No one can deny the year 2020 and the first part of 2021 was extremely difficult for everyone involved in close contact services. However, there now seems to be a positivity that business and life, in general, are progressing towards some kind of normality. Whether you are just starting as a therapist or have been practising for many years, mental health and physical wellbeing are intrinsically linked and I have no doubt you will be in great demand.
But how are clients feeling about being touched again after such a long time and with the anxieties and stress the pandemic has created? They may be worried about the transmission of Coronavirus.
How can you alleviate those fears?
The best way is to provide your clients with the information they need so there are no surprises. Tell them what is expected when they arrive for their appointment, and what they can expect from you.
Before their appointment:
Draw up a Risk Assessment which you can email to them or talk it through, covering matters such as:
- Specific Covid-19 measures e.g.
- Explain the enhanced hygiene measures you have put in place, facilities for washing hands, washing of towels, and cleaning the room between clients.
- Explain the importance of ventilation of the room,
- what PPE you will be wearing e.g. apron, face mask, visor, gloves?
- How social distancing will be implemented i.e. distance between you and the client during the consultation,
- Provide a specific Covid-19 medical questionnaire beforehand for the client to complete
Confirm what the client needs to do on arrival at your home/clinic
- Will you take their temperature when they arrive?
- Do they need to wait outside until you call them in?
- Will the client be required to wear a face mask?
Giving the client, before any appointment, the opportunity to talk through with you, their concerns and how you will address them, will reduce the anxiety of not knowing what to expect and to know that you are aware of how they are feeling.
Hopefully, now the vaccination programme is being rolled out, many of the concerns will be alleviated although, of course, not everyone may want to have the vaccine. You need to consider how you feel about that too.
We all know the power of touch, and many people during the lockdown periods said the thing they missed the most was not being able to hug people. We need that physical connection for our wellbeing, it reduces stress and anxiety, and so a massage carried out in a safe environment should be welcomed.