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Whose body is it anyway?


Whenever I see a new client I am reminded that this individual is different from every other client I have seen. This was just as true when I worked as a mental health nurse as it is now when I see clients for Aromatherapy Massage, either in Trumpington or in Central Cambridge.  Sometimes these clients have whatever the rights and wrongs of the dispute, felt that they have not been treated as individuals by the conventional medical system.

However while I know several people personally that have been treated appallingly by parts of the conventional system I have yet to be invited to collude with a client in doing something that goes against medical advice. If  I have reason to believe that the course of action a client wants to take is not in their best interests, ethically I have a duty to say so even if this does mean I earn less money. (This has happened to other practitioners I know and I suspect that eventually, it will happen to me too.)

However if a client has stopped taking a medication that medically they still should be taking, this does not automatically mean that it is not safe for me to treat them. I can still help so long as I am clear about what I can and cannot do. Like those working in the conventional medical system, I also have to respect the client’s decisions. If they decide that they can not live with the side effects of a particular medication I can give my opinion based on my nursing and other experience. I can even point them in the direction of more up to date information than that in my head but I cannot and should not attempt to make the decision for them.

The same is true of massage and essential oils. When a client really doesn’t like a particular oil that is my first choice for a treatment I choose another. Their dislike of it will in all probability nullify any psychological benefits of the blend I choose even if it does help physically. When it comes to the massage, I do get requests for parts of the body to be missed out, ranging from feet to head the usual reason for the latter being they are going out after the appointment and don’t want greasy hair or the way there hair has been done to be messed up!

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