Can we recover and start massaging again after Covid-19 crisis ?
The world as we know it changed on March 23rd when the UK went into lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Schools closed, businesses shut and we were all told to stay at home, unless we were a key worker. Slowly, over the past three months, there has been a gradual easing of these lockdown restrictions as the country and economy try to recover and establish a new normal in the post-COVID-19 world. But one industry that is still suffering is that of massage therapy.
So, what is the future for massage therapists in the COVID-19 crisis? How are masseurs being affected and will these businesses ever reopen? Below we explore these questions and how masseurs and their business can move forwards during this pandemic.
The reality now
On June 23rd, Boris Johnson announced that hairdressers and pubs could reopen from July 4th, but no date was set for the reopening of massage therapists in the UK and there still is no date for when they can reopen. On the 23rd June, the guidance issued bu the government Close contact services: Guidance for keeping workers and clients safe in close contact services stipulated that close contact services such as massage therapy, nail bars and holistic therapies could not reopen.
The problem remains that with this profession it is difficult to maintain social distancing while carrying out treatments and as yet there has been so specific guidance on how to reopen safely. This was reinforced with advice given by the Federation of Holistic Therapists who asked their members not to offer their clients services during this time.
What changes could be made going forward?
All businesses have had to adapt and make changes when reopening to the public. The same will be true for the massage therapy industry. As of yet, there is no specific guidance from government, however, a massage business and COVID-19 crisis plan could involve the following measures.
All treatment areas will need to be deep cleaned between clients. Using disposable towel rolls and drapes will also be helpful, and if pillows are used, then these should be changed for each client. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will also become normal practice, very much in the same way as it has become for hairdressers, with the wearing of aprons and masks. Temperature checks may also be a useful tool.
How can masseurs protect their business from closing?
Even though the doors may be shut at the moment, there are a number of things that masseurs can do to keep themselves afloat during these unprecedented times. Although they can't physically place their hands on a client, they can offer consultations via Zoom or Skype. Online learning on self-care practices can also be another way of producing income until doors can open once more.
How can masseurs connect with new clients?
It is also important that masseurs look to the future. They will need to engage with potential new clients for when they can open once more. One of the best ways to do so is by social media. They can post about themselves, share knowledge, quotes and the equipment that they use. Social media can also be used to post promotions and future offers for when they are allowed to practice once more.
The future for massage therapies is uncertain. There is no date set for reopening and no guidance on how massage therapists can reopen safely. We will have to wait and see what guidance is put in place and how massage therapy will work in the COVID-19 world