On Friday, Governor Phil Scott announced that “close-contact” businesses including tattoo parlors, massage therapy, fitness centers, and nail salons may start to slowly reopen as of June 1st. A “close-contact” business is one in which it is impossible to maintain the 6-feet social distance standard while conducting business. The governor has made this announcement as a means to restart the economy of Vermont in as safe a means as possible. However, not all “close-contact” businesses have the same level of risk to both clients and practitioners.
Based on both the contagious nature of the virus and especially the documented increase in risk of clotting and stroke, I believe it is inappropriate for Stillpoint to open for direct client care at this time.
We have learned that otherwise asymptomatic individuals are presenting with clots in atypical areas (in veins as well as arteries, clots in the brain, etc). Pre-pandemic, clotting and stroke risks were disqualifiers for most types of massage. A trained massage therapist could properly screen for these risk factors and take precautions as necessary. Clotting issues related to COVID-19 are not something we can screen for at this time. Thus, we cannot safely make educated decisions that are in the best interest of our client’s health. The potential risk to clients is too high for me to believe that I can ethically provide massage.
At this time, there is no way to look into the future and know when it will be safe to resume massage therapy. This may be a few months or it may be until a vaccine is created and widely distributed. I am deeply saddened about this decision to remain closed. But, it the best choice with the safety of my clients in mind.
In the meantime take a look my “Touch Without Touching” post for an option that we can safely choose until it is safe to resume massage therapy.
Most resources on COVID & clotting: