Policy and Procedure Updates Related to COVID-19 Safety

Posted by on Mar 9, 2021 in On My Soapbox | 0 comments

While COVID-19 is still present in our community, our massage practice will operate with these changes to standard policies and procedures to protect staff and client safety.

No Walk-In Appointments: At this time, this practice will not accept walk-in appointments. Please call ahead to make an appointment.

Late Cancellations: We will wave the late cancelation policy for anyone who develops a fever or symptoms of illness. Please call to let us know you feel unwell and we will cancel your appointment without charging you a fee.

Client Guests: At this time, we will not allow client guests to wait for clients in the reception area or in session rooms. In the event the guest is a legal guardian of the client an exception is made.

Pre-Session Screening: Please expect a phone call or email health screening 24 hours before your massage appointment. We will ask:

  • Have you experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days or has a health professional asked you to self-isolate in the last 14 days?
  • Have you been in close contact with someone experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms or have you cared for someone testing positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
  • Have you been tested for COVID-19 in the last 14 days and if yes, what was the result?

Arrival Procedure: When you arrive at our facility we will follow a strict protocol to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff:

  • Please wait in your car.
  • We will send you a text message or call you when we are ready for you to come in.
  • We will greet you at the door and take your temperature with a no-touch thermal temperature reader to make sure you don’t have a fever.
  • We will ask if you have any symptoms of illness including a cough or digestive issues. If you have a fever or symptoms of illness we will reschedule your massage session to a later date.
  • We will ensure that you have a proper facemask and ask you to clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Should you not have a proper facemask, we will provide one.

We will escort you to the session room for your massage session.

While COVID-19 is present in the community we will focus conversation on communication necessary for ensuring a comfortable and safe massage.

If you develop symptoms of illness or test positive for COVID-19 within two weeks of your massage session, please call us immediately.

Thank you for your cooperation and consideration of everyone who uses the studio.

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Closed for COVID-19 Safety

Posted by on Apr 27, 2020 in On My Soapbox | 0 comments

In my 17-year massage therapy career, nothing has happened like COVID-19. I’m sure you feel the same shock waves I feel. It’s disconcerting and upsetting for all of us.

In the midst of all this uncertainty, there’s one thing I know for sure. It’s currently unsafe to give or receive massage as long as there are social/physical distancing requirements. Together, we spend 60-90 minutes completely within a 6-foot radius. That puts therapists, clients, their families, and anyone else who enters the massage room at varying degrees of risk.

 Right now, the distance requirements come from several sources:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • U.S. Federal Government
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)

I am developing plans for resuming operations in the future. But that still time looks quite distant. It’s also very much out of my control. Rather, the virus is the primary driver, along with the government agencies mentioned above.

Right now, my information sources are also various massage therapy organizations and experts. All of them are saying it is way too soon to consider opening. The safety risks are too great for everyone involved. Ethically, massage therapists agree to “do no harm.” Opening too soon is the opposite of this principle.

The organizations are developing recommended protocols. They all currently depend on readily available personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital-grade cleaning solutions. When these are no longer needed for primarily hospital and medical settings, massage therapy will begin to move towards opening.

The timelines look daunting for both clients and therapists. You need our hands, and we want to offer the help we can give. But life and health come first.

With all of these factors in mind, I guesstimate it will be six months before I can ethically and safely begin to see clients again. Because financial realities don’t include long-term rent with no income, I will move out of my Rohrerstown Road location by June 1. 

But I am not stopping my practice; just going on an extended pause. I am conserving money so I can reopen when it is safe. Even though I have no idea where, I know I’ll find a spot for us to meet again.

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Benefits of Post-Surgical Massage

Posted by on Oct 15, 2019 in Massage Topics | 0 comments

In 2019 I received training in post-surgical massage. As a former surgical patient, I understand the effects even minor procedures have on our bodies. Many of my clients also choose surgery to address a variety of injuries and illnesses. Offering massage options and benefits after surgery is important an important addition to my practice.

Post-Surgical Massage

Receiving massage after surgery offers the patient both psychological and physiological benefits. As soon as several days after surgery, I use lymphatic drainage techniques. These can reduce post-surgical swelling, bruising, and encourage lymphatic flow, which is essential to the healing process. 

Lymphatic massage is gentle and minimally invasive, always working around the surgical site. The client often experiences an increased sense of well-being, and better quality of sleep. They may even experience a release of endorphins, which increases feelings of relaxation.

After the incisions close completely and all scabs are healed, post-surgical bodywork focuses on reducing excessive scar tissue formation. At this stage, I combine myofascial release, soft tissue mobilization, and cupping techniques, depending on quality and location of the scar. 

Working gently with developing scar tissue, according to the client’s tolerance level, improves the appearance and comfort level of scars. A hardened scar will sometimes affect the fascia and muscle tissue around it, so post-operative massage aims to reduce this occurrence. I also teach clients ways to work on their scars at home, if desired.

Long-healed Scar Tissue

These techniques also address long-healed scar tissue, and may increase comfort while also improving the scar’s appearance. You can schedule scar work during other types of massage sessions or as a separate 30-minute session.

What to Expect

The initial post-surgical massage session begins with discussion of the procedure, as well as the challenges faced by the client. It typically lasts about 90 minutes. I’ll coordinate your massage plan with the treatment team, including physical therapists and surgeons, as needed. Following sessions last between 30 and 60 minutes depending on recommended techniques.

Further Reading:

https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/3834/helping-patients-after-surgery

https://www.verywellhealth.com/scar-tissue-massage-and-management-2696639

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How You Sleep Is How You Do Everything

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Holistic Pain Relief | 0 comments

Woman Cant SleepAfter writing last week about recovery days, I started thinking more about the importance of sleep to pain relief. My mentor, Fabienne Fredrickson of Client Attraction.com says, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I’d like to get more specific to holistic pain relief and say, “How you sleep is how you do everything.” But what does this really mean? To me, it means if you sleep well, you can spend the day feeling much more well. If you don’t sleep consistently or heavily, it’s hard to be consistent about anything you do during the day. If it hurts to sleep, chances are you are hurting during the day too.

Does chronic pain make sleep more difficult? Or does difficulty sleeping make chronic pain feel worse? Honestly, I don’t think it matters which is true—both situations make our lives more difficult if we can’t find a way to improve them. Plus, you and I both know that our friends and family don’t always understand what it’s like to live with chronic pain. Chances are, they also may not understand what it is to have chronically disturbed sleep. Jill Knapp writes in Huffington Post, “Most likely, a person in chronic pain isn’t sleeping as well as they should. This could be because they are in too much pain to fall asleep, or to stay asleep, or they are having anxiety over the fear of dealing with pain for the rest of their life.”

So what’s a person living with chronic pain to do? One thing you DON’T want to do is drink more caffeine. It’s our society’s go-to solution for that occasional sleepless night, but a 1997 study showed that patients with chronic back pain consume more than TWICE as much caffeine as patients without chronic back pain. In the same study, anecdotes also suggested that excess caffeine use may also be associated with chronic back pain. So not only does caffeine potentially increase your pain levels, but it can really mess with your ability to sleep. I know that when I was still drinking a mug of coffee in the morning, I was also taking a natural sleep aid supplement at night. When I quit the coffee, I no longer had a need for a sleep aid!

How about what you can eat that will make it easier to get a good night’s sleep? A 2012 study showed that the more varied your diet is, the better you will sleep. So try new healthy, whole foods and get plenty of variety throughout the day, week and month. As tempting as it is to have the same breakfast or lunch every day, this is a GREAT reason to switch it up regularly. The study also shows that getting more lycopene, selenium and vitamin C can improve sleep. The best sources of lycopene are grapefruit, tomatoes, papaya, and watermelon. There’s a lot of selenium in shellfish, turkey, brazil nuts, and some types of fish. And broccoli and kale are two fantastic sources of vitamin C!

Here’s another interesting idea to consider—be sure to brush your teeth immediately after you awake. Why? Because arthritis has been linked to the bacteria gingivitis—it’s actually been found IN THE JOINTS of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis!

Let me know how these ideas help—and what do you do to help improve your sleep?

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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Using Recovery Days to Help Relieve Chronic Pain

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Holistic Pain Relief | 2 comments

Man SleepingWhat does a “recovery day” mean to you? Before I started dealing with arthritis, I didn’t know what one was. Now they are an integral part of my life and my holistic pain relief treatment plan. A recovery day is when you specifically schedule complete down time after a busy day or a busy week.

Athletes use recovery days to indicate a time when their body will heal and repair from intense training. For people living with chronic pain, it serves much the same purpose. We all need recovery days so that our bodies and minds can heal and repair—and this is truly essential to our survival.

Just a few days ago, I was talking with a client who shared that “all she did was sleep” and that her “energy level was almost non-existent.” As we started to break down her schedule during the week, I saw that she was using the recovery day idea entirely appropriately. She would have a busy day or two, and then follow with a slow paced recovery day. We also looked at all the things her body and mind have been through in the last year—moving homes twice, a major injury, plus managing chronic illness. This meant that a lot of healing was necessary in a more long-term sense as well.

However, understanding the purpose and use of recovery days is only one piece of the puzzle. The other piece is realizing that we don’t have to feel guilty for needing a recovery day now and again. Guilt about taking time to heal can really slow your body’s ability to do exactly that. On one hand you are supporting your body to feel better, while on the other hand you are saying to yourself, “I’m not sure I really deserve this time to recover.” This is called “chaotic vibration.” It’s like putting your foot on the brake and the gas at exactly the same time—and just as destructive for your body as it is for your vehicle!

So I am here to encourage you to look honestly at your calendar, and then really sink into how your body feels physically at this moment. If you need more recovery time, practice scheduling those breaks into your week. If you’re feeling relatively well, then consider giving yourself some preventative down time.

Be as gentle with yourself as you would be with your very best friend in the world. Because no one is more important to you than YOU!

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