This post is adapted from a message sent to ABMP members on Friday, March 6, from ABMP president Les Sweeney. We will be compiling the information regarding COVID-19 within this message, and updating that list with the latest as the situation develops.
I hope this note finds you well. As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreads in the United States, we all share in this unprecedented moment of concern and uncertainty about what will come next. I would characterize my own feelings as cautious and concerned, but not panicked (no point in that, since that won't help).
Here at ABMP, our focus as always is to meet the needs of our members and perform our duties with excellence. And an important part of this is doing so with our entire team's safety and health at the forefront. We haven't had to make any great concessions yet—maybe not as many high fives and some extra diligence in washing our hands. Our thoughts are with all of you who earn your living through human touch. We have begun to receive questions about safety practices and guidance on giving massage. An issue like COVID-19 clearly represents a potential threat to our normal way of life, and for many clients that might mean questioning whether to receive massage or bodywork—and whether to give massage or bodywork, in your case.
Unfortunately, there is no guidebook or directive to let us know the absolute correct answer, or even when that answer might change. The Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and World Health Organization (www.who.int) are our guiding authorities when it comes to health issues. At this point, they are encouraging good hygiene (something massage and bodywork professionals are steeped in already) and to avoid contact with others if you are sick (always good practice; critical in these times). Neither of those directives suggest not getting massage if you are in good health. I got my regular massage this week and intend to keep doing so.
We are doing our best to make sure we have helpful and pertinent up-to-date information on www.abmp.com. Here is an overview of material that we have shared thus far:
- 3/16: "Our New World with COVID-19. March 16 update from ABMP and Ruth Werner"
- 3/13: "Massage Therapy—Demonstrating how you are a safe space for your clients"
- 3/4: "A Massage Therapist's Guide to COVID-19" from Ruth Werner
- 3/4: "Disability Insurance and the Coronavirus"
- 3/2: "Coronavirus and Your Practice"
We wanted to let you know that your professional association is monitoring the situation and, as always, is focused on providing you outstanding service and support. We wish you good health.