It’s 2022, and the pandemic continues. Covid case numbers rise and fall as new variants continue to emerge. This has many massage business owners wondering what to do. Massage is essential to self-care for many, but how do you make it safe during a pandemic? Here’s a list of best practices for creating a covid safe massage environment.
At this time, massage therapists are back in business. Clients are relieved to be able to receive the care they need. Massage therapists are relieved to have a steady stream of income again.
Keeping everyone as safe and comfortable as possible requires taking precautions. It’s impossible to maintain social distance while giving or receiving a massage. That means massage therapy is not without risk, but there’s much you can do to protect everyone. Use these best practices to create a safe massage experience during the covid pandemic.
1. Pre-screen clients for COVID-19 (or any other illness). You can significantly eliminate risk by screening clients for illness before they enter the clinic. Use a COVID pre-screening tool to check in with clients before their appointment. If they’re not feeling well or have been exposed to the virus, cancel their appointment. Allow them to reschedule at a later date.
2. Encourage hand washing. Cut down on the spread of germs. Suggest clients use the restroom and wash up before their massage. Of course, massage therapists are required to wash their hands before and after each session.
3. Wear a mask. Covid is an airborne illness. During a massage, the therapist and client are never more than a couple feet apart. This means you’re breathing on each other unless you’re wearing masks.
4. Sanitize your treatment room after each session. The first step towards creating a covid safe massage experience is keeping everything clean. Disinfect every surface in your massage room that was touched during the session. This includes things like countertops, chairs, massage stools, massage tables and door knobs.
5. Disinfect the entire clinic regularly. Clean bathrooms, waiting area, and any communal space on a schedule. The more people use the space, the more frequently it needs to be disinfected.
6. Keep talking to a minimum during the massage session. When you talk, cough, or sneeze, droplets of respiratory fluids are projected from your mouth. When another person breathes that in, the virus spreads. Therefore, it’s safer for both the client and therapist if chit-chat is kept to a minimum. Plus, it’s more relaxing and therapeutic that way!
7. Install plexiglass to shield front desk staff. Even though you’re breathing the same air, this shield is a barrier to respiratory droplets. People will be standing face to face talking here all day. A barrier between office staff and customers reduces risk.
8. Schedule more time between clients. Allow more time between sessions. This will decrease the number of people in the clinic at one time. It will also decrease the number of people clients will come in contact with. Plus, it ensures you have plenty of time to clean between appointments.
9. Be a little lenient with your cancellation policy. A clearly stated cancellation policy can significantly cut down on no-shows. However, people who cancel because they have COVID, or have been in contact with it, should not be punished.
10. Take payments online. Collect payment information when clients book online. This can decrease the number of things a client touches, the number of people they come in contact with, and the amount of time they are there. Plus, it’ll streamline your bookkeeping system.
11. Encourage vaccination. Prevention is the best way to stop the spread. Encourage your staff and clientele to get vaccinated to minimize the threat of COVID-19 in your clinic. Massage is safe from Covid when no one has it. Vaccination is the simplest way to achieve that, though it’s not an option for everybody.
The current state of affairs is constantly changing. When in doubt, check with local authorities and current CDC guidelines.
Many financial assistance programs that started early in the pandemic have expired. However, there’s still support for small business owners.
Vaccines are now widely available with multiple options.
Make sure your cleaning and personal protection procedures are in line with current guidelines.
Post signs in your office to remind people to continue practising proper cleaning and personal safety practices.
Communicate clearly with your customers as things continue to unfold.