Video Course: Taking the Danger Out of Endangerment Sites

Ruth Werner

An endangerment site doesn’t necessarily mean “don’t touch,” but it does mean “touch with special care and knowledge.” Unfortunately, although massage is generally safe, medical and legal records show many cases where clients have been injured, often by well-meaning, but under-educated massage therapists. We can minimize that risk by knowing where certain tissues are most vulnerable to damage, and how to accommodate our touch to be safe in those areas. Join award-winning educator Ruth Werner for a deep dive into this topic as she draws on her client’s body to illustrate the boundaries and structures of endangerment sites in eight areas of the body. Your clients will thank you!

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Course Outline
  • Introduction to endangerment sites
  • Head and face
  • Anterior neck
  • Chest
  • Lateral neck
  • Abdomen
  • Posterior trunk
  • Upper Extremity
  • Lower extremity
Learning Objectives

Having viewed the online massage therapy CE course, participants will be able to:

  • Define endangerment sites and list five types of tissues that an endangerment site might involve.
  • Name the boundaries of the anterior triangle of the neck and list at least five vulnerable structures within it.
  • Name the boundaries of the posterior triangle of the neck and list at least two vulnerable structures within it.
  • Explain why the xiphoid process is considered a potential endangerment site.
  • Locate the left and right kidneys and explain why their location is significant in the context of endangerments and massage therapy.
  • List three structures at risk within the axilla.
  • Trace the pathway of the radial nerve.
  • Name the structure at risk within the cubital tunnel.
  • Name the boundaries of the femoral triangle and list at least three vulnerable structures within it.
  • Locate the popliteal fossa and list at least two vulnerable structures within it.
  • Trace the path of the great saphenous vein.
Ruth Werner

Ruth Werner is an award-winning educator, writer, and retired massage therapist with a passionate interest in massage therapy research and the role of bodywork for people who struggle with health. Her groundbreaking textbook, A Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology is now in its 7th edition and is published by Books of Discovery. Werner is a columnist for Massage & Bodywork magazine and Massage New Zealand.  She teaches continuing education workshops all over the world and hosts the “I Have a Client Who …” podcast on the ABMP Podcast Network. Reach her at www.ruthwerner.comLearn more from Ruth Werner through ABMP's Pocket Pathology quick-reference app with key information on nearly 200 common pathologies!

Topics and Techniques

This online massage therapy CE course is available to you on demand to access, learn, and earn CE whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for you!


Visit the ABMP Education Center FAQ page for a full list of resources.

Is this anatomy CE course approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) for CE credit?
Yes! All of the courses are approved under ABMP’s NCBTMB Approved Provider account (451086-09).

How do I earn a CE certificate for this video-based course?
After you complete the webinar video, a quiz will appear on the page. Earn a CE certificate by scoring 70% or higher on the course quiz.

How do I access my CE certificates?
CE certificates are available on your “My CE Transcripts” page and on the course page. Visit your “My CE Transcript” page by clicking “My CE” on the navigation bar at the top of your screen.


"Ruth Werner's courses continue to be my favorites. The information she shares is always very clear and abundant and is delivered in a way that is easy to understand. I also really enjoy her sense of humor. I love learning from her!"

"The handout and drawings on the client were extremely helpful! I always learn so much from Ruth’s extensive knowledge of anatomy!"

"Excellent presentation from start to finish including the explanations and visuals including the drawings of the endangerment sites on the clients. I really appreciated this information as an LMT. Now I have the knowledge and I feel confident to work appropriately in these areas, or not. Thank you!"

"The instructor was excellent, and I learned new information even after 20+ years of doing professional massage."