Trauma-Informed Bodywork Scope of Practice for Massage Therapists



Written by Yomassage Co-Founder Tiffany Ryan, PhD, MSW, OR LMT #24022

Massage therapists are called to their profession because they care about people and want to help them heal, feel their best emotionally and physically, and be free from pain. Because of this desire to help, many Massage Therapists are interested in providing Trauma-Informed Bodywork, but are worried about scope of practice issues and know that they need more training and information before being able to provide this service without fear of doing harm. 

Below you will find the Yomassage top 3 considerations for maintaining a professional scope of practice when providing Trauma-Informed Bodywork. 



1. Communication

You may be tempted to ask about the client’s personal history as it relates to their traumatic experiences, but that is most definitely out of a massage therapist’s scope of practice. A client might feel inclined to talk with you about their experience even if you don’t ask - it’s appropriate to listen and say something in response like “That sounds really hard”, or “I’m so sorry to hear that”. Once your client is finished talking and you have provided an appropriate and empathetic response bring the conversation back to the services you provide and think about providing the client with referrals for services outside of your scope. 



2. Refer Out

If a client decides to share their emotional and personal issues with you and after you provide and sensitive and affirming response as mentioned above, you will want to be ready with referrals that you have already met and vetted for other integrative care practitioners, to include mental health professionals such as Social Workers, Counselors, and Psychologists. You might also consider having referrals for others in the health and wellness space that offer trauma-informed services such as yoga, dance, art, etc. 



3. Marketing 

Before you think about marketing Trauma-Informed Bodywork as a service you offer, make sure you have received all of the proper training. There are trainings and certifications related to trauma and bodywork available - do your homework and make sure the person facilitating the training has education and experience in the mental health field as well as and integrative interventions. 



Yomassage is an ideal modality to introduce trauma-informed bodywork as the practice takes place fully clothed, in a small group environment, and incorporates mind-body practices that allow the client to use breath work and other mindfulness techniques during the session. Yomassage offers a Trauma-Informed Bodywork Certification created by experts in mental health and integrative interventions. 

Click here to find out more about how to become a Certified Yomassage Therapist. 

You can access our Intro to Trauma-Informed Bodywork course here

Check out our upcoming Yomassage Certification courses here.

Find our community CE courses here.

If you want to join the Yomassage community, you can do so through our free Yomassage Facebook group:

For more info about Yomassage, follow us on Instagram and listen to our podcast!

Previous Post Next Post