After what feels like much longer than two months, our region of New York State has begun the process of reopening. According to the New York chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy will likely reopen during Phase II. That means I and all other massage therapists must remain closed until at least June 1.
I am looking forward to getting back to work and helping my clients, and I’m sure you are just as eager to resume regular massage therapy appointments. However, like almost every other facet of our lives, massage therapy appointments are going to look a little different than they did pre-Covid.
Because this virus is still relatively new, the recommendations on how to prevent the spread of the disease have sometimes been conflicting and confusing. That has made it difficult to determine how to provide massage therapy while keeping my clients and myself as safe as possible. Many industries will reopen to provide only contactless or limited contact service. But I can’t give a massage over a Zoom meeting.
Fortunately, the American Massage Therapy Association has a New York chapter that is working with the Governor’s Office to provide guidance to massage therapists in New York.
Many of the new hygiene requirements are practices that I have followed since I first launched my business. Due to the nature of my work, I have always been careful about hygiene and sanitization. I would never want to be responsible for getting a client sick, and I do not want to catch an illness from a client. I always change the linens and disinfect the table and any tools a client may have touched after the session is over. I also encourage frequent hand-washing and keeping your hands away from your face.
However, there will be other, more noticeable changes. The biggest change is that I will need to wear a mask during massage therapy sessions, as will my clients. This is to protect both of us. I can’t stand six feet away during a massage, so we both need to wear masks to limit the amount of potential virus particles going out into the air when we exhale.
Additionally, I will be temporarily changing my cancellation policy. When I send an appointment reminder, you will need to answer a health survey asking whether you’ve had any of the following within the past 24 hours:
- A temperature greater than 100.4 F?
- Do you have a new cough?
- Are you having a hard time breathing?
- Sore throat?
- Body aches?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you will need to reschedule your appointment. If you develop any of those symptoms or find out you’ve been exposed to someone diagnosed with or showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, you can cancel your appointment without penalty. And you can expect the same level of concern and respect from me. I do not want to put any of my clients at risk.
As I prepare to resume seeing clients, I am following the guidance provided by my industry association and the CDC. I know that my clients are feeling the lack of massage over the past few months, but some of you may be nervous about easing back into regular life. My business has always been about providing health and wellness to my clients, and I will continue to put the safety of my clients first. I look forward to seeing you all soon.