Massage During a Pandemic: Here's What It Looks Like

Posted on February 28, 2021 by Allissa Haines

(Updated May 2023) 

Getting a massage, and giving massage, during a pandemic seems so….weird

In making the decision to return to work and in choosing my office I consulted multiple resources and created new protocols to meet the current environment. Those protocols have evolved over the last three years and continue to be updated as we receive new information. 

Here are the outcomes of those efforts:

I’ve studied two guides, FSMTB and Healwell, for best practices for operating a massage business during the pandemic as well as the MA Workplace Safety Standards for Close Contact Workers

I’ve read and watched several interviews with epidemiologists specifically related to massage environments and talked to my own GP about keeping my space safe. The consensus is that masks and ventilation are the key.

I’ve got 2 air filters that turn over the air in the room 6-10 times an hour with a filter known to capture SARS microns and presumed to capture this Coronavirus’s particles as well. And I’ve got a window and fan to fully ventilate the massage room between clients. I also installed MERV-13 filters in all the HVAC intakes in the office. I use a CO2 monitor to ensure the ventilation is consistent. 

This office has a private entrance and bathroom and I’m scheduling more time between clients to ventilate with windows and fans. I've always cleaned surfaces, door handles, etc in the massage room between each client and I still do, with an EPA-approved hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner. 

I wear an N95 mask at all times in the office. It's just good sense. I only take my mask off to eat lunch at my desk, with a window open. The window stays open for at least 10 minutes after I re-mask. 

At this time, clients may choose to unmask in the massage room during their treatment. Masks are still required when coming in and out of the office, since I share a hallway with a colleague.

All clients must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including boosters as eligible. If you had COVID-19, please wait at least 14 days after resolution of symptoms to schedule a massage, or 14 days after a positive test in asymptomatic cases. 

What you can do to keep us safe

I want to be safe, and I want my clients to be safe. Many of my clients are immune-compromised, have a history of cancer, and/or are over age 60. It's my job to protect them, and it's your job to protect me.

Please cancel your appointment if you or anyone in your house has been ill or if you know or suspect you have been exposed. I'll do the same. 

We're all in this together. We'll navigate as we go, and I'll do my best to make decisions that keep massage as safe as it can be for all of us.