COVID-19 Reopening Safety Plan
Each business or entity under Empire State Development's Essential Business Guidance, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Massage therapy is provided by appointment only.
When making a massage appointment, the client will be asked the following questions:
1. Do you have any of the following symptoms: fever or chills, shortness of breath, coughing, nausea, diarrhea, new confusion, sore throat, runny nose, muscle/body aches, loss of taste or smell? If yes, client is advised to contact their health provider and the massage is canceled.
2. Have you had COVID-19 or been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days? If yes, client needs to wait until 14 days have passed and take a COVID-19 test before receiving a massage.
Upon arrival at the massage location:
1. The client must wait in their car. They will call my cell phone number of 607-341-1395 so that I may come out to their car to assess them and escort them into the building.
2. The client will be asked the same two questions, see above, that they were asked when making the appointment.
3. Client's temperature is taken via an IR Thermometer. If their temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, their massage is canceled and they are advised to contact the health provider.
4. The client is supplied a clean face mask to put on before entering the building.
5. By following the NYS Dept of Health Interim Guidance for Personal Care Services During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the client and therapist will wear masks at all times and sanitize and/or wash hands before entering the office and massage room and before the massage session begins.
6. The client will complete a health status form with a pen that they are instructed to keep upon departure.
7. A Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier will be utilized during the 1 hour massage session. Also, it will be running 1/2 hour before and after the massage session with the door to the room closed. Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifiers captures up to 99.97% of the airborne particles, 0.3 microns and larger, has three levels of purification, and performs five air changes per hour in the stated room size(310 sq ft). My room is 144 sq ft. I will set the level at "Germ" purification.
8. Therapist will sanitize hands after each client as well. Common objects will be wiped down at the beginning of the day, between clients, and at the end of the day. Common objects - doorknobs, clipboard, chair, clothes hooks, hand sanitizer bottle, massage table, cell phone for Square transactions. Clorox wipes will be used for these surfaces. Soft surfaces will be treated with Lysol disinfectant spray at the beginning of the day, between clients, and at the end of the day. There will be a minimum of 1/2 hour between clients to allow adequate cleaning time and for sanitation efforts to take effect.
9. Clean sheets and blanket will be provided for each client. Dirty sheets will be sealed in a plastic bag to ensure sanitary conditions. The face cradle will be cleaned with Clorox between clients. All hard surfaces will be cleaned by Clorox wipes. All soft surfaces will be sprayed with Lysol disinfectant spray between clients.
10. I will follow up the next day with the client and remind them to let me know if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms within the next 14 days and if so please contact their medical health provider and notify me so I may contact any other clients appropriately.
Excerpt from July 5, 2020 Guest Columnist Opinion Section in the Press and Sun Bulletin
COVID-19 is a source of catastrophic stress for many people.
On April 7th, during Harvard’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds, Dr. Ahmed Tawakol discussed “Emotional Stress and Cardiovascular Disease: Current Concepts and Implications for the COVID Era”. His neuroanatomical studies proved that stressful emotions activated the brain’s amygdala area, releasing biochemicals which created a chain reaction that promoted atherosclerosis. This was especially evident during catastrophic stress events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Catastrophizing stress occurs when someone assumes that the worse will happen.
Clinical studies have repeatedly shown that massage therapy decreases amygdala activity in the brain. On PUBMed alone, there are thousands of studies linking massage therapy treatment to various ailments: 758 for stress, 718 for anxiety, 505 for depression, and 295 for the immune system. Our country is in a desperate search for COVID-19 treatments, but what about other problems that arise from the stress of these uncertain times? While we don’t have a cure for the virus yet, we do have access to the supportive solution of massage therapy that can improve our overall health and boost our immune system so we are ready to take on the challenges in our lives.
Being able to think clearly, prioritize challenges, and create effective plans of action are outcomes frequently reported by clients of my Certified Medical Massage practice. The public and veterans alike shift their focus from pain relief and a medication list to a list of goals and activities. Clients become who they were meant to be as they restore wellness and reduce the negative effects of stress.