The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) has put out a Guidelines for Practice with Covid-19 Considerations that is more concise than the previously released Back to Practice suggestions put out by Associated Massage & Bodywork Practitioners (ABMP).

The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services (NC DHHS) has issued Interim Guidance for Salons, Massage, and Personal Care Business Settings.

A lawyer is in the process of penning a liability waiver/informed consent for my practice. I expect y’all to reschedule if you have any potential symptoms–we’re all at greater risk of sharing with the prolonged close-proximity of massage. If you show up with any symptoms (even if it’s most likely just allergies) you will be sent home immediately and charged $50 for not cancelling.

Therapist

I will be in a fresh mask, and fresh clothes, for each client. They are laundered on the Sanitize cycle of my NSF-listed washing machine. They will be bagged and tied-off after each client.

Because certified PPE is not available beyond those that are fighting in the teeth of this beast, you will need to provide your own mask for our session.  You’ll need to determine what your best protection options are. Masking is to keep our germies more to ourselves, they do not keep us from contracting COVID-19. A friend was able to get a box from their work for me so I have disposable if you forget yours, but there’s a finite quantity and I do not know their efficacy.

A king-size pillow case is pulled through the face cradle to help reduce potential droplet transmission without feeling like you’re being smothered by a mask while face down (prone), but a mask will be required while face up (supine).

Massage cannot be social distanced, and the CDC has previously stated that masking is not a substitute for social distancing.

Linens

How fortuitous that our new washer arrived just before the world fell apart. It’s NSF listed to kill most of the stuff (I don’t remember if it’s 95% or 99%). Everything is ran through on the Sanitize cycle.

Linens will be bagged (biodegradable) and tied-off after each client to reduce possible fluffing of potential germies.

Table Disinfection

All the soft table toppers (the table warmer, the fuzzy pad) cannot be disinfected properly between clients. I’ve acquired some lightweight clear vinyl to wrap the table in so the table warmer can still be utilized, but the surface can be disinfected between clients.

I have a disinfectant that is on the EPA’s List N for cleaners approved for SARS-CoV-2 disinfection (Total Solutions Lemocide; EPA Reg No. 1839-95-68562). The table will be disinfected after each client, including the face cradle, assembly, and legs. The client chair, door handles, light switches, bathroom fixtures will also be disinfected after each client.

Air Purifier

Per a Consumer Reports article: “We don’t yet have direct evidence that filtration works to reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus,” says Jeffrey Siegel, an indoor air quality expert and professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto who has researched portable air purifiers with various airborne particles….In the U.S., the CDC also recommended the use of HEPA purifiers to help reduce viral concentrations of the SARS virus in the air when properly ventilated hospital rooms weren’t available.

My office is windowless, so I have a HEPA filter to aid in additional ventilation. It claims to be 24dB at its low setting, and can cycle through a 250sf room up to 5 times per hour at its highest. My office is 140-150sf. There is no guarantee that it will reduce our risk, but it can improve our air circulation. It runs before, during, and after each session (and is set to run for 8hrs after I’m done for the day).

Carpet Cleaner

I have a light-duty carpet cleaner (that is obnoxiously loud). The shampoo I have selected is hypoallergenic, but I cannot locate its EPA number to check for it on List N for cleaners that are approved for SARS-Cov-2 disinfection. The carpet will be shampooed once a week or more; the common pathways in my office are sprayed with 100-proof vodka after each client. (The Hoover PowerDash Pet is obnoxiously noisy so I can’t run it after I finish each day because of disrupting my suitemates and upstairs neighbors.)

UVC Lamp

I looked at UVC lamps, and ordered one that stated it was ozone-free. Upon arrival it’s paperwork talked about an ozone kit, but did not clarify one way or the other if the lamp I ordered was truly ozone-free. Plus, the paperwork indicated that a 95sf room needed to be exposed for 60min. I had ordered with the understanding that I could run it for a half-hour between clients to aid killing of potential germies; but trying to do some 140sf wouldn’t be feasible at 90 minutes or more of exposure. Ozone creating UVC lamps require open ventilation (windows) for over an hour before the room can be used again. Not feasible. It was returned.

Supposedly there is technology being developed for far-UVC where it’s at a lower level that is not harmful to people/pets/plants that is being considered for places such as airports, etc. It is not commercially available yet, especially on small scale.