Gloved hands joining together
Gloved hands joining together

Should You Reopen Your Massage Practice?

By Danielle Galian , Editor
2020-5-20

Should You Reopen Your Massage Practice?

By Danielle Galian , Editor
2020-5-20

The answer to this question lies somewhere in-between yes and no.  That was the majority response we received when talking to massage therapists to get a better idea of how they are feeling during this time. Here are some of their thoughts regarding re-opening their massage therapy practices. 

Regina Schneider

I think we should be able (to open) for curb side pickup of products and gift cards. Since we are categorized as not essential (in Maryland), we are not permitted for curbside services. I guess that we should be able to do that to regain trust from our clients and the community: a. that we are opening up again and are ready as soon as possible. b. that our businesses are important for body, mind and spirit and therefore much needed. Not being able to do curbside deliveries gives the image that we are not being trusted.

Shawna Fletcher Tucker

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have always been proactive about protection, cleanliness and keeping my clients and myself extremely safe. With that said, I am hopeful that each state mandates annual inspections from the health department. This would be the same kind of inspection much like hair salons are subject to. If we are held to a state standard instead of individual standards, I believe our industry would move forward. 

Mitch Malone 

How do you ever see us being able to get back to seeing clients with a two-meter distancing exclusion in place? How can we operate safely? Do we just have to wait what could be 12-18 months for a vaccine? 

Kim Sojak 

As a person nearing 60 years of age (healthy), how do we go back to doing massage if the spa should open, how do we return to work while staying safe when social distancing will still be in effect? Maybe we can find a technique that focuses on client wearing masks, or therapist wearing masks and gloves, to working solely on the person’s back so they are in prone position. I am sure many therapists are concerned if and how massage can come back when social distancing is going to be a part of our lives (at least until a vaccine or cure is created). Honestly, I wish my answer were different, but no, I do not think they should open yet for the following reasons: closed rooms (no air circulation), and possible infection due to close proximity (even with masks). Yes (to opening) based on the following: proof of non-infection - appointment made at least one to two days prior to visit, temperature testing outside facility, overall level of health on that day, questionnaire on household and outside activity in the past 14 days, adequate time to disinfect room between clients (at least 1/2 hour), and rotate therapist (work for one week with no more than three clients per day)— then that therapist should take off and quarantine for two weeks. Also, staff should be tested every day. 

Kate L. Walters 

If this has taught me anything, it has taught me that we need more officials at the top representing all of us and not leaving it up to each state to decide what’s best. Trying to get answers to questions just leads to more questions. Too many of us are scared and don’t have anywhere to turn because everyone we are supposed to look at for guidance is passing us around. There are too many ‘what ifs,’ there are too many ‘should I do this? Can I do this?’ and no one has definitive answers. It’s frustrating and scary. Someone needs to lead. 

Eve Chenu 

It seems to me that massage is risky based on what I have read about the transmissibility of the virus when people are in close proximity for an extended period of time. But in truth, I don’t know whether massage therapy practices should re-open. Private citizens are not well positioned to make such decisions, when the outcome impacts the shared fate of millions. The fact that we even have to ask individuals such questions, in the absence of public health and infectious disease expertise, speaks to the lack of leadership we are experiencing as we navigate this crisis. Sadly, many people are finding themselves in an untenable situation, where the necessity of earning a living conflicts with health and safety concerns. In my opinion, this is once again an outcome of our politics. We could create a society where we don’t have to make such dire choices. I hope one day we will. 

Nick Ciranni 

I will need to space clients out to allow for sanitizing, and to reduce contact between clients being in the waiting room at the same time. Ohio is open now starting May 15. I am opening Monday.

Check out these related articles:

AMTA Leads: Association Response to COVID-19

Massage Therapy's Response to COVID-19