I am working with new COVID-19 prevention protocols.
Thank you for understanding that these protocols are not negotiable. If you are not personally able to meet these requirements, massage therapy is contraindicated for you until the end of the pandemic.
I will ask you to wait outside until your appointment time. Please understand that my rigorous cleaning protocols will not allow me time to take you early for your appointment.
When I greet you at the door, I will ask you a series of health questions and document your responses. I will need, in particular, to know
- are you displaying any symptoms of COVID-19?
- have you had a recent exposure?
- what do your phycial distancing standards look like?
I will be recording your answers. You can always expect a high level of privacy in my office, but please understand that in the event of an exposure in my office, some of this information will need to be shared with Maine's CDC.
I will be wearing a surgical mask for the entirety of our interactions.
I will require clients to wear a surgical mask for the entirety of their visit, even when you are face-down on the table. If you do not have a surgical mask, I will sell you one. If lying face down or any other position or manuever is uncomfortable while you are in a face mask, we will need to postpone that kind of work until the end of the pandemic; fortunately, we are likely to find an alternative clinical technique or comfortable position to keep you feeling well in the meantime.
If you have an N-95 mask, you are welcome to wear it for the added protection it confers to the wearer.
Cloth masks and valve masks do not offer the level of protection that a clinical setting like my office requires. If you wear one to your massage, you will be required to change into a surgical mask before you are admitted into my office.
In non-invasive clinical settings like massage therapy, gloves do not offer any more protection against COVID-19 than rigorous handwashing. I will, however, wear gloves for your massage if it is your personal preference.
Massage industry guidelines require that clients remove and dispose of gloves before entering my office to prevent cross-contamination. Remember, touching something with a used glove is no better than touching something with a dirty hand.
I will meet you at the door with hand sanitizer, so that we can begin your appointment with both of us having the cleanest hands possible. You will have continued access to hand sanitzer for the duration of you visit, fresh personal linens in the bathroom, and hand sanitizer again when you leave your appointment. Scrub in and scrub out!
Because COVID-19 precautions demand some necessary changes in how we interact, I will not be offering the following treatments:
- Warm stone massage. COVID-19 can lead to strange clotting problems and warm stones increase your cardiovascular workload. It is contraindicated for anyone with blood pressure, clotting or heart problems, and right now we need to treat everyone with that kind of caution.
- Facial massage. It is not appropriate to do work that puts me in contact with a client's PPE or that would necessitate the removal of your mask.
- Facial and intra-oral craniosacral therapy. Again, we can't touch or displace your mask.
- Polarity therapy treatments with facial contact or crystals.
- If it is uncomfortable for you to lie face down with a mask on, we will find a different postition for you on the table. We can't make an exception to the mask rule.
This change makes me sad: the best industry guidance is to limit conversation to what is clinically relevant.
I know we're all excited to get caught back up, but given how converation and laughter generate more respiratory droplets, it's in our best interest to keep conversation limited. I know that I have missed my connection to all of you in these last months and personally it is going to take a lot of discipline not to gab and laugh during our time together.
Several of you will want to ask about my latest adventures. For that, I'll refer you to my blog, Salt & Persistence.
This also means that I cannot accept a hug until there is a coronavirus vaccine. I know that this will deeply disappoint several of you, but please know that it is not personal. I adore my work and the people I work with, but true expressions of care and respect are the ones that keep you safe.
My credit/debit system allows contactless payments. You can tap your card or smartphone.
Checks are still welcome, but please write them before your arrival to reduce additional surface contacts.
Cash is welcome in exact change.
Cleaning and Disinfection
I have always kept my office to a high standard of clean. Many of my existing routines, intended to limit the spread of pathogens, are also highly effective against coronavirus.
- My linens are washed on a specific sanitize cycle, which takes nearly three hours to complete.
- I scrub in and out of every massage, which we often joke about because my hands actually get a little cold from it.
- Surfaces are cleaned with Simple Green, which is a non-toxic, biodegradeable cleaner and degreaser. COVID-19 is structurally vulnerable to most cleaners, and these cleaners must be used before any sanitization products can be effective.
Housekeeping in the treatment area and restroom has always been attended to between clients. However, new and necessary protocols will add to our protection against COVID-19
- All surfaces will be sanitized between every appointment after normal cleaning procedures
- Vapor barriers will be used directly beneath massage linens on the treatment table and sanitized between clients
- An air purifier with a HEPA filter will be running near the head of the treatment table.
- Self-service water and mints have been removed from my office.
- A new closet door will act as a vapor barrier for my linen storage.
- A vinyl carpet overlay has been installed next to the table and will be cleaned after every session.
- Most decorations have been removed from my office to streamline cleaning procedures.