Ben Benjamin

175 Richdale Avenue #106 Cambridge, MA 02140

About the Expert

I co-authored The Ethics of Touch, a book on ethics, sexual trauma, and professional boundaries used as a primary text in massage schools. I have been an expert witness on cases involving allegations of sexual abuse by massage therapists since 2004 and have maintained a private practice for over 45 years.

Areas of Expertise

  • Massage Therapy Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Harassment / Discrimination
  • Sexual Offenses

Expert's Profile

I conceived of and co-authored The Ethics of Touch, a book on ethics, sexual trauma, and professional boundaries that is used as a primary text in massage and bodywork schools throughout the United States.

Recently and previously, I published a number of articles on sexual abuse in the body work field. For more than 20 years, I have appeared on panels and taught courses on topics of communication, ethics, boundaries, sexuality, and working with abuse survivors.

As founder and President of the Muscular Therapy Institute (1974-2005), I made coursework on these topics mandatory for all students. In the early 1990's, as allegations of sexual abuse in the field began to surface, I chaired the first Professional and Sexual Ethics Task Force of American Massage Therapy Associations’ Council of Schools. I currently serve on the Massage Therapy Board of Registration in the state of Massachusetts.

I have been an expert witness on cases involving allegations of sexual abuse by massage therapists since 2004 and have maintained a private practice working directly with clients for more than 45 years.

Personal Achievements

Special Training

  • NCBTMB, Approved Provider for Continuing Education (number: 033029-00)
  • System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction (SAVI®), Certified Senior Trainer


  • Massachusetts Massage Therapy Board of Registration, Member
  • Massachusetts Podiatry Board of Registration, Member
  • American Massage Therapy Association
  • Associated Bodywork Massage Professionals
  • Massachusetts Coalition for Professional Hands-on Practitioners, Member


  • Massage Therapy Hall of Fame (inducted at the World Massage Festival)
  • National AMTA President’s Award for service to the profession
  • Massachusetts AMTA Distinguished Service Award
  • ABMP “Eight Who Matter” Award (nominated by readers of Massage & Bodywork magazine)


  • Conversation Transformation: Recognize and Overcome the Six Most Destructive Communication Patterns (2012), McGraw Hill (First author)
  • The Ethics of Touch: A Hands-on Practitioner’s Guide to Creating a Professional, Safe, and Enduring Practice (2003), Sohnen-Moe Associates (First author)
  • Massage and Bodywork with Survivors of Abuse (1995), monograph
  • Listen to Your Pain: The Active Person’s Guide to Understanding, Identifying, and Treating Pain and Injury (1984), Viking/Penguin
  • Exercise Without Injury (1979), Summit Books
  • Are You Tense? The Benjamin System of Muscular Therapy (1978), Pantheon

More Information

  • Clients Crossing Boundaries in the Treatment Room
  • Pain Points: What Practitioners Must Know Before Treating Clients with Injuries
    At some point, all practitioners in the massage and bodywork field are asked to treat clients who are experiencing musculoskeletal pain, usually due to injury. If we choose to work on injuries, then we are responsible for having the appropriate training, skills, and knowledge to assess the client and determine if we can safely treat them. Common malpractice suits against massage therapists can result from a massage therapist’s failure to refer the client or collect all the important information (omission), or from acts that result in harm to a client (commission). Sometimes therapists inadvertently hurt their clients and remain unaware of this mistake because the client never returns. The cases I am called to testify in are because the therapist and/or the organization they work for are being sued for clients’ injuries as a result of these errors. The following are examples based on real cases.
  • What I've Learned as an Expert Witness Sexual Abuse in the Treatment Room
    Having worked in the industry for over 50 years and served as an expert witness on cases of sexual misconduct by massage therapists and bodyworkers for more than 13 years, I feel compelled to write this article. Sexual violations are seldom written about directly and, unfortunately, are more common than most people realize. Over the years as I’ve raised this topic with clients, students, and friends, I’ve found that almost everybody has a story of inappropriate behavior in a therapeutic session—affecting either themselves or someone they know. The large majority never reported these violations. (Since sexual abuse in general is significantly underreported, this isn’t surprising.)
  • Communicating in the Treatment Room Anger in Code: Understanding and Responding to Attack and Blame Part One
    In massage therapy, as in other helping professions, some of our most difficult work is in areas that are not the focus of our professional training. Many of us can relate to the old saying, “My work would be so easy if only I didn’t have to talk with clients!” The people part of massage therapy can be very challenging, particularly when clients are angry or disappointed or when we are annoyed at them. Who hasn’t experienced tension, irritation, or worse when hearing a client say, in an aggrieved voice, something like: • “You’re raising your fee? You’ll make it impossible for me to get treatment!” • “All of my friends are getting this new treatment. Shouldn’t you be doing that with me?” • “You don’t pay attention to me during my treatments. You talk too much about yourself."
  • Essential Principles Shoulder Series 3 Subscapularis Tendinitis
    In previous articles I discussed what I call the Essential Principles regarding the nature of injury and the healing process. These principles are especially helpful in recognizing and treating those difficult-to-identify, elusive pains that plague clients. Parts 1 and 2 of this series on the shoulder differentiated two specific “rotator cuff” injuries — infraspinatus tendinitis and supraspinatus tendinitis — and discussed effective treatment regimens appropriate for each injury. (See the June/July 2004 and August/September 2004 issues of Massage & Bodywork.) This article, the third and final part of the trilogy, applies the Essential Principles to another common, and commonly misidentified, shoulder or rotator cuff injury: subscapularis tendinitis.

Listed in the Following States

BEN E. BENJAMIN, PH.D. is listed with ExpertPages in the following jurisdictions: All US Regions and States, Canada (all Provinces).