Massage & Bodywork Articles: Don’t Miss These Essential Reads

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By Karrie Osborn

As life begins to take on phases of normalcy, it’s also picking up speed—plans to make, things to do, people to see. If you’re like me, the pandemic days of binge-watching old episodes of Columbo are over. When you do have a few minutes to slow down, there are some really good reads from the last few issues of Massage & Bodywork that we don’t want you to miss:

Yes, This Is a Must-Read!

Critical Thinking Skills” by Ruth Werner

Critical thinking is one of the most important skills you can utilize toward achieving a successful practice, and yet, so many practitioners aren’t even aware the power this tool holds. Our friend Ruth Werner reached out to her colleagues in the profession to help inform her work on this article, with the result being a fantastic look at a skillset that applies to all therapists in all settings—"from an outpatient chemotherapy unit to a cruise ship spa.” It may not sound like a pivotal concept, but critical thinking is absolutely paramount to client care, safety, and therapeutic success.

Get More: The video sidebar to this article is superb!

The Answers Don’t Come Easy

Where Do We Go From Here?” by ABMP President Les Sweeney

This thoughtful letter from ABMP’s president in the wake of the Atlanta spa murders reminds us that the answers on how we protect this profession we love are neither quick nor simple, and that much work lies ahead of us.

A Quote Worth Noting

Keeping Clients Safe: How to Avoid Client Injuries” by Dr. Ben Benjamin

“Maintaining humility about what we know and what we don’t know is an important and respected quality in a responsible therapist,” writes Dr. Benjamin, who, as an expert witness, has seen countless client injuries caused by well-meaning but uninformed therapists. This author offers tips and reminders on how to offer the best treatment for your client, while honoring their limitations . . . and your own.

You Must Have a Story Too

Being a Client Makes You a Better Therapist” by Cindy Williams 

I’m sure this has happened to you: While receiving a massage, you can’t help but think about how that stroke sequencing feels, how the practitioner did or did not maintain contact with your body while they transitioned around the treatment table, or how strange their comment was. You learn so much, both good and bad, when you become the client, and ironically, it’s a fantastic way to evaluate and develop your own work. Walk through this author’s story about her recent experience being on the table and all of her great reminders and tips for not committing the same offenses she endured as a client.

Get More: Listen to The ABMP Podcast from this author on the same subject. (What’s your worst experience as a client? You’ll be shocked to hear some of these stories.)

Simple, Yet Critically Important for Client Successes

Putting Client Expectations to Work” by Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe 

Did you know that a client’s expectations before entering a session with you may have more impact on the benefit of your treatment over either the modality or technique used? These authors explore the research behind this finding and what it means for everyday practice.

Get More: After reading the article, take this quick survey on ways you might already be putting this research to work for your practice.

author bio

Karrie Osborn is senior editor, education and project management at ABMP.

Related Content:


Massage & Bodywork Magazine Digital Archives

The ABMP Podcast Archives



Gainful Employment Rules Compliance Updates

Over the past two weeks, the US Department of Education issued updates to the new “Gainful Employment” (GE) regulations for vocational programs published last fall. This web post addresses the updates to prepare school owners and educators ahead of the July 1, 2024, new GE rule effective date.

New Study Reconfirms the Benefits of Touch

A recent study found that touch interventions were effective in helping regulate cortisol levels, reducing feelings of depression in adults, and having other significant benefits.

Louisiana Bill Proposes Massage Program Hour Increase

Effective October 1, 2024, Louisiana massage students will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid because massage programs are limited by Louisiana law. But there is a solution: Senate Bill 353 will increase the required education hours for massage licensure from 500 to 625. ABMP fully supports this bill, and we explain why you should too.


ABMP CE Summit: Headaches


Join us online Tuesday, April 30, 2024, for the ABMP CE Summit: Headaches, which take learners on a journey from understanding headaches to working with clients with headache pain using multiple modalities and techniques.


Podcast: Cancer, Clots, and COVID—A Complicated Client

A client was recently treated for colon cancer—and it didn’t go well. She had surgical complications, a bout of sepsis, and more. Is massage therapy safe? We discuss on this episode of “I Have a Client Who . . .” Pathology Conversations with Ruth Werner.

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