“Massage therapists are expanding their online offerings — teaching clients self-massage and stretches, meditations, etc., utilizing distance healing over the phone or Zoom and other platforms,” she said. Some are “finding other jobs, going back to school, closing their businesses.”
She also hears from many who miss the hands-on benefits of massage. “Clients have realized how much they relied on massage therapy, not as a luxury ‘beauty’ service, but for pain relief, symptom management and mental health,” Ms. Gauthier said.
Karen Ciancetta, a licensed massage therapist in Schenectady N.Y., who has been in practice for more than two decades, recently began seeing clients again. “Many people contacted me over these months asking that I call them first when I start working again,” she said. “I have another contingent, several very regular clients, telling me they won’t be coming back for at least a year.”
“While it feels great to be back at the work I truly love, I am planning to go slowly,” Ms. Ciancetta said. She has spent the past several months keeping up with frequently changing Covid-related restrictions for reopening, including requirements from New York State and guidelines from the American Massage Therapy Association.
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 24, 2020
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- In the beginning, the coronavirus seemed like it was primarily a respiratory illness — many patients had fever and chills, were weak and tired, and coughed a lot, though some people don’t show many symptoms at all. Those who seemed sickest had pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome and received supplemental oxygen. By now, doctors have identified many more symptoms and syndromes. In April, the C.D.C. added to the list of early signs sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea and nausea, has also been observed. Another telltale sign of infection may be a sudden, profound diminution of one’s sense of smell and taste. Teenagers and young adults in some cases have developed painful red and purple lesions on their fingers and toes — nicknamed “Covid toe” — but few other serious symptoms.
Why does standing six feet away from others help?
- The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It’s a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it’s windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you’re far enough apart.
I have antibodies. Am I now immune?
- As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.
I’m a small-business owner. Can I get relief?
- The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don’t know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.
What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?
For current compliance, clients are asked to come only five minutes ahead of their appointment and leave immediately after to minimize wait room lingering in close quarters. Both she and her clients must wear masks throughout the session. She must do daily temperature checks and fill out symptom checklist questionnaires. She is also required to be tested for coronavirus every two weeks.
“Much is the same, at least for the client. And that is what I am working hard to achieve,” she said. She is looking into televisits and phone consults for the clients she knows well who don’t feel comfortable meeting in person.
“With someone whose body I have worked enough to really understand what they describe to me, I am comfortable without the additional information I get from my hands,” she said. “I could easily demonstrate a self-massage technique,” for example, placing two tennis balls in a sock and strategically rolling or lying on them to relieve back pain.