ABMP's Code of Ethics for Massage Therapists

As a member of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), I pledge my commitment to the highest principles of the massage and bodywork profession as outlined here:

1. Commitment to High-Quality Care

I will serve the best interests of my clients at all times and provide the highest quality of bodywork and service possible. I recognize that the obligation for building and maintaining an effective, healthy, and safe therapeutic relationship with my clients is my responsibility.

2. Commitment to Do No Harm

I will conduct a thorough health history intake process for each client and evaluate the health history to rule out contraindications or determine appropriate session adaptations. I will provide services within the scope of practice for massage therapists and bodywork professionals only when there is a logical expectation that the service(s) will be beneficial to the client. I will acknowledge the contraindications and limitations for massage therapy and refer clients to other health-care professionals when indicated.

3. Commitment to Honest Representation of Qualifications

I will not work outside the commonly accepted scope of practice for massage therapists and bodywork professionals. I will adhere to my state or local jurisdiction’s scope of practice guidelines (when applicable). I will only provide treatments and techniques for which I am fully trained and hold appropriate credentials. I will carefully evaluate the needs of each client and refer the client to another provider if the client requires work beyond my capabilities, or beyond the capacity of massage and bodywork. I will not use the trademarks and symbols associated with a particular system or group without authentic affiliation. I will acknowledge the limitations of massage and bodywork by refraining from exaggerating the benefits of massage therapy and related services throughout my marketing.

4. Commitment to Uphold the Inherent Worth of All Individuals

I will demonstrate compassion and respect for others. I will seek to decrease discrimination, misunderstandings, and prejudice. I will not refuse service to any client based on disability, ethnicity, gender identity, marital status, physical build, or sexual orientation; religious, national, or political affiliation; or social or economic status.

5. Commitment to Respect Client Dignity and Basic Rights

I will demonstrate my respect for the dignity and rights of all individuals by providing a clean, comfortable, and safe environment for sessions, using appropriate and skilled draping procedures, giving clients recourse in the event of dissatisfaction with treatment, and upholding the integrity of the therapeutic relationship.

6. Commitment to Informed Consent

I will recognize a client’s right to determine what happens to their body. I understand that a client may suffer emotional and physical harm if a therapist fails to listen to the client and imposes their own priorities in a session. I will fully inform my clients of choices related to their care and will disclose policies and limitations that may affect their care. I will not provide massage without obtaining a client’s informed consent (or that of the guardian or advocate for the client) to the session plan. I will respect the client’s right to decline, modify, or stop the massage/bodywork session regardless of any prior consent they’ve given.

7. Commitment to Confidentiality

I will keep client communication and information confidential and will not share client information without the client’s written consent, or unless it is medically necessary or required by law. I will ensure every effort is made to respect a client’s right to privacy and provide an environment where personal health-related details cannot be overheard or seen by others.

8. Commitment to Personal and Professional Boundaries

I will refrain from and prevent behaviors that may be considered sexual in my massage practice and uphold the highest professional standards in order to desexualize massage. I will not date a client, engage in sexual intercourse with a client, or allow any level of sexual impropriety (behavior or language) from clients or myself, whether consensual or otherwise. I understand that sexual impropriety may lead to sexual harassment charges, the loss of my massage credentials, lawsuits for personal damages, criminal charges, fines, attorney’s fees, court costs, and jail time.

9. Commitment to Honesty in Business

I will know and follow good business practices with regard to record keeping, regulation compliance, and tax law. I will set fair fees and practice honesty throughout my marketing materials. I will not accept gifts, compensation, or other benefits intended to influence a decision related to a client. If I use the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals logo, I promise to do so appropriately to establish my credibility and market my practice.

10. Commitment to Professionalism

I will maintain clear and honest communication with clients and colleagues. I will not use recreational drugs or alcohol before or during massage sessions. I will project a professional image with respect to my behavior and personal appearance in keeping with the highest standards of the massage profession. I will not actively seek to take someone else’s clients, or disrespect a client, colleague, or other allied professional. I will actively strive to positively promote the massage and bodywork profession by committing to self-development and continually building my professional skills.

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