noticed a trend towards therapists only showing up for ethics Continuing Education hours (CE’s) because they have to.  Many even show up with attitudes, wondering why they have to be there at all if it doesn’t “apply” to them.  Others come with smiles on their faces knowing full well the moment they leave they go back to their unethical practices.

Of every form of unethical practice, the one that really pisses me off is how some therapists think it is perfectly acceptable to change their prices based on their own need of the moment.  It really pisses me off when a national provider offering courses for national certification hours does it: charging one price in one area and another in a different area – for exactly the same thing.

More and more it is becoming acceptable to do the “wrong” thing and then blame life situations, but any way you look at it ethics is ethics and breaking ethics for ANY reason is wrong.

I remember one night when I was homeless on the streets of Los Angeles.  I was very hungry and thought I would just slip into a grocery store, take an apple, and it would be okay because I was hungry.  Parents do it for their hungry children and people think it’s okay right?  Instead I walked up to the store manager and explained my situation.  He told me to wait for a few minutes and came back with a bag full of stuff I could eat without having to cook.  I was going in for an apple, and because I was honest and upfront about my situation, I received so much more.

So, I now pose this question to you out there who are feeling a bit nerved by all of this: what is it about ethics that turns you off?  I’ll leave you with one more:  How do you promote a healthy client centered care practice while maintaining high ethical standards? or do you?

For you who choose to skirt this issue, just know you will always get back exactly what you give out.  Good luck!

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