• Should I Cancel my Massage if I’m Sick?

    sign with question "should I cancel my massage if I'm sick?"

    Short answer: Yes.

    Long Answer: Yes, please.

    You and I both know that massage is great. But you might not know that it’s not always a great idea.

    As cold and flu season approaches again, it’s important that you know when it may be necessary to cancel your appointment.

    Why Cancel? 

    When you’re sick, your body needs rest. But when you get a massage, you’re not really getting rest. Receiving massage is an active task. It causes change in the body. That’s why you come in for massage right? Because you want to change something… make something less tense, lengthen some muscles, get rid of your headache. Getting a massage when you’re sick takes your body’s attention away from fighting infection and puts it on creating change and maintaining overall stability in the face of that change. That’s no good.

    You’re not going to be all cozy on the massage table. Ok, you’ll feel nice and cozy lying on the warm squishy massage table. But the moment you put your already-stuffy head into that face cradle, you’ll realize the error of your ways. As I like to say, “You’ll only make that mistake once.” Gravity and pressure are not your friend here. Even if I do a great face massage to drain your sinuses, you’ll likely feel worse when you get off the table.

    If you’re one of the kind-hearted souls who doesn’t want to cancel because I’d lose the income for that session, let me be the first to say, “Thank you for thinking of me.” Truly. But… You could pass your contagion on to me and make me sick as well. And that’s a problem for 2 reasons. First, I don’t like being sick. Second, when I get sick I have to cancel clients and take a few days off work. That means instead of losing income from one massage, yours, I lose income for several days. I work for myself, with no paid sick days to compensate for lost wages. Sure, as a responsible business owner I have a fund for these situations. But I would rather use that fund for a continuing education class, some Harry Potter sheets for the massage table, or even an extra couple vacation days. So I’m gonna try to stay germ-free this winter.

    Another thing to consider: Since most of the common winter viruses are contagious even before symptoms show up, I could pass the cooties along to more clients before I even know it’s happening.

    So let’s make a deal. You’ll cancel so as not to infect me and my massage room, and I’ll do the same for you. We’ll keep each other healthy. OK?

    When to cancel

    1. If you’ve had nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in the past 24 hours, or are still feeling crappy from a recent bout of such things.
    2. If you’ve had a fever in the past 24 hours, or fever-related symptoms. This includes chills, aches, and fatigue. Even if you’re keeping the fever down with medicine, you’re still sick. The fever counts.
    3. If you are itchy, runny, and/or sneezy, and you’re not 100% certain it’s seasonal allergies. And even then, allergies may leave you so miserable that the hour on my table would be wasted time and money for you.
    4. If you are coughing constantly, or just a lot.
    5. If someone in your household is ill and you are feeling at all funky, please cancel.

    There is often some gray area here, especially if you are in the recovery phase of a virus or bacterial infection.  If you’re unsure about your situation, please call me before your appointment and we can make a decision together.

    Unlike some massage therapists, I don’t charge if you cancel due to illness. I understand that the body rarely gives 24 hour notice that it’s about to get sick. It’s usually a case of going to bed feeling fine and waking up feeling like something ran you over.  However, if you claim illness as your reason for cancelling and I then see your skiing pics on Instagram*, I may not be so understanding the next time.
    *This has literally never happened to me, but one hears rumors of it happening to other therapists, so I’m just covering all my bases.

One Response so far.

  1. SC says:

    Great! Most patrons are still clueless of this fact. It is very encouraging to read such posts from fellow therapists who inform, educate and remind.