Open Conversations: Transgender Clients, Transgender Massage Therapists

Massage therapists live in the world with everybody else, and as norms change outside the therapist’s office, they bring up new questions for the massage therapist.

Recently there have been more and more articles regarding the topics of transgender massage therapists, and what, if any, ethical and professional questions are involved in terms of communicating the gender-choice of the therapist. This issue is brought up in’s article, “How Do Transgender Massage Therapists Fit In?” The therapist/author, Dan Melmed, discusses the natural tendency clients have to prefer one gender over another, and what it means when transgender therapists enter the equation.

On the flip side of the coin, therapists are now talking about performing massage on transgender clients. Kat Mayerovitch, therapist and author, shares a post called “Supporting Transgender Clients in Your Massage Practice, Part 1: Trans 101“, that includes terms and definitions and meaningful ways to begin opening a dialogue about working with transgender clients.

Read more about the discussion in this blog from Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals:

Image courtesy of: Universal Stopping Point

“A couple years ago, I got a call from a massage therapist who had a very special transgender client who’d educated him about how important massage therapy was to his surgical recovery and self-esteem. Unfortunately, that therapist wasn’t able to follow through on a feature story on the topic. So, I was impressed when I received a piece from Ellen Santistevan on transgender clients. I found her draft well researched, balanced, and responsible. This was the feature I’d been looking for so we could professionally discuss transgender issues and their relevance for massage therapists. The piece, “No Labels on the Table—The Transgender Client: What MTs Should Know,” ran in our March/April 2017 issue.”  

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