Massage Etiquette

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. 

Body Care

Don’t Let Loss Shape Your Outlook

In the last few months, I have been dealing with my mother’s health decline to her death at the end of August 2019. Our family has been preparing our selves for the loos of mom for the last two years. You are never truly ready to face the loss of a person that is larger than life and been a huge part of your whole life. In this blog, I will touch on what the steps of loss and grief are and how I have been handling them plus how massage can help you travel those steps a little easier.

We are all familiar with the steps of loss/grief but we all tend to ignore them when it comes to our own situation. The five steps are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. We can travel back and forth between theses steps many times before we reach acceptance. For those of us that like to try to say we are just fine are probably not fine. I myself have been traveling these steps since I made the decision to return to Texas to help with the care of my mother. As the holiday season approaches, I find it very depressing to think about preparing or celebrating the holidays. My mother adored the holidays from decoration, food to gifts she went overboard. I am aware that the holiday season is my time to come to a complete acceptance that my mom is gone but her very special memories remain in my heart and mind forever.

As a massage therapist, I get the wonderful job of helping clients along on their journey to loss/grief through a relaxing massage or a listening ear. The steps of grief can cause havoc on the body from loss of sleep and appetite, high levels of stress and a body soreness that is unexplained. Choosing to get a weekly to monthly massage or body treatment after the loss/grief in your life can help you navigate the step by helping increase sleep and appetite, reduce the feeling of stress and soreness.

We all face things differently but your massage therapist can help relieve some of the symptoms to make it easier to travel the road to acceptance no matter if it takes you hours, months or years to reach it. I have lived by this since facing many loss/grief times in my life. Life is short, we can’t change the past, we have no idea for sure what the future will be, so live each day, hour and second like it could be your last with no regrets.

Body Care

Suck The Pain Out

Come along with me on a journey that will show that hickies in high school were not a bad thing your mother always said they were.   Massage Cupping has become all the rage since it was on national TV with those nice perfectly round red circles on the athletes. In this blog, I want to introduce you to why you should have massage cupping as a part of your massage routine.  We will also touch on how it will change your life as far as pain during and after the massage.   Let’s get our suck on!

Cupping has been around since ancient time, it either started with Egyptian or Chinese.  As years passed it has evolved into what we know today as Massage Cupping or MediCupping that uses hand pump tool, bulb suction or a machine.  Not many therapists still use fire cupping since if not trained correctly you can burn a client and it is not as easy as modern-day equipment.  The tools come in glass, plastic, and silicone.

There are many techniques that can be used during a massage cupping session on a client.  They can be used on the face to tighten the skin and reduce fluid; this method doesn’t leave marks on your face if done correctly.  You can op to have lymphatic drainage that is done with light suction and leave very faint to no marks on your skin.  You can have a massage done with the silicone cups that are moved in different motions to lift the skin, tissues, and muscle to release the muscle, this method also leaves very few marks on the skin.  When a therapist parks the cupping tool in one location for up to 15 mins it will leave a reddish circle.  This can last up to two weeks before fading.  It is not considered a bruise since they are not caused by a blunt force trauma to the skin and tissue.  Parking a cup over your pain area can help release the muscle reduce pain from the straight massage. 

The benefits of massage cupping can last 1-4 days or even longer.  Warning massage cupping is very addictive and can only be done with at least 4 days between each treatment.  Book your massage cupping session today to bet your own perfect round circles that bring pain relief. 

Cupping done to female along long back scar Insurance

Asking For A Friend…Does Insurance Cover Massage?

Help, I am addicted to massage for relaxing, but I also need a massage to relieve pain and aches caused by my job and life in general.  What can I do to find some assistance with the cost?  In this blog, we will touch on how to get your massage covered by health insurance, workman’s comp, car accident or medical savings account.  I have several clients that get reimbursed for their massages up to 50%, so this makes it worth a look to see if you qualify for this new lease on life.

The quickest way to find out if you are covered by your insurance is to call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card and ask.  What you should ask is if your insurance covers massage therapy by a licensed massage therapist?  If, yes then how many times a year?  You will also need to see if you can file a claim to get reimbursed for the massage service.   Most major insurances do cover massage therapy but you have to ask to find out about this part of your insurance.  “As a rule of thumb, the types of insurances that may pay for massage are Major Medical PPO (Blue Cross, Aetna, Humana, etc.), Auto Mobile Insurance (PIP), and Workman’s Comp. A few providers that usually don’t pay for massage therapy services are HMO’s, Medicare and Medicaid. “  Will my insurance cover massage therapy   

Cool, I have insurance coverage now what?  There is massage therapist that do file insurance for the client but they will be Medical massage therapist and usually require a prescription from a doctor.   Any massage therapist can give you a receipt with a detailed description of the services they provided with their license number and signature.  This can be used to file with your insurance also to get the reimbursement or used to turn into your medical savings account to be reimbursed.  Depending on the insurance you will need to choose a massage therapist that will work for you.  Insurance will usually pay for more sessions if you have a prescription from your doctor as to what area needs to be worked, how many times and for how long. 

Massage Therapy does usually have a deductible and a limited amount of times it will be covered.  Remember workman’s comp and car accidents are on an individual basis and will need to be discussed with the adjuster for your case.   These will also usually have a cap on how long and how much they will cover. 

So next time you want to get a massage to help with that back, neck or leg pain remember it just might be covered by insurance meaning you can afford to get rid of that pain and not kill the budget.