Massage Therapy Programs Clinic Handbook

I. Introduction

The purpose of this manual is to provide massage therapy interns and staff a reference describing massage therapy clinic operating procedures, policies, regulations, and requirements. It also serves as a guide for clinical practice and to facilitate an educationally effective clinical experience.

Bear in mind that the Northwestern Health Sciences (NWHSU) clinic system has many environments, and some clinic settings may differ in policies and procedures from others. However, this manual serves as a general guide for clinic conduct, policies & procedures. As a clinic intern, you are encouraged to consult this clinic handbook whenever a question arises regarding clinic. If you have a question, please consult your clinic supervisor.

The NWHSU Massage Therapy Program clinics provide excellent care for the public while preparing interns to be professional massages therapists. It is our belief that massage therapy is a health care modality that is attentive to the whole person and influences health across a complex set of dimensions that include the physical, mental, and spiritual domains. We believe that skilled intentional touch therapy, provided with empathy, compassion, and respect can play an important role in maintenance of individual health and wellness.

A. Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the clinical experience is to guide and nurture the massage intern, and to build their clinical competence and confidence as they synthesizes and integrates previous learning for practical application. In addition, we seek to give clinic interns the opportunity to practice marketing by helping the various clinics to fill their schedules. This is a necessary skill to cultivate for practice in the “real” world. It is also the purpose of the massage therapy clinic to provide the best possible care for our clients.

B. Statement on Massage Therapy Scope of Practice

Massage therapy is the systematic and scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body.

Therapeutic massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasm, and stress; and to promote health and wellness.

The massage therapy given in our clinic is for general wellness purposes, including stress reduction, relief from muscular tension or spasm, the promotion of circulation, lymph activity, and flexibility, and to alleviate pain and reduce restricted range of motion. A massage therapist does not diagnose illness, disease, or any other physical or mental disorder, and the massage therapist does not prescribe medical treatment or pharmaceuticals, nor perform any spinal manipulations.

C. Statement on Technique Policy and Application

It is the policy of the Massage Therapy Programs clinic that only those techniques that are taught in our curriculum may be used in our clinic. Other techniques may be useful, but interns are not yet practicing professionals, and the care they provide to clients in our clinic must be within the training and scope of practice of the supervising massage professionals. Furthermore, we believe the focus of massage therapy interns in the clinic should be on mastering the skills taught in our program.

Also note that if a client presents with symptoms which are the result of an auto accident or a workers comp case, interns may not treat those patients. They are best addressed by professional therapists, as interns could potentially exacerbate symptoms. Interns may not treat clients who are currently in open Personal Injury or Workers Comp cases.