Ruth Werner, BCTMB

Ruth Werner, BCTMB is an educator, writer, and retired massage therapist with a passionate interest in massage therapy research and the role of bodywork for people who struggle with health. Her groundbreaking textbook A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology was first published in 1998, and is now in its 6th edition. A 7th edition will appear in 2019, through Books of Discovery.

Werner’s other books include Disease Handbook for Massage Therapists and her revision of the beloved Scheumann’s The Balanced Body.

Werner was named AMTA Teacher of the Year Award in 2005. She served as Massage Therapy Foundation trustee from 2007 to 2017, as President from 2010-2014, and received their 2018 Distinguished Service Award. She earned her B.A. degree from Reed College, and graduated from the Brian Utting School of Massage.


The Ethics of Client Communication: Talking to Clients About Their Health

This class addresses the delicate art of communicating professionally and with open hearts when we have concerns about our clients’ wellbeing. Key topics include medications that may influence bodywork choices; visual or palpatory signs that are red flags; and maintaining boundaries for client safety (how to say “no” when your client says “yes”).

Basic principles of active listening are reviewed and employed as students observe a variety of difficult client-therapist conversations, all based on real-life situations provided by past participants.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify red flags for massage therapy, including visual palpatory signs and medications
  • Use principles of active listening to have appropriate conversations with clients when something comes up mid-session that requires changing the session plan
  • Give feedback to each other about the effectiveness of their communication