Best Practices for LMT’s Moving Forward

Best Practices and some things to think about as we emerge from COVID-19. You may need to add extra protocols to accommodate your individual practice. If you work as an employee or contractor

Ask yourself the following questions BEFORE going back to work:

  • How can my treatment room be adjusted to become a safer space for myself and my clients?
  • What PPE’s (Personal Protection Equipment) will I use?
  • What clients will I see, and when?
  • What will my new procedures be between clients and how do I need to adjust my schedule to allow for
    enough time to use these new procedures between clients?
  • How will I communicate all of this to my clients most effectively?
  • How can my treatment room be adjusted to become a safer space for myself and my clients?
  • Is my employer making the effort to keep safety on the forefront?

Things to think about: surfaces (removing soft surfaces that cannot be cleaned), protocol between clients
(what will be changed and cleaned), cleaning solutions.

a. Evaluating your treatment room: Take photos of your treatment room, and begin to look closely at each one. What do you see that needs changing – make a list.
b. Exposure between clients
-Do you store linens or towels in your treatment room? If so, these will need to be contained to prevent
clients from contaminating the linens that will be used on other clients. Do not stack sheets – ever.
c. Decreasing and removing soft surfaces and using hard surfaces
-Do your clients come in and sit on a surface you cannot sanitize?
-Is your tissue box in a protective case you can sanitize
– Do you need to remove your sheepskin or heating pad? Can they be cleaned between clients?
d. Sanitizing/Cleaning
-What areas can you sanitize between every client, and how long will this take you?
e. What in the photos can you NOT sanitize?
Consider removing these things from your space… this may include upholstered furnature and any textile that can be exposed, paper products, pens, non-massage decorative items,

What PPE’s will I use? 
The PPE’s you choose will protect you from your clients and protect your clients from you. Think of creating a barrier to avoid droplets from passing between you and your client during your time together, and possibly to the next client

aMasks: will you wear a clothe mask, paper mask, or N-95
-Will you wear a mask for all clients, or just clients in a certain category of risk?
-Will you ask clients to wear a mask?
b. Clothing:
-Will you wear a smock or lab coat and change this between clients?
-Will you wear normal uniform but change this between clients?
-Will you keep all “work” clothes at work and change before returning home?
-Will you wear a surgical cap, or something to cover your hair?
c. Thermometer: 
-Will you take your temperature daily to help keep clients safe?
-If you decide to take your clients’ temperatures, do you need to purchase a hands-off thermometer? (can’t use inter-oral)
d. Sanitizing:
-Hand sanitizer available for you and the client before, after, and during the session

What clients will I see, and when? Consider how to return to practice safely. Which clients do you see
who are low-risk and begin with seeing them… we cannot completely eliminate exposure in a treatment room, consider this before you begin to work on highly vulnerable clients (elderly, those with lung problems/immune comprised, etc)

a. Develop a list of questions to ask your clients
-Do you have any known exposures?
-Have you traveled the last 14-days?
-Have you visited any: Nursing homes, Rehab/Convelescent homes, prison, hospital
-Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: Fever, cough, aches, tightness in chest, shortness of breath, reduced smell/taste capibility,
-Have you been self-isolating or going to work? where?
-Do you have any underlying lung or health issues that put you in a high risk category for catching COVID-19?
-Do you understand the potential risk of receiving bodywork, despite the precautions?
-Is there anything I can do to make you feel safer in my care?

What will my new procedures be between clients and how do I need to adjust my schedule to allow for enough time to use these new procedures between clients?

a. What to change?
-Take everything off your massage table (sheets, blankets, undershoots) and wash in hot water and hot
dry between clients
b. What to sanitize? Make a list to follow between clients so you don’t forget!
-All hard surfaces! Begin with the massage table and face cradle and move out from there. This includes:
table, face cradle, bench/chair client sits on, hooks client places clothes on, stool you sit on (and lever to
adjust), bolsters used, kleenex box holder, desk, credit card machine, lotion/oil bottles you have
touched/used, light switches, door handles, etc.
-Air? Consider purchasing a HEPA air filter to help keep the room clean
-Carpet? Consider placing a hard surface (mat) over carpet under face cradle, this would make the area
the client breathes (while prone) cleanable.
c. How long will this list take? Try it and time yourself! Also, consider extra time to talk with clients and if
you want to take this time out of their massage session time or put it in your buffer.
d. What laundry and trash protocols will you change?
– used linens will need to be kept away from treatment area and other clients – can you do this?
– If you do your laundry at home, do you have steps in place to keep from others and to sanitize properly?
– Trash will need to be emptied between clients into a contained recepticle and then changed daily. Do not handle trash and used linens without gloves.
e. Employee Training
– Will you need to conduct training to any employees/colleagues of new procedures and protocols?
-Will you need to participate in new training at your place of employment?

How will I communicate all of this to my clients most effectively?

a. Email communication: carefully write out an email to send to clients before their appointments to
discuss how their session will look.
-Ask the questions above and any that pertain specifically to your practice
-explain if you will be taking their temperature before they enter the treatment room,
-explain the new procedures you are taking to keep them as safe as possible.
-Ask them if they understand the potential risks and if they still want to come in.
b. Have a speaking script prepared for those who communicate best by phone

Be comfortable with your new set of policies, a clean and ethical practice is a successful practice