Many massage therapists have returned to work, myself included, and while there's some semblance of normalcy being back at work, there are things that are different (and will be different for quite some time). I believe that people need manual therapy and touch now more than ever. The stress and uncertainty of these times, and I'm not just talking about the global pandemic, is enough to make anyone feel anxious and sore in their bodies.
If you are hoping to return to your massage therapy treatments, there are some things you should know before you arrive at the clinic:
1) You will be required to complete a COVID-19 screening survey before every treatment.
These surveys will be emailed to you and will ask you if you are currently experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19, if you have travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days, or if you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, is waiting on test results or who has traveled in the past 14 days. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are asked to reschedule your appointment. Your therapist will also ask screening questions upon your arrival at the clinic.
2) You will be required to wear a mask:
In order to decrease the chance of droplet transmission, both you and your therapist must wear a mask for the entire duration of your treatment. Massage Therapists are required to wear a medical/surgical mask and clients may choose to wear a disposable or a cloth/reusable mask. I have found that the medical masks are easier to breathe through while face down. Please note that masks are now mandatory in all indoor public places in Toronto so please be prepared to have your mask on when entering the clinic.
3) Your therapist has taken appropriate infection prevention training and will be extra diligent with sanitizing protocols.
Any therapist wishing to return to work has been mandated by the Ministry of Health (MTO) and the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) to complete several training modules on infection prevention and specific sanitizing protocols. While we have always had strict and proper cleaning practices at Oma, we are being extra diligent to make sure all high touch surfaces are cleaned after being touched and are taking extra time between appointments to clean and air out the space before the next practice member arrives.
4) The clinic looks a little different.
Many clinics, Oma included, are spacing out appointment times to decrease the amount of people in the space at any given time so the space will feel a lot more quiet than usual. Plexiglass barriers have been put up in reception and the waiting room has been spaced out. It takes some getting used to, but the core values and warmth that is associated with Oma is still there.
These new protocols will be in place for a long while but it won't be forever. I am so happy to be back at work, to be seeing patients again and to be doing what I love.
See you on the table!