Massage Therapists have all been lumped together under 'close contact' services with Nail bars, Tattoo artists and Beauty Therapists which better describes us rather than the 'Massage Parlours' title that was being used initially. Whatever you would like to call us - we are back, with effect from 13th July 2020.
But what can you expect when you visit your Massage Therapist - if in fact they are open yet. Whilst we were given the go-ahead on the Thursday afternoon before we could open the following Monday (yes, what a lot of time to prepare!!), our governing bodies were not informed of the whole picture - guidelines were issued but they were generalised and not very specific. Most of us waited paitently for our governing bodies to give us concise guidelines and still some aspects are not clarified. So if you are trying to book a treatment and your therapist is not open yet, that is because they are being cautious and wanting to ensure their return is safe not just for them but for their clients.
There will be changes - some things are written in stone and some are open to interpretation:
We have to complete a Risk Assessment of our business before we even consider re-booking anyone, looking at every angle of our operation from the initial telephone enquiry to when the client leaves our building and beyond - that is the law.
We have to check our temperature before leaving home.
A COVID-19 course should be undertaken so that we know how best to keep everyone safe and what to be aware of.
A pre-treatment declaration has to be completed by each client prior to visiting to ensure that they are aware of what symptoms to look out for and to inform us if they have had COVID/have a family member or been in contact with someone within the last 14 days with COVID symptoms etc etc - nothing is left to chance.
Our rooms have to be emptied of all the pretty and soft things - we are entering an era of minimalism in the therapy room. Cushions removed unless they can be covered in plastic, rugs removed, pillows need waterproof covers so that they can be sanitised between clients, it is not enough to change the pillowcase - it is thought the virus may be able to penetrate further that the top fabric layer, so we are not taking chances. All couch coverings that make the experience a truly luxurious event have to go - no heated blanket (the virus could penetrate) no memory foam top mattress (the virus could penetrate) no sheepskin underblanket to keep you cosy (the vius could penetrate) - unless they are covered in plastic.
Every item of bedding has to be changed after each client - all sheets, towels, blankets - we can no longer depend on disposable couch roll.....as the virus could penetrate.
We will have to wear a visor - not a mask - a visor, which covers from the forehead to past the chin - that is the law. Our clients do not HAVE to wear a mask but if your therapist requests you to, that is their choice.
Therapists will either wear a new disposable apron between each client or change their uniform between treatments.
Our rooms have to be fully sanitised and ventilated between clients - meaning we have to leave extra time and will not be able to take so many bookings.
Consultations are to be done on-line or by telephone before the treatment and aftercare the same - no stopping for a chat!
Treatments have to be as short as possible - no 90 minute indulgencies for the time being!
No facial treatments at present - head massage ok - just not face.
That is just some of the changes that will have to be implimented.
The sheer amount of laundry and the possible amount of disposable items doesn't bear thinking about. Therapists can and will hopefully use bio-degradable items where possible but when I mentioned this to a stylist the other day they said the cost was too high.....what cost the Earth? was my reply.
Your therapy environment will be different and there will be new protocol but please be assured that the reason most of us come into this profession is our desire to help people and the passion we have for what we do and we will ensure that your experience, whatever form it takes, is done with love and care.
If you are in any doubt about coming for a treatment please contact your therapist beforehand, I am sure they will put your mind at east.
more soon xx