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  • Writer's pictureMargo Ann Spak Hemedinger, PT/LMT

In Preparation for reopening...

Due to the Covid 19 virus pandemic, my office remains closed until further notice.

As we move closer to businesses reopening in the near future, it is still unclear as to whether or not, massage therapists in NYS, will be allowed to start providing services at that time. Broome County Executive, Jason Garner, seems to be moving to start reopening some businesses as the NYS Pause / Stay at Home order expires on May 15th. If massage therapists are allowed to reopen on May 15th, the question then becomes, how will massage therapists be able to do so in a safe manner and in a safe environment, as it is impossible for us to social distance during treatment.

As I sit at home day after day during this Stay at Home order, I am constantly trying to visualize and plan how to reopen in a safe manner. I have been reading and researching all the articles provided by my professional organization (The American Massage Therapy Association), as well as other the professional massage organizations, massage publications and massage therapist blogs. I will tell you this, even if I am allowed to reopen on May 15th, if I cannot provide a safe environment in which to do so, I will not reopen until the time that I can not only keep myself safe, but more importantly, keep you, as my client safe – the majority of you, who happen to fall into the high risk category.

In preparation to reopen, I will not only have to have policies and procedures in place for cleaning and scheduling of clients, but a waiver, as well, protecting both me as the clinician and you as the client. In addition, I will not be able to reopen if the supplies I will now need are not available. Not only will I now need many, many more masks and gloves than I have ever needed prior to this pandemic, but I will also need cleaning supplies including disinfectant, hand sanitizer, wipes, paper towels and of course, the dreaded toilet paper. And we all know how difficult it has been to get these items. Not only is availability very limited, the price gouging that has gone on, will increase my budget for such items at a time when income is null. I also have environmental issues to consider including things like more sheets and blankets, a table cover for my table warmer to allowed its continued use as wiping and disinfecting between clients is not possible without this cover, and vinyl pillow protectors to allow all pillows to be wiped and disinfected between each visit. I will also now not be offering heat during your massage as I have no way to disinfect my heating pad as the accepted use of a towel as a barrier in the past, is now no longer adequate protection. And these are only a few considerations I must address.

Please know that as guidelines change each and every day, so does the list of my “MUST DOs” before I feel it is safe for me to reopen. So please bear with me as we all go through this ever-evolving process to our new “normal”. And please rest assured that I am doing all and will continue to do all I can to keep you safe during your massage session. I will keep you updated as best I can and post when I am able to reopen.

For now, take care, stay safe and stay healthy and May God Bless!



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