Tag Archives: Liability Insurance

Massage Tools and Liability Insurance

A cautionary post for fellow Massage Therapists and Student

I research things as I become curious about certain subjects, one of my recent curiosities was about a product which got me searching for more information on tools and liability insurance because I know that not all tools are covered by all liability companies and I usually search mine to find out what is excluded, but new products raise the question of what actually is included.

Personally my advice to anyone using any tools or exotic modalities would be to contact your liability insurance and ask about coverage just to make sure. I know that some insurance companies do not cover hot stones while others do not cover cupping, and many insurance companies strictly exclude T-bar use.

In my opinion we need to be diligent in making sure that what we utilize in our practice is covered. That being said I did find this post and thought to share it with you.


Massage Tools and Insurance

Hi Everybody!

Do you use any supplemental tools when massaging and do your insurers know this? If so, what are their requirements for insuring you to use that tool: an accredited course, confirmation of reading all the instructional material, paying an extra ‘tool-use’ supplment or something else?

I have been asked to write an article about this relevant topic as an ‘expert’ on massage tools (I designed and sell a massage tool called ‘The Kneader’ for both general public and professional therapist use).

Recently, I gave a workshop on our new venture, which is Kneader On-Site Massage. Only Level 3 on-site therapists attended, as it was to gauge if they liked On-Site Massage with the Kneader as much as we do. Thankfully, they did and they all bought 1-2 Kneaders in preparation for our Kneader On-site Massage course, which is hopefully going to be this summer.

One of the therapists contacted her insurers at CThA to make sure she was covered to use the Kneader, in the meantime, as a supplemental tool. They said she was not insured until she took an accredited course on how to use the Kneader (again, even as a supplemental tool during a standard massage treatment). This was not good news as lots of therapists have been buying and using the Kneader as a supplemental tool for several years now! What ensued was nearly two months of deliberation on the Kneader – my argument being that the product comes with a comprehensive manual and DVD and there are loads of clips and instructional material on our website and YouTube.

Thankfully, the CThA insurers have been very thorough and accommodating and have now confirmed that all their therapists are insured to use the Kneader as long as they have reviewed the manual and DVD and use the tool in accordance with the product’s instructional material. It’s a start but this is only one insurer of many and they are all of the same view (I’ve checked around) – if you use a tool (any tool), you need to take an accredited course in it to be insured when using it. I have queried about ‘one move’ tools like Bongers, The Knobbler and Omni Ball – if a tool only does one thing, how can you warrant doing a course in it? Massage tool use is on the rise in the industry, because therapists are always looking at ways to improve their treatments and their working lives. Subsequently, how many therapists are using tools to save their hands or enhance their treatments without realising that they are not ensured to do so? It’s a question that I fear a lot of therapists have not even considered and run the risk (however small) of being caught out on.

I would be grateful for any input and will post the article once it is published for your consideration.

In the meantime, all the very best!

Kneads Must

We love to provide our clients with the best that we can offer them but we also need to always remember to protect not only our clients but our practice as well by making sure that our insurance coverage meets our needs when it comes to our services and products.

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist

Why a Massage Therapist Should Carry Liability Insurance

I know many therapists who believe that the company they work for covers them under their insurance policy, and believe that is good enough; but, a 2015 case in Dallas, Texas, shows us why it is not.

The female claimant had a stroke 11 days after receiving a deep tissue massage at a Massage Envy establishment. She claimed that the deep tissue work on her neck was the cause of the stroke, and is suing the company, the local franchise, and the therapist in her suit.  http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/dallas-county/2015/09/25/dallas-woman-files-suit-saying-massage-envy-left-her-debilitated/72783442/

Believing that the insurance carried by the company for which you work will cover the therapist as well is a big mistake in this industry, and this case is only one example of why.

Insurance companies receive claims for many things that could easily happen to any of us. One such situation was a man who came in with pain in the supraspinatus (a rotator cuff muscle). The therapist had been in the field two years. She did some kneading and squeezing of the muscle which is common in massage. The following day the client went to the ER and discovered his supraspinatus was torn, and sued the therapist. The insurance simply paid the claim; because, lets be honest, how can you prove it was or was not torn before the massage, since the client had not seen a doctor before getting a massage? You can’t.

In another such situation a therapist had a client who complained of finger pain. The therapist did some hand and finger massaging only to later have an insurance claim filed against her because the client had a broken finger.

Never believe that situations like this cannot happen to you, as many of us know some people will come for massage therapy before seeing a doctor. Also as mentioned in my previous post A Few Things You Should Let Your Massage Therapist Know many times the client does not disclose that they have a medical condition that we should be aware of, such as a history of blood clots..

Always protect yourself and your career by having good liability coverage, the cost is minimal compared to what not having it may cost you in the long run. There are many low priced options available but do take some time to find out what they do or do not cover as some do not cover hot stone, some you need to pay extra for out-call coverage, and some only cover one place of employment when many of us have more than one place of practice.

If you have any questions about this or any of my other posts please feel free to ask me.

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist