"Do No Harm"
Is Getting a Massage Safe?
The short answer is: Nothing is entirely safe right
now. All we can strive for is safer.
Massage Therapy, along with other personal care hands-on
services - manicurists, pedicurists, hairstylists - are considered high risk.
Following proper precautions make us safer!
Massage Therapy is governed by the Department of
Health. They issued a statement saying that there is no method to completely remove the risk of person-to-person spread of
COVID-19 in a massage setting, but they have outlined what is required for Massage Therapists to continue working. Screening
for symptoms before the client comes in. Social distancing in waiting rooms, or waiting outside until appointment time. (N/A
for my setting.) All therapists AND clients must wear a mask during the whole session. The therapist must also wear goggles
or a face shield the whole time, and change clothes in between each client. This is along with proper laundering and sanitizing.
Why Was Your Office Closed?
There is an increased risk of viral infection, especially in an enclosed space with lack of ventilation.
With no way to work around this issue, the office had to be closed. (That, and the fact that my landlord is high risk.
She closed her entire massage practice.)
In order to address this issue, I have created an outdoor massage area. It
consists of a canopy, with side wall enclosures for privacy.
overhead ceiling fan pulls fresh air in from the peak vent, and two floor fans cross circulate air out. One fan is set-up
as an exhaust, the other redirects the downstream towards the 'exhaust area.' This, along with mask wearing, gives the best
possible respiratory protection.
(Short of treating in an open
yard... which can be arranged if you would like. No problem.) (Seriously, just ask!)
This open format, also allows for the fullest refreshening of the space between
Hour and a Half Sessions:
The longer the
duration you’re in contact with the virus, the higher the risk of getting sick.
Erin Bromage, a comparative immunologist and professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth,
summed it up with a short and sweet equation:
"Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time."
Face Lift Massage:
Given mask mandates, massage
of the face is not possible.
Where Are You Getting Your Information From?
COVID is still in its infancy, there is a lot
we still do not know. Information continues to unfold and update daily.
I follow official massage information pertaining to COVID-19: Massage In A Time of COVID, (from Preventing Disease Transmission in a Massage Practice) and Massage Mastery Summit: Moving Past COVID-19.
More recently, the virus has also been detected in asymptomatic persons. There is really
no way to tell if a person is infected, unless they’re being tested, or they get an antibody test that will show they
have had it.
Given, every session will
operate as if client is a possible COVID-19 carrier.
Talking During the Session:
Coughing and/or sneezing is straightforward
when it come to understanding issues of contamination. Believe
it or not, laughing and yelling are also problematic. So too, is regular talking and breathing... just not as far reaching.
No Hugging, Kissing, Handshaking...
This is going to be one of the hardest rules for me to adhere to. You all know I am a hugger! That said, "Do No Harm" lends clarity.
Massage treatments are highly managed,
with calculated steps implimented (and mandated by my profession) to create a safer session, for you, and those that
Although massage IS high contact, every precautions
to reduce exposure needs to be taken.
Why So Many Rules?
My utmost concern
is for health and well-being, especially when you are in my office. Until science and research, has cleared obvious risks,
I will continue to impliment every mandate recommended by my profession. Policies and
procedures are in place out of an abundance of caution.
is unique in how much time we spend touching clients and being in close proximity with each person. This puts us at high risk
for not only contracting the virus, but passing it onto others as well. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact
with one another (We are closer than the required 6 feet).
This is about being safe-r.
It is to protect you, me, my family, your family, the elderly, the immunocompromised, our community, and any
other person that may fall into a high risk catagory.
Wearing a mask during a session is not going to hurt anyone.
However, NOT wearing a mask has the
potential to harm many.
is necessary to error on the side of caution.