What to Expect During COVID-19 Massage?

How are you guys doing after the craziness we face during 2020.  COVID-19 has made many businesses have to temporarily close or permanently close due to economic reasons.  Some of us lost our jobs and must find new jobs while others were on the front line trying to put a stop to the spread of the virus.  No matter where you fall in the spectrum of people the fear of catching the virus or transmitting the virus to others is strong even with those of us that don’t usually worry much.  As a massage therapist, I wondered what our standards would be to return to work and when.  Some spa locations have chosen to not open yet due to the strict guidelines we must follow.  This blog will cover the guideline and how Balm & Fizz adapted to the guideline to meet our clients’ needs.

Let’s just plunge into what is expected from both clients and therapists in a massage location health-wise.  If either clients or therapists have any of these symptoms they should not work or keep their appointment, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain from illness, headache from illness, sore throat, loss of taste or smell. Diarrhea, fever, or contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the last 14 days.   All clients upon arriving at my massage location will be asked all these questions.  Their fever will be taken with a touchless thermometer.  The client will be asked to wear a face mask while in the establishment.  The massage therapist also wears a mask while in the business.  Clients will be asked to wash their hands before the massage and after the massage with soap and water and use disposable towels. 

We are asked to schedule clients so that no clients are waiting in the waiting area and any walk-ins are asked to wait in the car until they are called into for their appointment.  Balm & Fizz doesn’t offer walk-in appointments; however, we are putting 45 mins-hour between clients to ensure me enough time to disinfect between clients. I ask that clients not be offended that I don’t shake hands and keep contact very minimum as possible and still give an awesome massage.   Currently, I am not offering facials, body scrubs, or body wraps until things are in control.  I am also not offering the use of the shower until we return to our normal protocol.   Clients are not allowed to bring any extra people with them to the appointment, such as children.  Clients need to be taken back to the massage room as soon as they fill out paperwork.  I have removed all unnecessary decorations and put all equipment away making my massage room feel very sparse to allow me to disinfect the surface easily and completely.   If a client is ill they will be asked to leave and reschedule their appointment.  I have face masks that is disposable if the client doesn’t have one to wear.

As a massage establishment, we are asked to keep all our supplies where clients can not touch or handle them.  Clients need to wash their hands upon entering the salon and before leaving the salon.  We are asked to ensure that clients to not have opportunities to interact while in the salon.   At Balm and Fizz, this is not an issue since I am the only therapist and only take one client at a time.  All clients and therapist need to wear a mask while in the salon. 

We are asked as establishments to wash out hands before entering the room and after leaving the room.  We need to wash our hands after touching any surface that is not sanitized.  We are asked to use disposable supplies to keep areas sanitized.   We also need to use disposable towels.    If, gloves are worn with a service we need to remove them immediately after service is complete.  Wipe down all surfaces including phones, computers, doorknobs, counters, pens, chairs after a client leaves with sanitizer.  Clean and sanitize all multi-use equipment between clients and discard single-use items after use.  Wipe and clean all electrical equipment.  Store all items in dust free and clean area away from clients.   Each day the floor needs to be sweep and disinfected, trash cans emptied, and either disinfected or new liners.  All, towels and sheets from each service need to be removed to a single-use trash sack until washed.  All linens need to be washed in hot water and chlorine bleach, only use clean linens with clients.  Wash hands before handling clean linens.  Fully sanitize all on-site laundry rooms and laundry storage rooms daily.

Finally, if anyone does test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of visiting a salon they should notify the salon and the local health authorities.   

Bam & Fizz is working hard to keep all our clients safe as well as myself.  Thank you for understanding that we are following the minimum standards of health protocols for massage establishments.   I look forward to seeing you on my massage table.  Find all information to book with me at balmfizz.com. 

To Ice Or Not To Ice Is The Blissful…

There is a time and place to ice your muscles that will make your muscles feel blissfully happy. As I always tell my massage clients Ice, Ice Baby, is your friend after a massage, exercise or after a muscle injury. I know heat feels so awesome and amazing on your aches and pains, however, it is not making your muscles better. You can do more harm at times with heat than good.

So what does ice really do for my muscles? Ice will decrease the flow of blood to your muscles this, in turn, decreases swelling, inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms.

Ice is used by all professional athletes after a workout or injury. Yes, they first soak in a hot water bath of Epson salt and then move to a bath of ice. They have more will power than I do. I suggest soaking in a tub with as hot as water as you can stand without burning any essential body part with Epson salt that has eucalyptus and peppermint oils. These two oil work as a natural pain reliever as they soak into your muscles. You should soak until cool about 20 minutes. Epson salt draws out lactic acid that makes your muscles hurt. The hot bath soak should be followed by 15 mins of ice pack on the affected area. 15 mins off the area and then another 15 mins of ice on the affected area.

In conclusion, ice is always your friend if you use it in a controlled setting and not for extended periods of time. The use of massage, Epson bath soaks and ice will make your right as rain. So book your massage today.