Why I Choose to Remain Open
It is no understatement to say the new coronavirus "pandemic" - known as COVID-19 - and the measures brought in to mitigate it has been life-changing both on a national level and here in AZ. While for some of us the consequences are working from home and no events to attend, I have seen how small businesses could be subject to much more difficult times as more people choose to practice "social distancing".
First off, I do not judge anyone for choosing (not being ordered) to self-isolate or close your doors. That is your decision, and I fully support you in doing what you think is best for your situation. However, at the same time, I choose to remain open and active until one of two things happens. I will get to those later.
A primary reason that I choose to continue to offer my services is that it provides multiple benefits. During this time of stress, massage can mitigate its effects. Massage also serves as an important immune system booster. People who undergo massage therapy treatments can experience measurable changes in their immune and endocrine response, making massage a great promoter of wellness and immune health. One 2010 study, funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, concluded that a single session of Swedish massage can significantly increase the production of white blood cells, which are vital to the body’s ability to fight illness. A follow-up study in 2012 went a step further, showing that there were cumulative health benefits to repeated massage.
My safety and sanitation standards remain in effect during this time of uncertainty. The best method to prevent the spread of infection remains to be handwashing; a practice that I engage in between every client. Not only do I continue to wash hands, but also past my elbows, as I use them regularly in my massages.
I also continue to disinfect my equipment and supplies before and after each massage session. The sheets I use are washed using bleach ensuring clean and disinfected linens for every client.
I am following the guidelines that have been outlined by the CDC and reinforced by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The CDC recommends canceling or postponing gatherings of 10 or more people. I work with people one-on-one. At no time has the government indicated that I am required to stop offering my services, as indicated on their website.
My dedication is to massage therapy and more importantly to you, my clients. I choose to remain positive and informed to the best of my ability.
That being said, I have two triggers that would force me to stop offering massage to those in need.
1.) If I, my family, or any of my clients have a positive test for the virus or symptoms that indicate an infection, I will no longer take clients until cleared and will inform everyone via an email and on my website of such a suspension.
2.)If the government mandates that I must close my practice, I will compy and similarly, notify my clients.
A clean healthy environment, with an immune-boosting, stress-reducing massage seems like a safer alternative and better way for the people who are going out to spend their time than at the grocery store where they can't be certain that package of toilet paper wasn't handled by numerous others, or on a coffee run that requires I hand over my credit card to someone who has handled numerous others, while simultaneously handling my latte that was prepared by one of the unnamed employees crammed into that same 10'x20' barista box or even something as simple filling up my gas tank.
I remain open, not because I am oblivious to the existence of Covid-19, but because I know it is not the only contagion and there are other arguably worse viruses we do nothing about. Consider the 118 billion infected and 30,000+ dead over the seasonal flu or the 11,300 deaths within two years from the Ebola outbreak. Universal precautions are in place because these things exist and regardless of what new bug may be out there, we must ALWAYS do what we can to prevent contamination.
I look forward to seeing you on my massage table. Encourage your immune response by calling me at 623-329-7175 or learn more at www.vitalkneads.net. Stay healthy, my friends!