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  • Massage Client’s Guide to Contagious Conditions

    contagiousThis time of year I often talk about cold and flu season and the need to stay home when you’re sick. I stick by that sentiment; you recover faster when you allow yourself to rest when you’re sick and you don’t infect others. If you get upset when others bring their contagion to you, it’s only fair that you don’t take your contagion to them.

    All That And More

    But there’s much more to containing your contagion than not going out when you’re in the throes of a nasty cold or bout of flu. When it comes to getting massage, there are a lot more conditions you need to be mindful of. Conditions like:

    • Athletes Foot – The fungus that causes athletes foot can be transferred to other people and to other body parts. If you have athletes foot please let us know so we can avoid your feet. If you want your feet massaged, some therapists will be willing to massage them while wearing gloves or if you leave your socks on. They will be pretty cheesed off at you if you don’t tell them you have it and they catch it from you.
    • Ringworm – Ringworm is also a fungus that can be spread to other body parts and to other people. It’s not cool to not tell your therapist you have it. Unless your entire body is covered in ringworm, we can still massage you while avoiding the infected area.
    • Fungal nails – That thick, yellow nail might be a fungal infection; you should really get it checked out. If it is fungal, you can pass it to us and we will be very unhappy. Very. Unhappy. If you tell us about it, we can either avoid the area or massage your foot/hand while wearing gloves or through your socks.
    • Shingles – If you have shingles, you need to tell your therapist. Shingles is caused by the virus that causes chickenpox. Only people who’ve had chickenpox, get shingles. If your massage therapist has never had chickenpox they could easily catch the virus from you which would cause them to contract chickenpox. Once the blisters scab, they are no longer contagious, but if you have even one blister that isn’t fully scabbed it’s possible to pass it on. It’s better to err on the side of caution and opt to not get a massage while you have an outbreak, or to disclose the outbreak and location to your therapist so they can make an informed decision about your massage treatment that day.
    • Cold, flu, bronchitis – If you’re coughing, sneezing, or have a runny or stuffy nose, please reschedule your appointment. Colds, flu, and viral bronchitis are contagious from roughly the day before you have symptoms until 5-7 days after symptoms appear. Bacterial bronchitis (much less common than viral) is contagious while you continue to cough or have other symptoms.
    • Pinkeye – Also called conjunctivitis, pinkeye is highly contagious and is spread through contact with infected eye secretions, like those that might end up on massage sheets and face cradle covers. Viral pinkeye is usually contagious for 3-5 days. Bacterial pinkeye is contagious until you’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Do NOT come in for a massage when you have pinkeye in the contagious phase. I’ll send you away, and so will any therapist who knows their pathology.

    Not getting massaged while you have a contagious condition is not only so we don’t get sick, but we appreciate NOT getting your crud more than we can say. With contagious skin and nail conditions it’s also possible to spread them to other parts of your body and I know you don’t want that. So, whether you reschedule your appointment or disclose your contagious condition out of altruism or selfishness, we are grateful either way.

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