And we have a Winner! – or Why I’m not telling you who it is.

Posted on October 13, 2017 By

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve initiated a Random Raffle —

The Referral Raffle

At the end of each month through the end of 2017, I will be running a little in house raffle.  Whoever wins the raffle will get a coupon for 17% off their next massage or bodywork session.  These coupons are valid for six weeks from the date of issue.  Every current client is already automatically entered into the raffle. However, if you refer someone else to me, and that person comes in, you’ll get an additional entry in the monthly raffle for each client who comes in and rebooks.  Of course, once those folks become clients, they too will be entered in the raffle.  If the person you referred after October 1, 2017 wins the raffle within two months of your referral, you will also get a discount on your next session.

I’m a tad delayed in announcing the winner, but that just means that the next winner will come sooner.

Our winner for September is ….

but WAIT!  Announcing winners would mean violating that winner’s confidentiality. And confidentiality is really important.

Why? you may ask.  I’ll tell you.

Massage Therapy, as you know, is more than just get someone rubbing your shoulders.  Receiving a massage involves trusting your therapist, with your body of course, but also with your health history, information about what stresses you, and over time, all sorts of personal things. A Massage Therapist/Client relationship is a very personal one – in many ways it is similar to a Doctor/Patient relationship.  And that is why I treat it as protected by HIPAA, even though Illinois law does not yet require it.

 

For some, it involves trusting that your therapist will not reveal even that you are a client.  That is a lot like the Lawyer/Client privilege; but since I was a lawyer in my former life, I’m quite used to that.  But, wait, you may ask, why is it important that no one knows that I have seen a given person as a client?  For most folks, it probably isn’t.  But for some

…. the religious beliefs of their families can include a prohibition on physical touch from a person of the opposite gender; since I am a woman, I could not massage a man who is of that faith – similarly, a woman of that faith would be prohibited from receiving a massage from a massage therapist who is a man.

…. the religious beliefs of their families can condemn massage therapy as hedonistic, or inherently sexual, or in some other way evil, regardless of who provides the massage.

…. they can be in abusive relationships or come from abusive homes, and receiving massage can mean revealing their injuries to their therapists.

In any of these situations, disclosing their status as a client could be putting them at risk for a number of negative experiences, ranging from shunning, to beating,  – or escalated abuse (which could lead to death).

Are these extreme examples?  Of course they are.  But all it takes is breaching the confidence of one person for whom this example is true to breach the first rule of all healthcare providers:  First, do NO harm.

That is also why the various governing bodies that oversee Massage Therapist’s certification and licensure have Codes of Ethics, all of which include something like this:

“Standard III: Confidentiality

The Certificant shall respect the confidentiality of client information and safeguard all records.  In his/her professional role, the Certificant shall:

Standard III(a): protect the confidentiality of the client’s identity and information in all conversations, advertisements, and any and all other matters unless disclosure of identifiable  information is requested by the client in writing, is medically necessary, or is required by law”.  (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, http://www.ncbtmb.org/standards-practice (10/12/17).

And so… since identifying the winner of this raffle would involve violating a Standard of Ethics to which I adhere, and in which I believe, let us just say that one of our local realtors is about to receive a healthy discount for their next massage…

Broader Issues