Contemplating bodywork during a pandemic?

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Contemplating bodywork during a pandemic?


Here’s what we do to maximize your safety.

I appreciate any hesitation

…contemplating bodywork during a pandemic is quite involved and not easy to do.
Most of my pre-pandemic client base feels the same way you do. The things I want to say here are in response to this very topic.
I hope that all of your questions are answered.

I am fully vaccinated

Masks are Required

At all times by Everyone.
All persons in the studio will be wearing a face mask at all times, including during the massage therapy session itself. This was originally mandated by NYS for the New York Forward reopening plan back in July 2020. The mask can be any type of face-covering including cloth masks, surgical masks, etc.
N-95 and respirator-type masks are not required.
 Therapists and other professionals in my ecosystem are required to wear masks at all times when interacting with clients, even when you and a therapist are socially distanced and further than 6 feet apart.
While we understand that it might be slightly less relaxing to wear a mask during your session, both you and I wearing a mask is one of the single most effective safety measures that can be taken.
In order to make lying face down more comfortable, we will be using pillowcases as a drape shield on the mat.

Covid Safety Measures:

Strict Hygiene & Disinfection Protocols 
As a licensed massage therapist in NYS, I already had fairly strict virus protection hygiene practices in the studio. Hand-washing, sanitizing, not touching the face were instilled in us since massage school, and wiping down touched surfaces after sessions were already part of the normal daily routine. In addition, every client always received a freshly laundered set of linens for their session, but since resume, I have decided to eliminate the linens altogether and am enjoying the simplicity and added traction that is afforded by the comfortable mat that has always existed under the mattress topper that I used to have under the sheets. The mat is made of a non-porous, closed-cell rubber material and it can be cleaned more thoroughly between sessions.  The new studio also is free from the carpeting we once had in MidTown too, so the whole floor gets sanitized between clients.
In addition to the existing practices,  our new COVID-19 safety plan includes hand sanitizer prominently placed in the studio for you to use any time you need it.
All sanitizers used at the studio have at least 60% alcohol content as recommended by the CDC. In addition, I have checked to make sure they are not on the FDA recall list.
Reducing unnecessary points of contact such as credit cards and cash. All checkouts will be available on Venmo or Zelle and we will only use the credit cards if these are not possible. We ask that you use hand sanitizer after signing at the end of the checkout process.
We have an additional 15 minutes of time between appointments to allow for extra cleaning time.

 Before NYC went to phase III reopen, I had already completed a special training course designed for healthcare workers that addressed all of the necessary precautions to prevent disease transmission and increase safety for myself and my clients. During the #stayhome I also completed the Contact Tracer Training Program, which includes even more specific details about Covid 19. Before reopening, I studied all state and local requirements under the NY Forward Phase III, which are quite extensive protocols for safety. My NY Forward plan is in place, and all of the other professionals in my ecosystem are in cooperation and compliance with these efforts as well.

  I have been rendering treatments since July 6 and have a perfect track record of operation in regard to Covid and have not been called by any contact tracers. Every client is thoroughly screened before every appointment and I continue to sanitize all touch surfaces between clients as well. I limit my exposure as much as possible throughout the day and my wife continues to work from home since March 2020. I get tested regularly and my clientele is fully traceable.

The Goal is to Make The Studio as Safe As Possible, Always

As a practitioner, I’ve made sure to keep up to date with the latest practices and have always taken my responsibilities as a licensed massage therapist seriously.  In the past, this included strict hygiene protocols on handwashing and disinfecting, laundering our linens at hospital grade levels, and asking both staff and clients to self-screen for cold and flu, and other communicable diseases.

This specific coronavirus does require a new and stricter COVID-19 safety plan for massage therapy to prevent transmission than businesses had engaged in before. Preventing colds or flu is always a worthwhile goal. But like this virus, not 100% possible. The consequences for flu were both known and less severe.

Among my network of bodyworkers, I have still not heard of anyone who has gotten sick from one of their clients, nor am I aware of anyone who has gotten sick after getting a massage from a therapist.

Our COVID-19 Safety Plan for Massage Therapy Needs Everyone to Work Properly

Our new COVID-19 safety measures, as well as any further measures that become recommended, will make the likelihood of getting the virus at our studio extremely low. We will be continually monitoring their effectiveness and making decisions to open up further, stay open, or potentially partially or fully close down again, entirely based on science and data.

We hope that all of this information helps you stay informed and allows you to make your own decisions about your health and safety. Choosing whether to come to our studio to get a massage is an individual choice based on a number of important factors for each of you. As we all start poking our heads out of full quarantine, we will each have our own needs and risk tolerances.

Our hope is to be able to provide the pain and stress relief that you’ve come to count on at our studio to you in the safest way possible. So that it is there for you whenever you are ready.

  I understand that the next two details do not eliminate all possible risks. However, I want you to know from a recent test after donating convalescent plasma that I still have antibodies in my blood even though I recovered from Covid almost a year ago. I am scheduled to get my second dose of the Covid vaccine in about two weeks. 

Sources

  1. NYS Guidelines for Personal Care Services
  2. OSHA Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
  3. CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses
  4. CDC How Coronavirus Spreads
  5. Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, a Regimen for Reëntry
  6. CDC FAQ
  7. NYS COVID-19 Tracker on Fatalities
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