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COVID-CONSCIOUS
MASSAGE THERAPY

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Client and Practitioner COVID Policies

Updated November 1, 2023.

 

In May of 2023, mask mandates were lifted in health care settings. After a good deal of thought and discussion, I decided to continue two-way masking in my massage therapy room for the time being, with an exception described below.

 

Two concerns inform my decision to continue masking:

1. My first concern is my clients with cancer, cancer histories, and their caregivers. They feel and are vulnerable, and they continue to want to avoid COVID infection. Masks offer a level of mitigation and reassurance.

2. The other main population I serve is clients who work in health care. Physicians, nurses, therapists of all kinds. They are saying they cannot afford to get sick and miss clinic time. Staffing is too tight, and patient care gets disrupted. They are already working demanding jobs in exhausting circumstances.

All clients need a safe, healthy space to rest, recharge, and get help with symptoms.​ Good COVID mitigations make it as healthy and safe as possible.

How I Reduce COVID Risk

  • I wear a mask.

I wear a well-fitting, high-filtration mask during sessions.

  • The room is ventilated. Air is continuously filtered.

Between sessions I open windows and exhaust with a window fan while I wipe down surfaces. When temperatures permit, windows also are open slightly during the session. In the room, a high-capacity filter runs throughout the session. The building HVAC is fitted with MERV-13 filters.

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  • I test and self-monitor.

I am alert for COVID symptoms. If I develop symptoms, I test to distinguish between my occasional allergies and COVID before I work.

  • I am vaxed, boosted, glad.

How Clients Reduce COVID Risk

  • Masks in the massage therapy room...most of the time.

I ask clients to wear a well-fitting mask in my room during the session. The mask should fully cover nose, mouth, and chin. (Masks are optional in the common areas of the building: waiting room, halls, restrooms.)

One exception to the in-the-room mask policy: If yours is the final session of my workday, and you are free of COVID-like symptoms, I offer the option to you to go mask-free. There is no pressure to do so.

I offer this option because you are the last person at the end of the day. No one follows you and rebreathes the air in the room. I end my workday (and really, every session) with a serious air-refresh using open windows and a fan.  After I leave for the day, the HVAC (with MERV-13 filters) continues to exchange and filter air.

The first client the next day likely breathes decently fresh, filtered East Arlington air.

NOTE: The last session of the day is typically 3 pm, although it can sometimes be earlier. If you are counting on receiving massage without wearing a mask, just email or text me ahead of time to check.

  • You test the morning of the session if...

If you have mild COVID-like symptoms, please do a home rapid COVID test the morning of your session. If it is negative, please come in as scheduled.

  • We reschedule (at no charge) if...

 

...You have mild symptoms and your COVID test is positive.

 

...You have moderate or severe symptoms, regardless of your test result. Please stay home and feel better!

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  • Please complete a COVID pre-screen before every session.

In the 24 hours before your appointment, you will receive a brief pre-screening checklist asking you about any COVID symptoms, possible exposure, and any test results.

 

 

Why the caution?

Many clients are going through a great deal health-wise, or work-wise if they are in health care settings, and deserve a protected space to receive massage therapy care. I'm cautious after a past life working at lab benches with viruses and cells, and because of aerosol scientists and public health professionals whose current work I follow.

Regarding COVID, many of my clients have understandably relaxed their vigilance in recent months. At this point, layers of COVID prevention (filtration, ventilation, testing when appropriate) have become an integral part of my practice, and it is natural to continue for a while. At the same time, the mask-free-at-the-end-of-the-day option has worked really well, and I'm pleased to continue it for the foreseeable future.

Updated November 1, 2023.

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