Massage Therapists Weigh in on the Future of Their Work
Massage Therapists Weigh in on the Future of Their Work

Massage Therapists Weigh in on the Future of Their Work

By Massage Today , Editorial Staff
2020-10-22

Massage Therapists Weigh in on the Future of Their Work

By Massage Today , Editorial Staff
2020-10-22

The massage therapy profession has witnessed many changes throughout the last several months due to COVID-19. Some of those changes were necessary for a moment in time, and other changes became what is now commonly referred to as “the new normal.” Massage therapists all over the country have seen a shift in their approach to their passion. Many massage therapists are quick to identify the positives, like increased attention to detail in areas like laundry and staggering of appointments. Others wonder about sustaining the changes for the future. We reached out to several massage therapists and asked what they foresee for the future of the profession, as well as how their personal practice has changed.

Beth Youngdoff, Isleton, CaliforniaWorking in California, she has seen the state guidance swing from the beginning of COVID-19. Youngdoff doesn’t see a time where she’ll soon return to practice for both personal and professional reasons, including the current state guidelines around COVID-19. “At the moment, I doubt I will be back to work (in California) until the pandemic has run its course. If and when I reopen, it will be very cautiously done,” she explains. “I’m grateful my practice is focused on recovery and rehabilitation rather than relaxation and spa services. I wouldn’t feel comfortable trusting an unknown person’s health claims in a situation like that.”

J.D., Hilo, HawaiiPracticing mobile massage gives J.D. a bit of an advantage, and she says she has been practicing the same safety precautions used before the pandemic, albeit with more frequency. “I’ve always brought my own soap and towels along with my massage equipment,” J.D. explains. “I’ve always used clean sheets and towels for each client. I’ve always thoroughly cleaned my equipment, including my hands and arms, between clients. Unless there are multiple clients at the same household (in which case, there would be no need to stagger), I’ve always given myself extra time to get from one house to another.”

Charles Jeffery Parker, Elyria, OhioParker’s main point he wants to get across to fellow massage therapists is to uphold the safety precautions set forth by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and individual massage therapy practices. “I think the biggest issue will be compliance from established practitioners,” Parker notes. “When I started, I was employed in a major hospital and had to follow the hospital’s regulations. The problems arise when practitioners cut corners in an attempt to save money or time.”

Dawn Acquaviva, Utica, New YorkAcquaviva works at a medical spa and has been keeping up with protocols since the beginning stages of COVID-19. The precautions set in place help both her and her clients feel safe in the treatment room. “I follow the spa’s safety protocol as well as my own,” she says. “As long as I feel safe, I can assure my clientele of my safety precautions and they feel safe too.”

Kathleen Heeter, Ottawa, OhioMassage therapists across the country have taken a financial hit since the beginning of the pandemic. That is especially true for Heeter, who works in Ohio. She doesn’t see massage therapists making the same income they once did due to the limited number of appointments made each day. “I allow 60-minutes between each session to give me time to sanitize all the surfaces in my treatment room, including the floors,” Heeter explains. “I switch between a 10 percent bleach solution and hospital grade disinfectant. For every client I see, I have to remove an additional hour from my availability time, so I am not generating (the same) income but I’m physically working just as hard. I see up to four clients per day when I used to see between six and eight depending on the appointment. Clients have no idea about the increased cost of doing business and are often struggling with their own newly limited income, so I can’t raise my prices too much.”   

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