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  • Are You Too Sick to Get a Massage?

    Too sick for massageCold and flu season is well underway, and that means lots of people are out and about while sick. They’re going to work, doing the grocery shopping, going to the library, and going to all kinds of entertainment venues. They’re also going to the doctor, dentist, salon, and massage therapist. They go out in public coughing, sneezing, and blowing their nose and then touching all sorts of things without washing their hands. Eeeeewww… I know they’re not trying to make everyone around them sick, but that’s often the result.

    I can’t do anything about it if you want to go to work while you’re sick and infect all your coworkers, or if you want to go to public places and infect a bunch of people you don’t know, but at least cough into your elbow or shoulder… please.

    What I can do is give you some guidelines regarding when to reschedule your massage appointment. You see, germs spread easily in closed, confined spaces, and as much as we want to help you reduce your pain &/or stress level, we also want to stay well enough to help the rest of our clients, too.

    Please, reschedule your massage appointment if you:

    • Have a fever
    • Have a runny nose (besides, the sound of you snorting your snot back up your nose is distracting and sometimes nauseating)
    • Have a stuffy nose
    • Are coughing
    • Are sneezing
    • Are on antibiotics for a respiratory infection
    • Have pneumonia
    • Have a cold
    • Have the flu
    • Have some other contagious disease
    • Are feeling like you’re coming down with something

    I think that’s a pretty good start. I think I speak for all massage therapists when I say that we spend a lot of time with people in small, enclosed spaces and it is very easy to pass germs in those close quarters. I know you probably really, really want your massage, but when you’re sick, massage can actually make you feel worse. You don’t want that do you? Besides, many massage therapists, myself included, will turn you away if we feel you’re either too sick to receive a massage or that you pose a risk to our health. I guarantee you will be more disappointed if you drive all the way to your therapist’s office and get turned away than if you’d just called and rescheduled.

    Be well, and if you’re not… stay home and rest. You’ll get better a lot faster that way. I promise.

6 Responsesso far.

  1. I often really enjoy your posts, but as a massage therapist and a person with chronic sinusitis, I find this one a little over the top. If I were to stay home any time I had a stuffy nose, I would never get a massage, since I have one every day of the year. The same goes for many of my clients, especially people with hay fever.
    What you’re really trying to do here is tell people who are sick that they should not get a massage. Of course, you don’t intend this for those with noncommunicable problems, but it comes across that way.
    BTW, I don’t mean to be mean, but if the sound of someone “snorting your snot back up your nose is distracting and sometimes nauseating,” then I don’t think you should be a massage therapist. People laying on their faces always become stuffy and often sniff and snort. What about smelly feet, bad breath, and all of the other things we regularly encounter?

  2. Oh, I absolutely was NOT thinking of allergies when I wrote this. I am really sorry that you didn’t like this post.
    I see a lot of people who try to tell me that they don’t have a cold, they’re just a little stuffy today or for some reason their nose is a little runny, but when asked say that they don’t have any allergy or sinus issues normally. The next time I see them, they tell about the horrible cold they just got over. Those are the people I had in mind when I was writing. I should have been clearer as to that.
    As to snorting their snot, the normal amount of snuffling from being face down doesn’t bother me. It’s when their nose is running like a sieve and they refuse to accept a tissue to blow their nose into (insisting that it’s “not that bad”) that it gets bad. An hour of long, gurgling, non-stop snorts can indeed be distracting. Normal smells and sounds, no problem.

  3. I imagine being “sick” does “suck”. Perhaps you need someone to proof read before printing. My husband & I did get a chuckle though. In all fairness, it was a good article. Thanks for the sharing.

  4. Sorry Connie, I’m not sure where you’re talking about. I do have a proofreader for each post to catch typos like that. I did use the find function and put in “suck” and it could not find the word in this post.

  5. The email from Custom Craftworks:

    some guidelines regarding when to reschedule your massage appointment.

    Are You Too Sick to Get a Massage?

    Cold and flu season is well underway, and that means lots of people are out and about while suck. They’re going to

  6. I wonder if it was a snafu on Custom Craftworks end; the email that I received from the original post said sick. That’s an interesting conundrum.

    Btw, I had no idea they forwarded my blog via email, so I’m happy to hear about that!