As the world slowly transitions out of the lock-down phase of the COVID-19 crisis, millions of people are heading back to their hair stylists, favorite restaurants, sporting events, and massage therapists. For Phoenix massage therapy providers, this is very good news. It means massage therapy clinics, salons, and studios are no longer shuttered.
However, most public places of business in Arizona still have social-distancing rules in place, and some even require patrons and employees to wear masks. Most Phoenix massage therapy providers have seen a total drop-off in business during the quarantine, which means many are now booked solid from pent-up demand.
If you finally decide to get the bodywork you’ve been putting off for a few months, what kinds of safety precautions should you be aware of as you visit a Phoenix massage professional?
Here’s a short “cheat sheet” to help you evaluate the general safety level of any massage therapy studio or practitioner you visit:
- Clean hands: Massage therapy providers should always have clean hands, nails, wrists, and arms. In a post-virus scenario, it’s important to double-check on your therapist’s personal cleanliness quotient.
- Official license displayed on the wall: If you don’t see a current license displayed in a prominent place, don’t be too shy to ask to see it. Phoenix massage therapy providers shouldn’t hesitate to offer licensing information.
- Spotless floors and walls: You’re not out of line to expect a Phoenix massage space to be extra clean. That means floors and walls that appear to have been cleaned at least once in the past 24 hours. Musty odors or large areas of discoloration, while technically not illegal, are a sign that your provider might not be attentive to keeping your virus risk to a minimum.
- A fresh, clean mask: Even though local Phoenix massage regulations don’t require therapists to wear masks, doing so shows that your provider cares enough to make an extra effort for the sake of client safety.
- Covered lubricant containers: It’s standard practice for therapists to use the same large bottle of lotion throughout the day, as long as the container remains covered between uses. Be on the lookout for lotion containers that are, or appear to be, permanently opened, which is a practice that invites transmission of germs from one client to another.
- Clean clothing: Make sure the person who’s going to give you a massage, as well as others who work in the studio or clinic, are wearing clean clothing or uniforms. And if you notice the odor of non-laundered clothing even though it appears clean, consider going elsewhere for your bodywork services.
- Trimmed nails: Long fingernails are susceptible to a buildup of bacteria and other micro-organisms, so look for LMTs with trimmed, short, neat nails that appear to be professionally manicured. You’ll not have to worry about accidental scratches or transmission of viruses via dirty fingernails if your therapist has short, clean nails.
Paying close attention to general cleanliness makes perfect sense at a time when nearly everyone is still making sure to avoid getting sick. If you have any doubts about your LMT’s cleanliness, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Experienced, competent providers will answer quickly and willingly.