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Sep 16, 2022

A client is a bodybuilder. He tells his massage therapist that he has started using anabolic steroids to help him achieve his goals. What does this mean? Are there risks for massage—for the client? For the therapist? How much of this is really our business, and what does it mean in relation to other possible drug use among our clients?

It's a sticky topic, with few solid answers.




Books of Discovery:  




Host Bio:        


Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and an NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, now in its seventh edition, which is used in massage schools worldwide. Werner is also a long-time Massage & Bodywork columnist, most notably of the Pathology Perspectives column. Werner is also ABMP’s partner on Pocket Pathology, a web-based app and quick reference program that puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips. Werner’s books are available at And more information about her is available at   


Recent Articles by Ruth:       


“Unpacking the Long Haul,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, January/February 2022, page 35,


“Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy and Massage Therapy,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, September/October 2021, page 33,


“Pharmacology Basics for Massage Therapists,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, July/August 2021, page 32,    




Pocket Pathology:


* A resource for people who are addicted to anabolic steroids


5 Biggest Myths About Being On Testosterone (no date) TG Supply. Available at: (Accessed: 14 September 2022).


Anabolic Steroids (no date). National Library of Medicine. Available at: (Accessed: 13 September 2022).


Bates, G. et al. (2019) ‘Treatments for people who use anabolic androgenic steroids: a scoping review’, Harm Reduction Journal, 16(1), p. 75. Available at:


* Patterson, E. et al. (no date) Effects of Steroids | Short & Long-Term Effects of Steroid Use, Available at: (Accessed: 14 September 2022).


*‘Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms, Side Effects & Timeline’ (no date). Available at: (Accessed: 14 September 2022).


About our Sponsor:


About Til Luchau and  

As a Certified Advanced Rolfer™, Til was on the faculty of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute® for 20 years, where he served as Coordinator and Faculty Chair of the Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration program. The author of the Advanced Myofascial Techniques textbook series (which has been translated into 6 languages), his regular Myofascial Techniques and Somatic Edge columns have been featured in Massage & Bodywork magazine since 2009, and (along with Whitney Lowe) he co-hosts the popular Thinking Practitioner Podcast. He is the Director of which since 1985 has offered short, credit-approved professional trainings and certification for manual therapists of all types, in person and online.