Ethics are essential to any successful business. In the profession of massage therapy, learning ethical practices gives your clients peace of mind that you hold yourself to a higher standard.

By taking a home study course in massage therapy ethics, you are able to learn the moral and ethical principles that are commonly practiced throughout the profession. Home study ethics courses let you know the guidelines to follow when it comes to personal contact with clients, patient confidentiality and how to handle morally complex situations that might arise in your practice.

Since learning about ethics doesn’t require any hands-on testing or demonstrations, it is an ideal course to learn through home study.

The courses are largely based on book study with accompanying tests; however, some courses also allow for online discussion for massage therapists to engage in discussions about ethical practices. The discussion forums are meant to help therapists discuss situations they might have faced with other professionals or to discuss ethical principles related to the massage therapy practice.

Another benefit to the discussions is they can be done anonymously. So if you were to feel uncomfortable to discuss a situation in a classroom setting, a home study course allows you to ask those questions without anyone knowing who you are.

An Internet search revealed there are numerous home study courses a massage therapist can take. The courses generally offered for massage therapy ethics include case management, practice management and client relationships.

Through case management, you will learn about communication, documentation and insurance billing for your practice, along with client intake, interviewing skills, obtaining medical release authorizations and informed consent, functional goal development, charting, insurance billing and documentation.

In a massage practice, many sensitive medical documents are handled and information passed between the client and therapist. Ethical standards regulate you to how you should handle this information.

In ethical practice management, courses are designed to inform you about local, state and federal requirements of massage therapy practice, along with information about business licensing, permits, insurance coverage and legal business relationships.

Now, paperwork aside, the final component in massage ethics is the client-therapist relationship. It’s a very touchy subject, literally. Massage therapists have contact with their clients in very intimate ways, with the goal of relieving pain and tension. Ethics courses can guide you through appropriate and inappropriate contact.

In these home study courses, you will also learn about how state licensing boards and professional associations set professional codes of ethics and define standards of professional conduct.

Make sure you check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for your continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready