Massage in the age of Covid – 19

As you can imagine massage therapy has come to a standstill during the Covid- 19 pandemic and has impacted my practice as well as my clients who relied on me to keep their bodies in good working order.

Going forward the nature of massage will be changed for a very long time due to this pandemic:

It will be very difficult to have a full time practice at least for a year or two due to needing to work in personal protective equipment, the advent of new outbreaks, and the need to disinfect thoroughly after each client. Not just the tables, face cradles and such but door knobs, chairs, floors, side tables and any surface the client may have touched. We also will have to question each client as they come in about their current health symptoms, possible exposure, and if they have had the virus. We also will have to ask them to wear a mask and to not talk much even with their mask on since that can possibly spread the virus. We wish for our clients to breath deeply to facilitate the release of tension but is asking them to do so increasing their risk of exposure? And how well can you do that in a face mask anyway?

We also need to take into account the daunting task of how to work with clients who are recovering from a disease that seems to keep on giving in some cases in the way of blood clots, organ damage, rashes, and other strange after effects. How do we screen for those? How do we know when they are no longer contagious?

How do we keep our clients and ourselves safe in all manner and is it even possible? We are learning on the fly as new data comes out of the scientific community. It feels a little like wack a mole right now because our knowledge about it keeps changing.

What we know is that going back into our treatment rooms even with all the PPE and disinfecting is no guarantee that exposure will be avoided. We can mitigate the possibility but we cannot negate it.

Solutions?

One avenue I am currently taking is a certification course on the Miracle Ball Method which can be taught via Zoom one on one to assist clients in overcoming movement patterns that are creating their pain and muscular skeletal dysfunction. This is the safest way I can still do the work I love with no risk of exposure. I have used the balls myself for many years but not to their full potential and as I am going through the training I am realizing the Trager training I have taken has me one step ahead in understanding the process Elaine is teaching. So I am excited about this possibility and will soon be able to help people even more with my online sessions.

Since massage therapists are classified as health care workers we are in the contingency phase of re opening. Which means I can see regular clients who are not high risk if exposed as long as I have all the PPE and cleaning procedures in place. I will also only be able to see about 2 people a day with the new protocols noted above. So I will be searching for other safe avenue of income to make it through this crazy time which could potentially go on for the next year or three and very likely beyond as our planet becomes less and less stable due to climate change.

I am so thankful everyday that I live in this beautiful place and have my property and animals to keep me connected to what is really important in the world.

It is a strange new journey we are embarking on and I look forward to what is around the corner with some trepidation but also a fair share of excitement. It is like riding a surf board I imagine. If you hang on to tight to what you expect you’ll never stay up on the board. You never know what currents or waves will be like so you must be in the moment and relax into what presents itself. If you can manage this the ride will be a little less terrifying and much more amazing.

Published by Lee Feetham, LMT, BS

Licensed massage therapist, body geek, health enthusiast, and mini homesteader.

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