COVID-19 Resources for Massage Therapists

The Latest Information on COVID-19 and Massage

As we navigate the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis together, we’re committed to closely following updates and keeping everyone’s health top of mind. We’ll be updating this news page regularly to share the latest information and how it relates to the massage therapy profession.

COVID-19 Reopening Resources for Massage Therapists

As we cautiously look to the future, many massage therapists have questions about when and how they can begin caring for their clients again. AMTA has been actively engaging with federal and state agencies, as they consider reopening strategies, to provide consultation, information and feedback on their processes; understanding they will vary greatly from state-to-state. We are a diverse profession and in some states those decisions are near; for others they may be further away. 

When your state allows you to reopen, whether or not you choose to return to work is a personal decision. There are many factors to consider when deciding to return to work, including how your community (and client base) has been affected, your own vulnerability to the virus (along with those you live with), and the physical, mental and financial factors involved. Each individual will need to fully assess their own unique situation to decide what feels right for them.

Unfortunately, even with the most rigorous sanitation protocols, enhanced client screening, and social distancing precautions, there is still risk of COVID-19 transmission involved. For this reason, we ask that you choose your restart date carefully, and encourage you to gain a full understanding of new laws and ordinances at the local, state and national levels, and adjust your practices accordingly.

As you carefully plan for when you will begin seeing clients again, here are 10 important considerations for your practice to help manage the risk involved in the COVID-19 era. For in-depth guidance on each topic, we encourage you to follow the science and look to the top health experts including the CDC and OSHA. We are your partner throughout this process, and will continue to update you as we receive new information.

10 Important Considerations for Reopening

Knowing that every state will restart in its own way and will likely provide varying specifics for how and when you can begin to practice, here are 10 important considerations as you plan for when your state will allow you to begin seeing clients again.

1. Gain a full understanding of any new laws and ordinances at the local, state, and national levels and adjust your practices accordingly.

  • Make sure you are aware of the latest updates and guidance in your state.
  • Remember that your state laws and reopening guidelines must be adhered to regardless of any additional safety protocols you may choose to adopt.
  • If your state has not yet issued a reopening plan for massage therapists, you can review these state plans to get a sense of what others are doing: 

2. Institute thorough cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols in your massage room as well as any communal areas and of any objects clients touch.

3. Consider the laundry policy for your clothes, linens, towels, and other washable objects.

4. Think about your own use of Personal Protection Equipment (including masks, gloves, and clothing).

5. Practice proper handwashing and hygiene protocols.

  • Hand washing is an important protection against COVID-19. The CDC has information and details, including downloadable flyers to post in workplaces and restrooms.

6. Consider your booking practices and make any changes to allow for sanitization procedures and recognizing social distancing recommendations that may limit the number of people in one space. Evaluate your cancellation policy and protocols if a client shows signs of illness.

7. Implement an enhanced intake process and consider pre-appointment communications to demonstrate your commitment to the health of your clients and yourself.

  • Use an intake form to fully understand your client before a session.
  • Online tools such as ClinicSense or Massage Book can assist in pre-appointment communications and intake processes.

8. Minimize contact during check-in and check out, and make use of virtual tools.

  • Consider spacing your appointments so you have adequate time to clean between and minimize interaction with multiple people.
  • Platforms such as ClinicSense or Massage Book can streamline check-in and check out. 

9. If you work with other massage therapists or service providers, consider any necessary updates to your HR and staffing policies. If you are an employee, carefully review any guidelines you will need to follow.

10. Post signage in waiting rooms and common areas to emphasize social distancing, handwashing, and any protective equipment you expect your clients to use.

We encourage every massage therapist to use their best professional judgment about their ability to accept and care for clients in a way that follows their state, CDC and OSHA guidelines. We are continuing to work to get more concrete answers from healthcare experts, governments and massage therapy licensing boards, and will be providing you with additional information for protecting both yourself and your clients as it becomes available.

As you cautiously plan for when you will begin seeing clients again, AMTA is here for you. We have built a suite of resources to help guide and support you through this time.