Book Review of The Ethics of Touch

Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association (KYTA)
Fall 2003
by Deborah Orth

I am always on the lookout for new books on professional ethics. Recently I read The Ethics of Touch by Ben E. Benjamin Ph.D. and Cherie Sohnen-Moe. It clearly addresses some of the difficult and troubling dilemmas or situations that can confront us as massage therapists and yoga teachers.

Although the book is primarily written for massage therapists, it explores ethical principles with clarifications that are applicable to yoga teachers and especially for teachers offering private sessions. Ethics are discussed in relation to boundaries, business practices and money as well as dual relationships and sexuality. There are excellent examples and engaging questions for personal reflection. I also found the chapter on effective communication for professionals particularly valuable (actually the whole book) to enhance the respectful and enduring relationships we want to develop with our students.

As the yoga world moves toward professional standards and we work to create supportive yoga communities, it is important for us to continue to educate ourselves on professional ethics and standards.

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