Our New Normal: When will Mindful Touch Re-open?
Hello, friends! As you may have heard, the Governor has signed an executive order that allows massage therapy businesses to re-open this Friday at 5pm. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, this is no easy task, and involves a certain amount of preparation, money, and many ethical considerations. Massage therapy involves close contact and there is no way to avoid that close contact in order to do the work. At this time, there is no "completely safe" way to do this work, there is only "as safe as possible" ways to do the work. Many of you are in the high risk group, with underlying health conditions, and the transmission of COVID-19 to you could be fatal. There are still some concerns about the safety of massage therapy services during the pandemic. They include:
- Many people who have the virus are asymptomatic.
- We are unable to physical distance during a massage.
- We are in a small space with little ventilation for an hour or more. Possible exposure time is great.
That being said, Phase 2 allows for massage therapists to reopen, but with very specific guidelines for PPE, stringent cleaning and disinfecting protocols in between clients, and many other guidelines. The Federation of State Massage Boards (FSTMB) has given therapists a very comprehensive guide to how we should proceed in the safest possible way during the pandemic. Mindful Touch intends to follow the evidence based recommendations that the FSTMB provides, in an attempt to keep all of us as safe as possible. A few of those new protocols include:
- Both parties (therapist and client) wearing a mask for the duration the massage.
- The massage therapist wearing a clean gown/smock for each client.
- The massage therapist wearing eye protection (goggles).
- All of our comfy, cozy heating pads and blankets must be removed to allow for thorough cleaning and disinfection of everything in the room after each client.
Make no mistake, your pandemic massage will be a much different experience than your pre-pandemic massage. (For your education and information, please find links to the Governor's order, NCDHHS guidelines, and the FSTMB recommendations for all massage therapists planning to practice during the pandemic at the bottom of this email.) At this time, I do not have a definitive date for reopening. However; over the next few weeks, I will be purchasing necessary supplies, making adjustments to intake and check out procedures, and working through solutions to other industry specific issues that have come up due to COVID-19. In my professional and personal opinion, this is an unprecedented situation that warrants cautious and mindful action. As always, the health and safety of clients and therapists are at the heart of Mindful Touch's mission. I humbly ask for your patience and consideration as I, and the Mindful Touch Team, navigate these new ethical concerns, guidelines, and protocols. We are sending you all copious amounts of love and good vibes and miss seeing your faces so much! We are anxious to return to doing the work we love, but not so anxious as to rush into an opening that may cause harm. I will be in touch as soon as I have a definitive reopen date. In Peace & Health, Nikki Terry, LMBT [email protected] 828-201-9794 For your information and education:
- Please refer to the governor's executive order that allows LMT's to practice here: https://governor.nc.gov/documents/executive-order-no-14
- According the order, massage therapists (we fall under personal care) are required to follow the additional guidelines as set out by NCDHHS as outlined here: https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/guidance/NCDHHS-Interim-Guidance-for-Salons-Personal-Care-Businesses-Phase-2.pdf.
- In addition to the NCDHHS guidelines, we are also subject to our industry standards for reopening during a pandemic, and the most authoritative set we have so far is from the FSTMB (Federation of State Massage Boards). Please review the FSTMB guidelines here: https://www.fsmtb.org/media/2319/fsmtb20200519guidelinesforpracticecovid-19.pdf . When we do reopen, Mindful Touch will be operating under these guidelines unless things dramatically shift and they change these guidelines.
- Please refer to the CDC website for general information regarding COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
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