As knowledge of the frequency of sexual abuse has grown, more and more victims are seeking massage

900 WordsApr 23, 20194 Pages
As knowledge of the frequency of sexual abuse has grown, more and more victims are seeking massage to help them reconnect and reclaim their bodies. Social workers, doctors, and counselors are referring clients to massage therapists to help the healing process. However, much preparation is required before one is prepared to work with abuse survivors. Sexual abuse can be defined as “unwanted or inappropriate sexual contact, either verbal or physical, between two or more people that is intended as an act of control, power, rage, violence and intimidation with sex as a weapon.” (Janet Yassen) It can include rape, gang rape, partner or spouse rape, date rape, and even incest. The base intent of abuse is to dominate, humiliate, and gain control…show more content…
The client is addressing major trust issues by allowing a relative stranger to touch them. The therapist, by maintaining protocol and a strictly non-sexual demeanor, can teach the client that trust is possible. As defined by Massage Magazine, the four stages of touch (PECE) are as follows: Prepare yourself by clearing your mind, emotion, and energy using breathing exercises or meditation. Enter the client’s space with awareness and create a comfortable environment to build trust. Heal at the contact point, or the point in time when a quality link is established between the client and the therapist. End the session by communicating what was observed and the client’s progress. Baby steps work best when overcoming trauma. The goal is to heal; some clients seek Massage Therapy to help overcome the fear of touch and experience safe touch. The Cerio Institute published a guideline for working with survivors of sexual abuse. They suggest contacting the client’s other health care professionals once the therapist has confirmed an abusive past, with written permission of course. If the client is not currently under care, it is suggested to keep a list of referrals. This ensures the therapist that the client will receive the care they need without breaching the scope of practice. Massage Therapy Magazine published a study done by the Tough Research Institute. In that study, three victims of rape received massage therapy
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