Hi Everyone,

This is my update for everyone about safety now that massage and yoga have reopened at Blue Lotus.  I ask all my clients now what their exposure to COVID-19 is and what type of social distance they have been maintaining.  I ask how they are keeping safe.  I feel that you should know the same things about me and how I am trying to keep you safe.

As a massage therapist and a yoga instructor I follow the principle of first do no harm.  In yoga it is called Ahimsa.  Ahimsa is the avoidance of harming any living creature through words, acts, or thoughts.

In massage on the first day they teach you non-maleficence and beneficence as our duties as therapists.  These duties are to do no harm and to only do positive good.  We are taught to always be client centered and put our client’s safety first.  Many of us have been struggling with how to fulfill those duties in the midst of COVID-19.

I re-opened Blue Lotus May 25 when we were allowed to massage again in Kentucky.  It was a nice slow start I had 2-3 massages each week the first two weeks open all were regular clients.  I learned how to manage my space and keep it sanitized for all my clients.  I have all the details for how I keep you safe at Blue Lotus below.

I returned to massaging at the chiropractor office June 8.  I am wearing a mask all day at the chiropractor office and sanitizing.  I see about 50 clients a week.  Most of these clients are 20-minute massages fully clothed.  All clients receive a temperature check and fill out a COVID-19 form before they come into the office.  They also wear a mask unless they are in a face cradle being massaged.

Whether I am massaging at Blue Lotus or at the chiropractor office there is always the chance that a client will have COVID-19 and be asymptomatic.  Unfortunately, that is the reality that we live in.

We now live in a world where we need to weigh the risks of the activities that we choose to participate in.  I want you to have all the information so you can make the best decisions for you.

Keeping you safe for Massage

I am checking my temperature daily.

When you arrive, I take your temperature and your hands get sprayed with Kentucky distilled bourbon sanitizer (thank you Neeley’s distillery).

I log your temperature in my notes for your visit.  You fill out a Respiratory and Medical Verification form.  It has the regular medical verification questions plus questions about covid symptoms that you might be experiencing, travel and potential exposure information.  This helps me understand risk.

The massage room is now decorated in a minimalist fashion.  Less things to touch or gather dust and germs.

I have the windows cracked open and a fan on to circulate air in the massage room.  One of the challenges for massage is that rooms are typically small and not ventilated.

The massage table has a covering so there is no contact between the client and the table warmer.  This ensures that the table warmer can be used and remains sanitary since it is covered with a barrier that can be sanitized.

I wear a mask the entire time you are in Blue Lotus.  Me wearing a mask helps keep you safe.

You will wear a mask inside Blue Lotus and when you are facing up on the table.  You do not need to wear a face mask when your face is in the face cradle (one torture is enough : ) )

After the massage is over you pay and leave.

After you leave, I sanitize all surfaces that were touched with bleach solution from the door that you enter, everything in the massage room and everything in between.

Sheets go into the laundry.

I change my clothes and wash my hands and arms down.

Once I am in clean clothing I put clean sheets on the massage table and reset the room.

I will be changing clothes between every client.

Typically, it will take 45 minutes between clients to get everything sanitized.

Keeping you safe for yoga

Bring your own mat to class.

Students should leave personal items on the table in the entry room or locked in their trunk to minimize use of surface areas.

Students should enter and wait in the first entry room at Blue Lotus keeping social distance.

When you arrive, I take your temperature and your hands get sprayed with Kentucky distilled bourbon sanitizer (thank you Neeley’s distillery).

After you have been checked in you can find a spot in the yoga studio.  Spaces in class are marked and students should unroll their mat directly behind the front marked spot and use the tape of the side as a guide to leave 6 feet of space each student and the instructor.

I will wear a mask throughout class since I will be talking.  Me wearing a mask helps keep you safe.

Class limit is 4 to ensure social distancing

I will distribute your props for the class.

There is now a Public bathroom and an Employee bathroom.  The half bath off the waiting room is for the public.

At the end of class you will leave your props at your spot in the yoga studio and they will be taken care of by the instructor.

Props are disinfected and cleaned after each class.

I sanitize all surfaces that were touched with bleach solution from the door that you enter and in the yoga spaces.

Part of the inspiration for this blog was my first COVID-19 test.  Someone that I know tested positive.  They are asymptomatic – got tested because of an opportunity not because of symptoms.  I had casual contact with them and several others that have lots of contact with them.  Even though the odds were slim that I would test positive I got tested.  I felt like that was the responsible thing to do.  I contacted everyone that would have been in my yoga class the next two days and let them know so they could decide if they still wanted to have class.  I waited for the results for 3 days.  The test came back negative.  In a day, my view of the world changed.  I realized how easily anyone can get the virus.  I realized that you may never know that you had contact with someone who has COVID-19 because they may not know.  I realized I could have COVID-19 and not know.

I slept on the couch for 3 nights and stayed socially distant with everyone in my house.  I had a better understanding of what the medical personnel dealt with when they kept socially distant from their spouses and kids when COVID-19 first arrived.  I realized I would not be able to go on vacation with my family this year because they are visiting my father-in-law and he is high risk.  Since I do massage and am in contact with so many people I can’t risk putting him in harms way.  One of my husband’s best friends is very high risk.  We had a conversation about no more visits until there is a solution for COVID-19 because I have contact with so many people and I have contact with my husband.  I started to understand the ripple effect on everyone.

I knew before this that once I was back to work I wanted to be tested regularly to ensure that I keep everyone as safe as I can – but now it was more real.  I had a better understanding of how important testing is to keep everyone safe.  With that first test I had a point in time baseline and could decide how regularity I should test to try and prevent me being a silent spreader.  I am not afraid of COVID-19 but I have respect for it and what harm it can do to people. This is why I am so careful.  I am careful because of everyone in all the circles of my life.  I return to Ahimsa, non-maleficence and beneficence – do no harm and do positive good.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions to help keep everyone safe at Blue Lotus and everywhere.  I am open to suggestions.