April 15, 2021.
Our practice remains closed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. While more people are vaccinated every day, the number of new positive cases in Michigan is growing at an alarming rate. Our primary causes for concern about providing/receiving massage at this time:
- BLOOD CLOTS are a real concern because COVID-19 can make blood cells more likely to clump up and form clots — even in people who never had health issues or a clotting disorder before. While large clots can cause heart attacks and strokes, much of the heart damage caused by COVID-19 is believed to stem from very small clots that block tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in the heart muscle. More than 50% of people who have COVID-19 won’t know because they won’t have symptoms, and therefore probably won’t get tested. If we don’t even know that we’ve had COVID-19, we don’t know that we’re at risk for blood clots. You should NOT receive massage if you’re at a higher risk for blood clots.
- AIR FLOW is extremely important for limiting risk of disease and poor mental function. Most of the offices and homes in which we were providing massage therapy do NOT meet the minimum air flow recommendations for a healthy environment.
- The new virus VARIANTS are making it easier to pass COVID-19 around, and they are here (in the U.S.).
Two quick resources to help right now:
- COVID – Can I Do It? — Select your location and your desired activity for current recommendations.
- Prevent COVID-19 + Optimize Health — A video interview about how the air in our homes, workplaces, and schools contributes to disease, poor mental function, and is putting us at higher risk for COVID-19.
Send an e-mail with questions, concerns, and feedback to AutumnB@EasternMarketWellness.org — scholarly sources also available upon request.
STAY TUNED for the next update, which will include details about changes in our practice and goals for reopening.
Our primary cause for concern over practicing massage therapy during a pandemic that involves airborne transmissible diseases:
- Maintaining 6ft (about 2m) of physical distancing in our work is not possible. Current studies prove that the 6ft rule is outdated, and we really should be 12ft (about 3.5m) *or more* away from others we don’t live with. https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3223
- Unless you can guarantee your room is exceptionally well ventilated and achieving 12 or more air changes per hour, coupled with an exhaust fan running and humidity levels between 40-60%, it is not safe to share it with someone who does not live with you, even if you are both masked. (Imagine how easily one lit cigarette or cigar can fill an entire house with the odor of smoke. This virus works in a similar fashion, only you cannot smell or see it. It permeates everything it comes into contact with.) https://www.cambridge.org/…/CF272DAD7C27DC44F6A9393B051…
- Spending more than 5-15 minutes in close contact with someone who does not live with you is very dangerous, even with masks. This risk increases the less fresh air and sunlight there is, and more consistently warm the environment is.
- Verbal communication in the room during service is essential, and yet not advised because the virus is airborne, and even breathing in the same enclosed space is considered unsafe. Talking, crying, or laughter increase that risk. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/coronavirus…/…
- 40-45% of COVID-19 cases are spread by asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers, so screening for safety is only 60% effective or less, and is highly dependent on how honest and aware your clients are about the virus, how it works, their exposure and their behaviors. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-3012
- COVID-19 often manifests with hyper-coagulation, meaning blood clots are easily formed and heat can contribute to that phenomenon. While this immune response is not exclusive to this virus, we must treat all clients as if they are at risk of having a stroke, which means all high pressure, scraping, cupping and heating techniques need to be avoided. Even if they are survivors of COVID-19, this is something we must take into account. https://www.hematology.org/covi…/covid-19-and-coagulopathy
[Julie Tudor. “A Brief Review.” Facebook, Massage Health Practitioners and COVID-19, https://www.facebook.com/groups/covidandmassage. Accessed 13 Dec 2020.]
During this unprecedented time (in our lives) of panic for most and prosperity for few, I offer my deep, sincere appreciation for your patience and understanding of my decision to remain closed for business. I welcome your questions any time!
Although our government and industry leaders are being pressured into reopening the economy quickly rather than safely, the data clearly show that it is not yet safe for ME to provide massage therapy services to YOU.
Thank you for trusting me to understand my scope of practice within the current pandemic. My primary concern as a licensed healthcare professional is ensuring your safety. Please reach out with questions, concerns, updates, or simply the need to connect. We can make it through this together, and only TOGETHER!
• COVID – Can I Do It?
• Rt Live — Up-to-date Rt values, a key measure for how fast the virus is growing.
• COVID-19 Projections Using Machine Learning
• World Health Organization (WHO)
• Metro-Detroit COVID-19 Support Facebook group
• Hey Y’all Detroit provides food and resources to residents in the disenfranchised communities of Detroit.
• Science Literacy — a FREE, online class offered by the University of Alberta!
• COVID-19 Related Complications: Implications for Massage Therapy — Some very important considerations.
• Cloth Masks to reduce COVID19 transmission, written by an aerosol scientist.
• An Open Letter about Re-Opening – to Massage Therapy Employers — A well-respected educator in the massage industry calls us to task with this important read for everyone.
Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-114 opening massage therapy, esthetics, hair salons, barbershops, and nail professionals as of June 10, 2020, in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The rest of the state opens June 15, 2020. Guidelines are issued in section 11 of the Executive Order. Industry-specific guidelines and public health guidelines will be posted shortly.
Legislative Update from ABMP: Michigan COVID-19 State Update—June 1 update and clarification for massage therapists
Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-69, closing businesses offering non-essential personal care services including hair, nail, massage, and traditional spa services through May 28, 2020. This does not include services necessary for medical treatment as determined by a licensed medical provider.
Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-99, extending the stay at home order through June 19, 2020.
Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-77, extending the stay at home order through May 28, 2020.
Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-67 and Executive Order 2020-68, clarifying that a state of emergency and disaster remain in effect across the state of Michigan through May 28, 2020. The governor will evaluate the continuing need for the orders prior to expiration, and terminate the states of emergency and disaster if the threat and danger has passed.
Executive Order 2020-59 extended Governor Whitmer’s stay at home order through May 15, 2020.
Legislative update from ABMP: Michigan COVID-19 State Update for Massage Therapists
Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-42 on April 9, 2020, announcing the extension of Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through April 30, 2020. The order requires all workers who are not necessary to sustain or protect life to stay home.
Executive Order 2020-20 was issued, which states: “To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, protect the public health, and provide essential protections to vulnerable Michiganders, it is reasonable and necessary to impose limited and temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation.” The Executive Order clarified an earlier order that imposed such restrictions by clarifying which facilities are deemed “non-essential.” The order continues: “Beginning as soon as possible but no later than March 22, 2020, at 9:00 a.m., and continuing until April 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., the following places of public accommodation are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public … Non-essential personal care services, [including] hair, nail, tanning, massage, traditional spa, tattoo, body art, and piercing services, and similar personal care services that require individuals to be within six feet of each other. This does not include services necessary for medical treatment as determined by a licensed medical provider.”
Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios and spas all need to be shut down between March 16 and March 30.