I am pleased to share some good news at last – current Government guidance indicates that massage therapists may be able to re-open from 4th July 2020. I know many of you have been storing up aching backs and sore necks, and, inevitably, many of you will have been experiencing increased anxiety and stress during this challenging time, so I plan to resume some hands-on work from July, subject to further Government confirmation.
This has been a very uncertain time for all of us, including massage therapists. I have had moments wondering whether I will be able to continue with this profession that I love so much. But of course massage has been around for millennia, and people need touch to help heal their pains and hearts. So I will continue to do the best I can, albeit with a few changes!
Will it be safe to have a massage?
Of course we cannot practice social-distancing, but there are many measures that can help prevent infection. No, I won’t be wearing a hazmat suit, but I will need to make sure I properly protect your health and mine whilst Covid-19 is still in the population. For some individuals (for example those deemed ‘extremely vulnerable’) we may have to wait a little longer before hands-on treatments can resume.
I have been carefully monitoring the advice coming from the massage governing body (GCMT) and professional bodies to decide how I can re-open my practice safely and effectively. As a sole-practitioner I have the advantage of being able to carefully control my schedule, clients and environment.
Here are some of the immediate measures that I will be taking to protect our health; a complete list of measures will be on my website nearer the time, to be kept under review and in accordance with professional guidelines. I hope some will be only temporary.
1) PPE (mask, gloves etc) for me.
2) Enhanced deep cleaning of couch, room, equipment and all common areas.
3) Enhanced hand-washing practice for all clients & alcohol-gel available.
4) Fewer clients per day to allow deep clean and reduce contact opportunities.
5) Until September, treatments will be restricted to a maximum of 60 minutes and in my treatment room only.
6) Online consultations & self-care sessions where possible.
7) Pre-treatment health questionnaire for all appointments. If I or any or any members of my household are ill, I will reschedule my appointments.
8) No cancellation fee for 2020, and payments by card or bank transfer.
I am aware that many of you will have been self-isolating for the last couple of months. Subject to completing a pre-treatment health questionnaire, I will be prioritising seeing these clients when I re-open. This is to minimise my exposure, and therefore yours, to others who may have had more potential exposure to Covid-19.
I will also prioritise clients whose bookings I had to cancel in March and April.
Gift vouchers: I have extended the validity date until the end of 2020, and if necessary beyond, to give everyone time to have their treatments safely. I may not be able to fit everyone in straight away so please be patient.
If you have any aches or pains in the meantime, do please contact me. I am offering 1 to 1 online or phone consultations and self-care advice, and propose to continue this indefinitely to supplement my hands-on work. I also offer ‘Restore & Relax’ sessions for groups and organisations, please contact me if you are interested.
I am mindful that some of you may have been touched directly by Covid-19. I am always happy to be a listening ear should you need one, indeed I consider that a core part of my work. I can recommend talking therapists should you require professional help.
I anticipate that I will have my clinic fully up and running again for everyone from September, again, subject to Government guidance, when I will hopefully be able to offer a wider range of treatment options. As most of you know I have two school-age children who need support with home-schooling so I cannot fully re-open any earlier, as much as I would love to.
I will contact some of you in the next few weeks to reschedule appointments, but of course feel free to call or message me if you have any questions or would like to book in.
I am sending this message with a heart full of hope and compassion, and hands that are ready to help heal.
Watch this space…I am also part of an exciting nationwide initiative to offer free treatments (either hands-on or online) to NHS workers later this year! So if you or anyone you know is eligible please contact me.