Everyone is stressed right now due to the pandemic. Understandably, those who have the means would want to get a massage. But is that safe right now?
Whether a person would risk getting a massage right now or not, many things today boil down to the willingness of that person to take that risk of getting infected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) has released recommendations on how to conduct everyday activities safely. Sad to say, getting a massage was not one of them. After all, if it is not essential, then probably one should not do it.
So, is it safe to get a massage today? Although the CDC does not specify anything about physiotherapy, that does not necessarily mean that it is not safe. Here is what experts have to say about that.
The Risk of Getting a Massage
The biggest risk in getting a massage is being in close contact with another person, the masseur. Since not all with COVID-19 show symptoms, it might be that either the customer or the masseur has been infected the virus, and getting a massage will most likely transmit it to the other person via respiratory droplets.
Aside from that is the risk of getting infected through touching surfaces, such as the massage table. It is known that the virus can live on surfaces for days and could spread the virus. But take note that this mode of transmission is not the primary way that the virus is transmitted.
What are the steps that massage companies are doing to ensure the safety of their customers?
In addition to the recommendations set by the CDC, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has established its own guidelines for masseurs to follow. The largest non-profit professional association of massage therapists has also put up some information online on what massage companies can do to ensure the safety of everybody.
For the masseurs, they recommended thorough cleaning and disinfecting of massage rooms as well as in communal areas. They also require employees to always use personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves.
Moreover, they also stressed the importance of proper hand hygiene and spacing out appointments per client to have time to sanitize the area and for better implementation of physical distancing.
They also encourage massage companies to allow cancellation if the client is showing symptoms of the infection. It is recommended to have the clients fill out forms before accepting them and encourage similar safety protocols to customers as well.
For customers to know if the massage studio is safe, it is better to talk to the company and ask for their safety protocols before showing up for an appointment.
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Is it safe to get a massage today with all the safety protocols in place?
Experts said that the risks of getting a massage these days could be lessened, but it can so far not be brought down to zero. Sadly, the word "safe" these days does not apply to a lot of things, and it depends whether the massage company follows health protocols or not or if a client follows it or not.
Some might think of getting it done at home, but Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said that is just trading one risk for another. Massage companies have put in place their health security protocols, which might not be 100% available when getting a home service.
Even with those precautions in place, some experts do not recommend getting a massage these days. After all, if it is not essential, then it is better not to do it at all than being sorry afterward.
In the end, it still boils down to how willing we are to risk and do activities amid the pandemic.