The Corona virus, Wellness Professionals and Massage Therapists

Corona-virus Covid-19 pandemic:
Basic information and advice to the massage therapy community

The Coronavirus – Covid-19 is now a full-fledged pandemic. 

It is legitimate to count on the authorities to handle the situation and that there be a strong national and international response. 

However, that is not enough. We all have a part to play in the eradication of the virus. The scientific community is busy researching both a preventive vaccine and a cure; the authorities are giving directives; airlines are canceling flights. And us, in the massage and wellness community? What should we do? We must stop any activity which would be an impediment to social distancing; no matter how hard that  decision is. 

Our activity is by essence in person _ and in fact, that is one of the things I love about it. Our activities – especially in massage – are by essence non-distancing. 

Of all the things the world will lack, the absence of massages and caring human touch is undoubtedly one of the hardest ones. But it is now a necessity, for us, for the well-being of our loved-ones, and of all of society. 

Social distancing

It has become clear that social distancing is key to slowing down the spread of the virus as well as alleviating your local  healthcare burden.

There are examples of countries where social distancing was not, or not well, implemented, and the propagation of the Corona-virus strongly accelerated. In China, where the measures were absolutely drastic, the progress of the virus was virtually halted.

Projections in the US and Europe are alarming. In some countries, it is projected that more than half of the population will be affected.

In other words: by taking protective measures, including social distancing you actively contribute to the fact that IF you get infected – which is a probability – your hospital will be able to treat you. 

Important prevention information

– wash hands often, for 20 seconds, with soap. 
– use hydro-alcoholic gels to disinfect hands
– cough and sneeze in the crook of your elbow
– stay at least 1.5 meters away from all people
– do not shake hands or kiss
– use single-use tissue to blow your nose

Identify Symptoms

What to do if you have symptoms

What does this mean for massage therapists and spa staff?

As a massage therapist: it is highly suggested you stop your activity completely for the coming weeks, regardless of which country you are in.

If you have a spa: it is now time to close it. 

We understand how difficult this is. 

However, we are at a point where all humans are in the same boat. And we all have an active part to play. All of society, and human kind, is strongly affected. Daily lives are upset. And this is true for us massage therapists and wellness professionals as it is for everyone. 

Managing stress and anxiety from the Corona-virus outbreak

The situation is serious and it is normal to be anxious. 

Many factors may contribute to making you more or less stressed/anxious. However, what is certain, is that: 

Your actions make a difference.

Every time you apply preventive measures, you are actively contributing to

    • not contracting the disease
    • not passing the disease if you have it 
    • slowing the spread of the disease and not overburdening your healthcare system

Things you can do to feel less stressed:

In the wellness community, we all preach a healthy lifestyle, but we don’t always apply it. And yes, that includes me.

  • Meditate. In my case, I may take this odd moment in history to try and meditate more
  • Eat healthy. The kebab or pizza shop down the street are now closed ? Why not take this chance to get those fruits and vegetables
  • Live in the present: most of us – statistically – are not infected. Take a deep breath. We are OK today. Apply the preventive measures, and we will be fine

Forwarding information

Do not forward all the messages you receive by email or social media

Fake information propagates even faster than the virus.

This weekend alone I have received 2 messages with false or partially false information. The stakes are too high to forward anything you receive. Before forwarding, double check the information. A number of serious newspapers have departments dedicated to debunking fake information. You can check those.

For example
I received a message which was supposedly from a doctor named Muriel Alvarez in a hospital in Nantes (France). Instead of forwarding it I simply googled the issue. In 15 seconds I found an announcement on the site of the hospital that denied this information.

We can ALL do this. And the stakes are sufficiently high that we SHOULD all do this.

Where to get information

Using serious sources is important to be able to take appropriate measures. Below are some examples, and you can also check with your local authorities: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior etc. 

The World Health Organization

The WHO should be one of your primary sources. 

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

This site is available in many languages. 

John Hopkins

Click map to get latest information

I hope this information is useful to the massage and wellness community. 

Stay safe, 

Julien Elis – New Massage Association
President