Well, that’s the first few weeks under my belt. I can’t say it has been easy although, I am delighted to see and treat my clients again – if in a very different, very sterile environment.
I think I was much more aware than clients of the changes I’d had to make in my treatment room – some hardly noticed, others commented that it looked bigger and loved the new paint job.
Most were just so delighted to have a treatment that they did not care about the “disappeared” furnishings or soft touches, that I missed so much. Have to admit here that this is my issue, but secretly admit that it does make the cleaning and sanitizing easier … but more about that anon. So a low and a high there.
First week I had 5 bookings and deliberately took just one client each day so that I could get a handle on the cleaning regime. The Universe was certainly looking after me, as 3 of those bookings were for QCT (Quantum Coherence Therapy) energy treatments only. This is a hands-on, hands-off the body Reiki-like treatment so no massage as such. I always finish with a gentle foot massage using Pure Pro's Peppermint Pedango Foot CreamPure Pro’s Peppermint Pedango Foot Cream, of course. This helps to ground the energies (chi) and my clients love it – even the men!
First treatment I was masked (as were all my clients who remain supine throughout) but I soon switched to visor only for those energy treatments, much easier to breathe. In fact, at the end of my massage treatments I now switch from mask to visor for the foot massage as I am seated and only working on the feet. What a relief to shed that mask. A definite high!
I found the full-body massage treatments that week tough – a combination of not having massaged since 14th March, wearing the mask and being ultra-sensitive about adhering to all the new protocols.
On my second week, I had 7 bookings – the old habit of not being able to say NO had reared its ugly head again. I really have to address this issue!!! Two treatments on three days meant cleaning and sanitizing protocols in between, as well as before and after. Which, of course, in turn led to two full washing machine loads each day and the weather was not great for drying outside…. Murphy’s Law…. I am determinedly not thinking about laundry during the winter months!
I was very pleased that all clients arrived at the door masked (as requested) and were happy to wear them throughout, even when prone with their heads in the face cradle. One or two did slip their mask off one ear when prone but were happy to re-cover before they turned. There was some surprise when I asked them to put their clothes in a plastic box, jewellery and phone etc., in a smaller one but all complied, eager to do their bit to keep us both safe. I still find it difficult to see ugly plastic boxes in my treatment room - but adjust I must.
Then there was the extra admin to complete the Pre-Covid 19 Client Declaration Form. The majority of my clients are older, many don’t have email so I phoned each one prior to their appointments and they were happy to answer the questions and sign when they arrived. All were more than happy to have their details on my Contact Tracing Log – trusting that it will never need to be handed over to the HSE.
My treatment room and bathroom have been cleaned and sanitized to within an inch of their inanimate lives. Which has made me think about the cleanliness of the rest of my house – but again not going there! I felt that I had got into a good cleaning routine by the end of the second week and it was not taking as long. But there is certainly a lot to remember in this new, but not so “normal” world of massage therapy.
My biggest high(s): definitely treating my clients again and coming off the Covid-19 subsidy payment. Biggest low – wearing masks especially on hot days, followed by the [essential] cleaning regime, but I am getting used to that.
I hope that your experience of returning to your treatment room has been positive overall, with more highs than lows. With the support of colleagues on the Massage Matters FB Group we will all adjust to our new routines and be as grateful to be working again as our clients our to be receiving treatments.
Mary Mullally is a complementary massage therapist and Irish agent for a range of massage oils, creams and lotions www.purepro.ie