Massage in the time of COVID-19
Current Anticipated Open Date: June 15th, 2020
Update: May 24, 2020
I've decided to push back our opening to June 15th. While the state of Texas has allowed massage therapists to return to work, I feel strongly it is too early to safely receive and give massage.
I realize there are differing opinions on when how quickly our state reopens and what that will look like. As a massage therapist, doing no harm is an important ethical idea for us. Massage involves very close contact with another person for extended period of time. Social distancing of 6 feet is not possible. There are new issues with COVID-19 having clotting risks in seemingly healthy patients. Blood clots have always been a major concern in regards to massage, with potential to dislodge clots and result in death.
The CDC encouraged states to reopen in phases once they had 14 days of downward trending new cases. Texas, and Austin, are still maintaining a consistent plateau-like flow of new cases. I, personally, would like to see how case numbers are now that bars, restaurants and gyms have reopened before being in a small room with a person from outside of my household.
-Amber Prosceno, Owner + Massage therapist at Massage Evolved
Update: May 18, 2020
Today, Governor Abbott announced that massage therapists could re-open immediately. After reviewing health protocols from the Governor and consulting with leaders in the massage field, we have made the decision to delay re-opening.
If you'd like to schedule an appointment for after June 5th, please do so by selecting the book now option on the top right or drop down menu.
Update: May 12, 2020
The city of Austin's mayor has extended our Stay-At-Home order until June 1st. Travis County has extended their similar order to June 15th.
Currently, it is illegal to practice massage in the state of Texas per our Governor's orders. We have not been told an official, or estimated, re-open date. Due to the nature of massage work, being in an enclosed space for extended periods of time, we are being cautious in re-opening.
We currently anticipate re-opening on June 1st.
Update: May 6th, 2020
On May 5th, Gov. Abbott announced that hair, tanning and nail salons were allowed to re-open May 8th.
Massage therapy is NOT included in this category. In his executive order, he does not provide a specific date for massage businesses to re-open. Gyms are currently allowed to re-open at 25% capacity on May 18th. During the initial closure of businesses on March 20th, we were closed at the same time as gyms. We are anticipating being allowed to re-open at a similar time.
However, we MAY NOT OPEN RIGHT AWAY. We plan to honor our city's Stay-At-Home Order, which Mayor Adler has said he plans to extend beyond our current end date of May 8th. We also, personally, want to stay on the side of caution. With all the nooks and crannies in the massage rooms, we do not know if we can sanitize the whole space effectively. Our current plan is to watch how the Phase 1 re-opening affects cases over the next 2-4 weeks.
We are researching how to make our space as safe as possible, for clients and therapists. In doing so, we must order several items which are hard to obtain at this time (vinyl massage table covers, EPA-approved cleaning supplies, masks, UV-C lights, air filters, non-contact thermometers). Once it is safe to re-open, we will be limiting our clients initially and expanding our 'between client' time to allow for cleaning.
Update: April 27, 2020
Massage establishments will not reopen in Gov. Abbott's Phase 1 Re-opening. He mentions that Phase 1 will last "until at least May 18th".
During this time, our owner is researching and developing protocol that will allow clients and therapists to stay safe once we do begin taking clients.
Please stay safe, we look forward to seeing you soon! And trust me, we're overdue for massages, too!
Updated: April 19th, 2020
The city of Austin has extended their Stay-At-Home order until May 8th. Massage Evolved will remain closed until state, local, or licensing department orders are lifted.
Updated: March 30, 2020
Texas' Governor Abbott has ordered all non-essential businesses to remain closed until April 30th. Massage establishments are listed as a business required to close during this time. We hope to be able to see clients as soon as safely possible. If you are able, please consider purchasing a gift certificate or package to support us during this time.
If you are in dire need of relief from tension, pain or stress; please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We absolutely want to help in this strange time. We can recommend Youtube videos to try to relieve the issues at home.
Stay safe and take care!
Updated: March 24, 2020
In accordance with the city of Austin's "Stay-At-Home" order we will be closed until April 14th. Spas and massage establishments are considered non-essential businesses by the current city order (pdf).
Updated: March 19th, 2020
Effective today, Massage Evolved will be closed until April 1st. We feel that even with detailed cleaning and disinfecting, the risk to our clients and therapists is too great at this time. We hope that once testing in openly available to all, we can begin to see clients again.
While the state of Texas nor federal government have told massage therapists to close, our national professional insurance has advised Massage Therapists to shut down. Several other state boards, such as California, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania as well as Australia's national board have urged massage therapists to close temporarily.
Please watch your email or our Facebook page for update.
Be well and stay safe,
The owner and staff of Massage Evolved
Updated: March 16th, 2020
Massage Evolved has always held the health and wellness of our clients and therapists as our main priority. We are currently seeing clients who are healthy and are not a travel or direct contact risk for COVID-19.
We find it necessary to inform our clients what our actions and plans are at this time.
We are staying up-to-date on all announcements from the City of Austin, State of Texas and federal government.
Our current cleaning, disinfection and risk migration procedure is:
- Sheets changed after every client
- Linens and towels are washed with hot water and bleach.
- Blankets are washed after every client.
- We've removed our fleece headrest covers, so we can sanitize headrest cushions and mechanisms after every client.
- Therapists have always washed their hands and forearms before and after sessions.
- Therapists will be using hand sanitizer before a massage starts and as needed throughout the massage.
- We have hand sanitizer available at the front desk and all treatment rooms, and ask ALL clients to use as soon as they walk into the office and as needed throughout their visit.
After every client, we are disinfecting all headrests, massage equipment (hot towel cabinets, stools, tools, pillows, bolsters), oil bottles, chairs, counters, door handles, front desk area, payment devices, hand sanitizer pumps, water dispenser handle, light switches, and anything else that may have been touched.
We are switching to single-use water cups. Restrooms are cleaned at least every two hours. The office floors are being disinfected and steam-cleaned every evening.
In such a stressful time, massage is a chance for your mind to calm for an hour and work on tension that is building in the body.
If you feel unwell in any way, we ask you to cancel your appointment. We will refuse service to a client if they seem unwell. Please respect yourself, other clients and our therapists by staying home and practicing self-care in another way. We are happy to recommend videos for stretching or yoga.
If any of our therapists become ill, we will be cancelling any appointments they have until they are able to safely return.
Our current plan is to continue to see healthy clients until deemed too high a risk or a governing body decides we must close. If you have existing appointments, we will notify you should we be closing or need to cancel your appointment. As this is an evolving situation that changes daily, we will keep our clients updated as needed. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Our phone number is (512) 387-7037.
We wish you the best health,
Owner and LMT at Massage Evolved