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Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
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Introduction
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Equipment
Tables, Massage Chairs, and Massage Mats
Accessory Equipment
Lubricants
Draping
Environment
Hygiene, Sanitation, and Safety
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
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Equipment
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Equipment Specifications
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Price: weigh cost versus what’s best for career
Comfort: should enhance client’s experience
Strength and stability: static versus dynamic
loading
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Dynamic loading most helpful to determine “working
weight” of table since weight is unevenly distributed
on table.
Warranty: company’s willingness to stand
behind the products and replace and repair is
critical
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
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Table
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Tabletop
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Dimensions
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Padding
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Solid, stable
Very sturdy, heavy
Not designed to be moved
Portable
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Choice of foam may depend on need for ease of portability Table support
Adjustable height (electric versus manual)
Check bolt tightness on a regular basis
Stability of the table is reinforced with bracing, to keep the table from collapsing
Stationary
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Most common shape is a rectangle
Wider may be more comfortable but harder to work with
Consider breast-recess option
Designed for transport
Highly recommend carrying case
Need to practice setup and takedown
Hinge that spans the width of the table provides greater stability
Proper Table Height
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Middle of thigh or knuckles of index finger
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Massage Chair
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Designed for fully clothed client
Very portable
No privacy issue
Can be used as marketing and promotional
item
Limits access to clients’ bodies
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
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Massage Mat
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Inexpensive alternative
Variation of the massage mat is set of cushions
called body cushions, body-support systems, or
body-positioning cushions
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May be difficult to disinfect table or floor that supports
the cushion
May be unpleasant to lie on
May have difficulty accessing client’s body
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Accessory Equipment
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Bolsters
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Pillow like cushion for additional support for
client’s body
Can be manufactured bolster or rolled-up towel
Face cradle
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Puts neck in neutral position
Allows clients to still breathe through their
noses and mouths
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Accessory Equipment
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Bolsters
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Pillow-like cushion for additional support
Manufactured bolster
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Rolled-up towel
Face cradle
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Easily disinfected
Puts neck in neutral position
Allows clients to still breathe through their noses and mouths Table
extensions
Beneficial for clients who are tall or wide or whose arms rest in an
abducted position
Options include footrests, arm shelves
Massage tools
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Minimize the physical stress of giving a massage
Stools and rolling chairs can relieve stress from standing
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Lubricants
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Reduce friction between therapist’s skin and
client’s skin
Increase the comfort of the massage strokes and
enables various techniques
Considerations
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How much slip they provide
How long they stay slippery on the skin
How much to use
Ease of dispensing
Cost
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Types of Lubricants
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Oils
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Lotions, creams, gels
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Oil spreads easily and useful for clients with a lot of body hair
Natural sources preferred (fruits, vegetables - safest, nuts)
Mineral oil can irritate skin, may increase cancer risk
Lanolin is controversial
Oils breakdown when exposed to light, heat and air
Alternative to water- or oil-based products
One-handed dispensing (except for thick ones)
Thick ones prevent spill
Powders
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Can allow deep pressure without slipping
Cornstarch may be best choice for powder and safest
Talcum powder is not recommended due to health risks
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Lubricant Storage
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Sanitary concerns
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Storage
a. Use large bottle for main supply
b. Use small dispenser for active usage (no client
contact)
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Avoiding contamination
a. Fill small dispenser from larger supply container
directly or with disinfected tool (spoon or scoop)
b. Be aware of risk for cross-contamination
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Lubricant Application
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Etiquette
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Do not pour directly onto client’s skin
“Less is more”
Considerations
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Avoid breaking contact with client’s skin
Spread thinly and evenly
Place containers in strategic locations around
the room for easy access
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Draping
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Keeps client covered
Protects modesty of clients
Keeps client warm and comfortable
Can be done with sheets, blankets, pillowcases,
towels, or combinations
Sheets and towels most common
Need to practice with different clients to develop
draping techniques that will coincide with the flow
of massage session
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Environment
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Equipment, lubricant, and draping
contribute to the massage environment
Location also affects the environment
Sensory input like lighting and smells
affects the environment of one’s practice
Standard precautions: specific procedures
that maintain a hygienic and sanitary
practice
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Location
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Considerations:
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Practicing in your own home
Practicing in an office outside of home
Traveling to clients (outcalls)
Taking a massage chair to public venues
Working outdoors at sporting events
Traveling with competitive teams
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
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Treatment Room Atmosphere
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Privacy
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Visual input
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Step out while clients undress
Keep treatment-room door unlocked
Display diplomas, certifications
Choose pleasant décor and furnishings
Dim lights during massage and brighter lights during interviews and
assessments
Auditory input
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Sounds can affect brain-wave activity, heartbeat, breathing rate, and
blood pressure
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60 beats per minute relax client and aid in clarity of mind
Music serves three purposes
a. Drowns out unavoidable noises
b. Promotes relaxation
c. Guides timing of massage flow
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Treatment Room Atmosphere
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Olfactory input
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Smells can affect a person’s response to the environment
Be aware of any unpleasant odors
Ask client about allergies before using scents
Aromatherapy can induce varied physiological responses
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Sheets
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Massage therapist’s skin
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Room temperature
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Tactile sensations
a. Consider high–thread count sheets
b. Sheets should not be see-through
a. Hands should be clean and dry
b. Avoid cold hands, or at least inform the client
a. Room should be warm and comfortable (72–74 degrees)
b. Allow fresh air if feasible
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Hygiene and Safety
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Pathogen – a germ or pathogenic microorganism
that can cause a disease in other organisms
Disease
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Noninfectious
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Infectious
a. Several categories from cancer to nutritional
b. Can help client manage (e.g., environment, nutrition)
noninfectious diseases
a. Transmitted by
i. Contact transmission (direct, indirect, droplets)
ii. Vehicle transmission (air, food, liquid)
iii. Vector transmission (insects, animals)
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Preventing Transmission of Pathogens
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Proper hand hygiene
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Barrier techniques
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Hand washing is the most important procedure to prevent infection according to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Wash hands immediately before and after each client
Alcohol based hand rubs are suitable substitute for soap and water
Physical protective barriers: gloves, gowns, aprons, masks, and protective
eyewear
Latex gloves can help reduce risk of pathogen transmission
Proper cleaning and sanitizing
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Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
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Disinfectants need to stay on bodily fluids for 20 minutes
Clean equipment after every client
Adhere to guidelines for levels of infection control
Proper disposal techniques
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Launder linens after every use in 160 degree water for at least 25 minutes
Clean sheets should be stored in a clean and dry area
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
•
Safety
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Keep up-to-date certification in first-aid and cardiopulmonary
resuscitation
First aid kit should be on the premises
Inspect all aspects of business
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Fire safety
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Parking lots, stairs, doors, and so on
Watch candles carefully
Avoid overloading electrical outlets
Know fire procedures
Other considerations for safety:
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Primary assessment in an emergency situation
Artificial respiration
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Choking
Weather-related conditions
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
Spa Vargas University
MT101 Introduction to Massage Therapy
Chapter 8: Equipment, Environment, Sanitation, and Safety
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Summary
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Equipment and environment are important
decisions for your practice
Spend time looking over equipment options
Try various lubricants and draping methods
as appropriate (expand horizons)
Treatment-room atmosphere is critical to
client’s overall experience, comfort, and
safety
Copyright © 2010 Spa Vargas University
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