AMTA Tutorial Video: Massage + Medically Fragile Clients

Learn more about what you can expect—and what’s expected of you—when working with medically fragile clients. About 15 percent of the current U.S. population is 65 years or older. Combine this population with those who are chronically ill or have suffered a serious injury, and you may have clients who are deemed medically fragile.

Susan Salvo Explains What to Expect + Techniques for Medically Fragile Clients

The "M" Technique for the Hand

When working with medically fragile clients, Susan Salvo recommends a technique developed by Jane Buckle called the “M” Technique. This technique uses a patterned sequence of three repetitions and light pressure that remains unchanged, allowing the client’s body to become used to the new stimuli and eventually relax.

The “M” Technique sequence for the hand

1. Alternate hand stroking to elbow
2. Lateral movements palm down
3. Joint circling
4. Scissor hold/pressure point/stroke
5. Turn hand over
6. Little finger links
7. Lateral movements, palm up
8. Handshake
9. One-hand stroking to elbow

Continue reading: Massage and the Medically Fragile Client in Massage Therapy Journal.

This tutorial is intended to provide a general overview. Before using any new technique, make sure you're knowledgeable about the massage therapy scope of practice in your area by checking with your state's regulatory board.

Additional AMTA Resources

Meeting the Needs of Elder Clients | 3.5 Credit Hours

Cancer and Massage Therapy: Essential Contraindications | 2.5 Credit Hours

Current Research: Massage Therapy + Aging

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