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In this Post: We will discuss supplies for reopening your massage practice post COVID. Therapist across the world are going crazy trying to sterilize their spaces, and while this truly isn’t possible, we can take steps to reduce our risks!
As I gear myself up to go back to work (I’m scheduled to reopen July 1st), I’ve realized there are a few supplies I need to reopen my massage practice in a post-COVID culture. Some of these items are things my state is requiring, while others are new precautions I am choosing to take.
In researching new protocols, therapists around the world are implementing, I’ve realized that you can go kind of crazy trying to “sterilize” your space. But the truth is, it is impossible to have a truly sterile massage environment. So, we do the best we can, knowing that we are bound to contract the virus at some point. Such is the nature of this beast.
You may find that you want more or less items than the items I have listed. My hope is that this list will help prepare you as it is helping prepare me too for a return to the massage industry. It is a little scary thinking about returning to work, but the more prepared we can be, the less anxious we will feel.
As a side note, I want to make sure that any of you who have reopened or are about to reopen are prepared to shut down quickly in the event of a resurgence, as the experts are predicting.
Know Your Local Regulations!
Before reopening, make sure to understand your local laws and regulations regarding massage. Each state and county is treating this virus differently. So while this list can be a guide, please don’t treat it as an end all be all. Instead, pick the supplies that make sense for you and your practice. Everyone has to figure out on their own what makes sense for their practice.
Supplies for Reopening Your Massage Practice Post COVID
While some therapists may choose to massage with gloves, this is not the only reason I suggest this supply. The main way I will be using gloves are for cleaning purposes. I have found that during the last several months, my hands have taken a real beating from all the hand-washing and cleaners I’ve been using. I have been using the type of gloves shown above for years for interoral TMJ work, a modality I hope to get back to some day, and have found them to be extremely comfortable and easy to work with!
Face cradle cover protector –
With increased cleaning, the vinyl on your face cradle may take a bit more of a beating. With this in mind, you may want to purchase something to protect it. Earthlite makes a protector worth taking a look at.
Table cover protector –
Same idea as the face cradle cover, the vinyl on our massage tables don’t really love chemical cleaners and almost start to disintegrate with chronic cleanings. As an added bonus, you can still use things like table warmers when you have the table cover protector positioned over the warmer.
Many areas are requiring you to take your temperature daily and keep detailed records. You don’t need anything fancy, like contactless thermometers if you are only required to take your own temperature and not your clients.
Plastic tub –
This is an interesting idea, instead of having your client’s items scattered all over your treatment room, you can request they leave all items in a plastic bin that can easily be cleaned between clients.
Face shield or safety glasses –
They are finding that the virus can be contracted through the eyes, so wearing some sort of eye covering is probably the prudent way to proceed.
Hand sanitizer with moisturizer –
The moisturizing element to this supply is the key. Again, our hands are taking quite the beating from the increased washing, cleaning, and disinfecting they have been doing, so finding a hand sanitizer with moisturizer is going to make your hands a heck of a lot more happy!
Aprons or zip down shirts –
The experts are suggesting that we change our shirts between clients, which, while inconvenient, does seem like a good idea. The only problem is, we don’t want to be pulling contaminated shirts right up over our faces, thus the idea of aprons, zip, or button-down shirts.
Air purifier –
Air purifiers are not going to sterilize our environment. Opening windows is best. For those of us who don’t have this option, purifiers will at least help.
Lightweight blankets –
Gone are the days when a blanket is reused for multiple clients. If you are planning on continuing to have a top blanket, which I recommend, you must have a freshly laundered blanket for each client. With an increased laundry load, you are going to be thankful for lightweight blankets that don’t take up too much space in the wash!
I am not a big sweater, so I probably won’t be purchasing this item, but I have received massages where practitioners actually dripped sweat on me during my treatment. If you are one of the people who tend to sweat a lot, consider a sweatband a good idea!
In my state, clients and practitioners are required to wear masks. So while I will be testing out a variety of masks to see what type I best like working with, I am also going to purchase some disposable masks for my clients.
Shop paper towels –
These towels serve multiple purposes. One they can be inserted into masks to create extra barriers. Two, they are great for cleaning surfaces. The nature of how thick they are lend themself well to our purposes.
High-quality spray bottle –
There is nothing worse than a spray bottle that doesn’t spray properly. You are going to want to have a good, quality spray bottle to put a mixture of soap and water in for the first step in your cleaning process.
The coronavirus has a lipid envelop, which is broken down with you guessed it, soap. Any soap will do as long as you don’t skip this vital cleaning step!
Disinfecting fabric spray –
Disinfecting will also be the second step in your cleaning process. You will want to spray down all the surfaces in your room, including the fabric ones. Get everything really wet, and then make sure to know the proper dwell time for the product you are using. Once again, gone are the days with a 5 minute turnover between clients!
I removed my upholstered chairs and replaced them with wooden ones that are easy to wipe down. I do still have carpet, which I am not allowed AND unwilling to replace. But by thoroughly dousing the carpet with fabric spray, I am reducing the risk of spreading the virus.
Disinfecting wipes –
Wipes are great for surfaces like doorknobs and light switches.
Faceguard shield for massage table –
This one seems a little silly to me, but I thought I would put it on the list to show you some of the extreme ways therapists are working on trying to “safeguard” their massage space. Once again Earthlite is leading the way with innovation!
Again, there is no way to 100% protect yourself and your clients from contracting COVID. If you are choosing to go back to work, there is some risk involved. But, there are steps you can take to reduce these risk. Hopefully, this list will help you feel more confident returning to your chosen field of massage! Massage is and always has been important! This world needs us!
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008
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