With the possibility of an epidemic, I’m seeing many people who are fearful of the coronavirus. As a business, I’ve already had to look at hygiene practices and, unsurprisingly, with the advent of this outbreak I’m not needing to make any changes. As therapists, we have been taught to be careful about the spread of infections and how to minimise them.

What I didn’t realise is that my clients don’t know what we already do to ensure we avoid cross contamination and reduce the risk of germs spreading.

What happens for a massage?

When you have a massage I use a clean sheet on the couch and a clean towel for every appointment. The face cradle, foot support and head cushion are also all covered by couch roll, or more recently, the old sheets which have been used on the couch and I want to repurpose.

 

At the end of a session the bottom sheet is scooped up and everything is bundled into a bag. Now, these bags don’t look the best but it’s because they have oil residue on them which is so ingrained it won’t come out even on a hot wash. I could replace the bags, but they serve a purpose and work well for the job I need them to do.

Any oil left from the massage is discarded, as it has already been used and cannot be used again. If I have a lot of oil left over, I may offer to put it in a container for you to use at home.

The towels are then washed on a 60 degree wash, which isn’t great for the environment, but it has to be high temperature for the oil residue to be removed. They are then returned to the clinic in a different bag, which has not been used for dirty items.

Before resetting the table, the face cradle is cleaned with Dettol – after looking at lots of different brands, I chose this one because it said it kills most viruses and bacteria.

What about other therapies?

If you have a reflexology session, everything is prepared before the appointment, so I don’t have to touch the cream tub once I have been working your feet. At the end of the session, the towels for the head and feet are removed, and again, taken home for washing and the re-usable cloths join the mix. The blankets aren’t washed after each session, but do head to the wash when I feel they need it.

Any Indian Head massage or Reiki also sees any towels taken home and added to the washing pile (I do quite a lot of washing each week!)

All glasses and oil bottles, cups etc that are used during a session are taken home and put straight in the dishwasher.

What else we do at the clinic:

  • We spot clean the centre when needed, taking care to make sure the toilet and sinks are sanitized, and we also have a cleaner who comes in once a month to cover anything we may have missed.
  • Before and after a session I wash my hands and have always followed the protocol for hand washing, to reduce the risk of leaving germs.
  • If you’ve had a session from me and I’ve coughed or sneezed, you may have felt me remove one hand. I don’t actually cover my mouth, but actually lift my arm so I can sneeze or cough towards my armpit (sneezing into my elbow is not a good idea as I sometimes use them for massage!)
  • In each room, and in reception we have tissues, so we can give one to clients’ if needed. There are bins in each room to discard them and if we suspect someone may have been harbouring germs we sanitise the door handles and any areas which may have been exposed.
  • In the event I find myself with a sniffle, I check my diary and my clients. I know some people are less likely to have an issue than others, and if I have clients undergoing chemotherapy or with a compromised immune system, I’ll contact them. If it is the beginning of a cold, I do message my clients. Depending on personal circumstances, some reschedule, some ask if I can wear a face mask, and some don’t mind. I’d rather give you the choice and let you decide which option is best for you.
  • I also hear from clients who have colds and don’t feel well enough to attend. And this is fine. I’d prefer you did this than come and sneeze all over me, also having a therapy in the early days of a virus can actually bring it out and make you feel worse. If you’re a few days in and feeling ok, then things like sinus drainage can be helpful. In these instances, I make sure my hands are cleaned even more thoroughly than usual after your session

Ultimately, our aim is to ensure you have a pleasant experience when you visit us and your risk of infection is kept as minimal as possible. If you every have any questions about our cleaning or your risk, just ask

 

 

Louise is an holistic therapist who owns Therapy Centre, BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers aromatherapy, reflexology, holistic massage, baby massage, reiki and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information, visit her website louise-morgan.co.uk