Treatment of Sensitive Areas

Information Sharing and Consent Involving Treatment for Conditions of the Chest Wall Musculature, Breast Tissue, Inner Thigh and Gluteal Region

Background

The chest wall musculature, breast tissue, inner thigh and gluteal region are considered sensitive areas of the body generally regarded as potential targets for both misunderstandings of intent and actual sexual abuse. To address increased allegations of violation of clients’ rights and sexual abuse, the College would like to ensure that sufficient information is being shared with clients regarding the nature of treatment plans and draping being proposed.

Position

Clients are entitled to informed choice concerning all proposed treatments and treatment plans. All clients regardless of age or gender who receive Massage Therapy are entitled to a complete explanation of the proposed treatment including: prediction of both frequency and duration of treatments, proposed draping and positioning, risks and benefits, alternatives to treatment or draping, and right of refusal throughout the care plan. In addition, it is the College’s position that for proposed treatment of sensitive areas, chest wall musculature, breast tissue, inner thigh and gluteal region, a signed form acknowledging that information sharing and informed choice has occurred should be placed in the client’s file. Changes to this consent should also be recorded as they occur.

Guidelines

Massage therapists need to remember, and should inform their clients that, a signed consent is not valid without ongoing informed consent. Therapists should be careful to obtain and record verbal consent for all procedures, including massage to sensitive areas, each time treatment is delivered.

The client has the right to a re-assessment of the treatment plan, and when the treatment plan outcomes have been met, treatment of the sensitive area is to be discontinued.

When a condition does not respond to the proposed treatment plan, it is the responsibility of the therapist to discontinue the plan and refer the client to the appropriate care provider.

Massage Therapists must conduct themselves responsibly and understand that treatment of chest wall musculature, breast tissue, inner thigh and gluteal structures that exceeds reasonable professional practice is disconcerting to the public and the College, and may be considered grounds for charges of professional misconduct.

None of the above should prevent or discourage a therapist from creating an alternative Information and Consent Form to include signed consents for all treatment plans, but it is not the College’s position at this time that this is required.

 

An example of a consent form is below:

I understand that by signing this form that I am choosing to proceed with the treatment and /or treatment plan proposed at this time. I understand that I may change my mind, alter or refuse treatment at any time during this or any other treatment. This completed form will be kept in my client file held by ________________________ MT.
Please read and sign.
I have been informed of and have understood the reason(s) for receiving massage to my
_____breast tissue
Regarding massage of my breast(s), I have been informed of the clinical indicators for breast massage that relate to my situation:
_____________________________ (Massage Therapy Standards of Practice).
As well, I understand that the nipples and/or areolas of my breasts will not be touched during the breast massage
_____chest wall muscles
_____inner thigh(s)
_____buttock(s) (gluteal muscles)
by ___________________________________, MT___ Registration # ________.
For any of the above areas, I have been informed of the reasons, the benefits, risks and side effects, and the proposed draping (covering). In addition, I have had all of my questions regarding this treatment answered by the Massage Therapist.
I understand that I can alter or rescind my consent at any time during this or any treatment.
At this time, I am voluntarily giving my consent for the treatment and/or treatment plan as discussed with me.
Name ______________________________________
Date ______________________________________
Signature: ____________________________________
Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Approved: February 17, 2004