Being A Massage Therapist in the Time of Covid19

When a common story became all too real.

MaryRose Denton
Change Your Mind Change Your Life
9 min readApr 4, 2020

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

My story is not unusual right now. Yet, in my telling it I hope to lend my voice to the conversation and perhaps it will have a small amount of power to evoke change. With over 12,000 massage therapists in my state, we are left to grapple with the question, “Do I stay, or do I go?

Being a massage therapist in the time of Covid19

At the beginning of February, I celebrated my birthday with my family and as I always do, I reflected on the year past as well as the one to come. I was full of hope, feeling grounded and comfortable in my own skin. I never would have conceived what the next few weeks would bring to our world or the impact on my profession as a massage therapist.

Stories were beginning to reach the news of the widespread Covid19 outbreak in China and in late January there had been one reported case in my home state of Washington. But that was an isolated case, right? Where someone had traveled back from China? How very little we understood the far-reaching impact this virus would have on each, and every one of our lives.

By late February, as cases grew, it became common to go to a doctor’s appointment, the dentist, or chiropractor and be “screened” with a handful of questions.

“ Have you experienced a fever or a cough recently? Have you been around anyone with a fever or a cough? Have you traveled overseas in the past 14 days?

Both in my private practice as a massage therapist and in the spa where I work part-time, we began vetting clients with these same questions. Disinfecting everything inside the treatment room became a regular ritual in between each client. We suddenly became uber aware of everything we touched.

After a client coughed directly into my face, I devised a new protocol to my sessions. Along with the screening questions, I explained to my clients I would be doing most of the 60 or 90-minute sessions with them face down. It’s fairly easy to adapt to performing a full body massage prone. I continued, letting them know this new policy was for their protection and mine. I then offered them a squirt of hand sanitizer, so they knew and I knew…

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MaryRose Denton
Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Writer/Speaker/Advocate, Come join me as I make a life by doing something with total love & pure soul. maryrosedentonwriter.com or maryrosedenton8@gmail.com.