Book Review of The Ethics of Touch

Online Yoga magazine Book Reviews section
September 2009
by Christophe Mouze

If anything, this book is (slightly) let down by its title, for while it is indeed about Ethics, it is about more than just touch. It is a comprehensive look at the ethical aspects of running any kind of healing business, whether this involves touch (as it often does) or not.

It spells with commendable clarity a wide variety of important ethical (and sometimes legal) issues confronting any kind of health professionals (including of course yoga teachers) in their professional practice. In today's litigious culture, reflecting on such issues before the need arises might also save you more than just embarrassment.

The book takes the readers though the issues of establishing and maintaining boundaries, looks in details at the dynamic and intricacies of effective communication, in the context of a therapeutic relationship, and explores the possible pitfalls of different types dual relationships (what do you do if one of your students wants to take you out on a date, or offers to do your website in exchange for free classes?).

Further chapters deal with sexual issues, ethical management and business practices, the special case of victims of trauma and abuse, and the role and importance of supervision, whether by peers or by a more experienced professional.

Using scores of real life examples to illustrate different points, this is thought provoking reading for any one working in the health business.

In my opinion, this very comprehensive guide to an often neglected yet very important subject should be on every yoga teacher or yoga teacher trainee reading list.

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