All Licensed Massage Therapists in Michigan can return to work on Monday, June 15, 2020. We’ve seen the statistics and followed the news about masking, social distancing, and have heard how devastating the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 have been not only nationwide, but particularly in Michigan and even more in southeast Michigan.

Take a moment and visualize your treatment room, or perhaps even working with one of your favorite and most appreciative clients. Feel the energy that is in the room, in your space. Hear the music or the other sounds that are a part of the space, and that contribute to the serenity and calm. Remember all the healing and wellness that has been facilitated there. This is a sacred and safe space that you have created, and even though it may look a little different now than it did before, that energy you bring and that training and knowledge you have amassed as a Massage Therapist is still with you. Irene herself said it best: “You’ll know what you need to know when you need to know it.”
Some LMTs have opted not to return to work right now and are adopting a “wait and see” stance. Some are not going back to work in massage at all. Those decisions are perfectly acceptable. Each individual is and should be allowed to decide what works best for him or her. This article is not to debate whether to return. It is to encourage those of us who are planning to return, and to help us prepare for that.

Some would say that now is not the time to be resuming massage. Others would say that massage therapy is needed now more than ever. This has been an undeniably stressful time for everybody. We have all been impacted not only by the pandemic, but also by other national and international events. Stress levels are extremely high right now and, if you’re like me, you’ve had clients contacting you asking you when you’re going to reopen. Many of them are ready and just waiting to get on your table! My book is full for the next 2 weeks!
If you are looking for information on providing a sanitary environment for massage therapy, you can read the protocols on Irene’s website page dedicated to our pandemic protocols. One thing you can do in order to ensure your successful return as a Myomassologist is to be prepared. By now, if you are returning to practice on Monday, you should have been thoroughly steeped in the requirements for personal protective equipment, client screening procedures, and sanitary practices for cleaning between clients. Reminding yourself of these things and going over your checklist one more time certainly won’t hurt, but don’t allow it to stress you out.

There are a few procedural things which can help you to ensure you are prepared for each of your clients. These are things you might not ordinarily think of until you’re ready to do them:

  • Mentally run through a massage session ahead of time, thinking about what you need, what you’ll have to open or touch, and prepare as much in advance as you can. This should be easy for your regular clients.
  • Have all your supplies laid out before the client arrives. Any massage tools, essential oils, lotions, creams should be prepared and readily available ahead of time, so you do not to open cabinet doors or storage containers during the session.
  • Do you use a rolling stool for seated work? Make sure it is adjusted prior to each session for each client, so you do not have to touch it to make the adjustment during the session.
  • If you have time before your first session and have not done so yet, practice with a mask on for at least one full massage session. This will help you to determine what you may need to do to make sure your mask fits comfortably, and that you do not have to adjust it during the session.

I believe it is also important to take time to remind yourself why you became a Massage Therapist in the first place. Remember that sense of anticipation that you had when you first started working as a Massage Therapist? Or even that enthusiasm you had for the profession when you were a student? How about the feeling that you got when a client first fell asleep on your table, or when a client said to you, full of gratitude, that you’d relieved their pain or increased their range of motion? Remember that client testimonial that was submitted unsolicited and unexpectedly that made your heart full? These are the things of which you should remind yourself every day!

Take time and be gentle with yourself. Relax enough so that you are in tune with your soul and with that life force within you that brings about the desire to help others heal, to feel better about themselves. This is why we do what we do!

You’re ready. You’ve got this!

– Paul Mattson, LMT