Sanitation has always been something important at Massage Ministration. I routinely diffuse DoTerra’s On Guard in the room, which has a sanitizing effect in the atmosphere. I’ve also been putting On Guard in everyone’s essential oil mix because it’s been scientifically proven to boost the immune system. I'm mixing up a batch of oils from a recipe that warded off the plague in the Middle Ages to anoint clients with as well.
In addition to wiping down the table, bolsters, face cradle, room surfaces, and door knobs with bleach, I'm now also wiping down all door knobs you touch to get into the massage room and paying more attention to sanitizing the shared restroom and everything we touch in there. In addition, I’m giving folks their own disinfectant wipe to use as they leave the building.
I've always had a policy that doesn't penalize anyone for canceling if they're not feeling good because massage can intensify the proliferation of any virus, and the point is to feel better, not worse, as a result of a massage. If someone comes in sick, it’s not just me who might be affected. I might pick up and carry a virus that’s asymptomatic for me that I might inadvertently give to another client whose system is more fragile. So it’s not all about you when I tell folks, “DON’T COME IF YOU’RE FEELING THE LEAST BIT SICK or feel like you might be coming down with something.” To be honest, this is also simple self-preservation: if I get sick, I can’t work.
The thing I love about my clients is that they’re all beautiful, thoughtful people. I trust them to do the right thing, and they do! Any virus that might be lurking about the office despite our best efforts will be met with me, armed with sanitizing essential oils and bleach.
The other thing we can all do is wash our hands properly using ample soap, rubbing all surfaces on the hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds. I wash my hands (on up my forearms) like this before and after each massage, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
Also, if we have to cough or sneeze, we should do so into our elbow. Here's why.
You've also no doubt noticed that hand sanitizer is in short supply in all stores. Not to worry! It's quite simple to make your own. The recipe is above. Go to a local discount store and get aloe vera gel from the sunscreen section. Grab some 90% rubbing alcohol and reuse some old bottles to put it in. I got some travel size bottles from the travel-size bins to put some in so that I'd have it readily available in my car, purse, office, etc., during those times when I couldn't wash my hands. Remember, hand sanitizer is to be used when soap is not readily available. It's a last resort, not your first line of defense. Good old-fashioned soap is our best friend.
When you're out in public where you'll be touching a lot of surfaces, you might want to consider wearing gloves. Just be sure that you DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE, NOSE, EYES, OR MOUTH! This is probably the most important and most difficult thing to do.
Diligent, vigilant, and thoughtful of others, we can face any viral threat together. The massage room may be one of the safest places around since it has the cleanliness of a medical office without all the sick people in it.
Teresa Eisenlohr is a licensed massage therapist who's also an ordained Presbyterian pastor with a Ph.D. in Christian theology. Needless to say, it's been a weird and interesting healing journey.