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National standards coming for massage therapists

Professional conduct with clients was one of the chief themes discussed this week, when the Barbados National Standards Institution hosted a national seminar on the Draft National Standard for Massage Therapists.

The session, which was held at the Warrens Office Complex, included presentations from the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries and the Barbados Association of Professional Massage Therapists, featured a review of the draft by BNSI representative, Lynn Sealy.

The standard, Sealy explained, would serve as a benchmark for those within the industry.

She said: “We are providing practitioners with a clear statement on the expectations [of service]. Professional conduct and level of practice are the two, key important points that the standard [addresses].”

She added that a massage therapist’s code of conduct included a range of issues, from appropriate dress and hygiene to safety of equipment and interaction with clients.

Confidentiality was cited as central to the development of a professional massage therapy practice, with Sealy observing: “In your note taking, as you are developing your treatment plan or as [the clients are] presenting their case to you, confidential medical information might come out; and you have to be sure that you keep your notes and your records and your client information in a secure location.”

The BNSI officer added that record keeping was also essential in the event of any accidents or incidents that may occur and she encouraged those present to have a procedure to address these issues.

In acknowledging the important role insurance would play in such instances and the difficulty massage therapists experienced in obtaining said coverage, Sealy reminded the attendees that this could be facilitated through the BAPMT, which could also offer support in other areas and provide additional opportunities for professionals in the industry.

The Draft National Standard for Massage Therapists is currently available for review online at

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