I have a lot of strong feelings that are difficult for me to put into words. So much of this experience -- rooted in grief and trauma -- has been subjective, making it difficult (impossible, really) for each of us to remain objective.
I can't dictate what you should do. I can only present tools, opportunities, and resources so that you can decide what is best for you.
If nothing else, I implore you:
Resources I've Collected:
Make decisions not from a place of fear and anger, but with an informed, educated understanding.
- ABMP's "Back to Practice" letter of guidelines from the company's president, Les Sweeney.
- Healwell's Free On-line Course, "Back to Practice Guidelines (in Practice).
- BARBICIDE Certification Course -- a free on-line resource for salons and spas.
- A Google Document titled "Small Biz Resources for Massage Therapists during Pandemic Response," crowd-sourced and put together by practitioner Meg Donnelly from Virginia.
- US Small Business Administration's Coronavirus Relief Options.
- .PDF: US Dept of Labor, OSHA. Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- "Massage Therapy and Corona Virus: 4 Reasons Why Masks and Clean Surfaces Aren't Enough."
- YouTube Video: Dr. Duc C. Vuong "How COVID-19 Kills - I'm a Surgeon - And why we can't save you."
- The Thinking Practitioner Podcast: Episode 12, "The Cytokine Storm of COVID-19."
Big Names in the Massage Industry That I Respect and Listen To:
- Tracy Walton: "Since 1998, she has developed, taught, and continually updated Oncology Massage Therapy: Caring for Clients with Cancer. ... For over 13 years, Tracy taught physiology and pathology at the Muscular Therapy Institute (now Cortiva Institute – Boston) where she also served as Academic Dean and Chair of the Science Department."
- Ruth Werner: author of six editions of A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, from 1998 until now; writer for Massage and Bodywork Magazine with her column "Pathology Perspectives;" past president of the Massage Therapy Foundation.
- Til Luchau: "With a diverse background that includes manual therapy, somatic psychology, transformative education, as well as organizational and leadership development, Til's ability to connect interdisciplinary, big-picture ideas to practical, real-world applications has made his talks, trainings, and events popular worldwide."
- Whitney Lowe: "Lowe’s been in the profession for over 30 years. He is the author of the profession’s first accessible assessment text, 'Orthopedic Assessment in Massage Therapy.' ... He is a member of the editorial advisory board of the 'Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies,' and is a regularly featured author in publications such as Massage & Bodywork, Massage Today, and Massage Magazine."
- Diana Thompson: a licensed massage therapist for 30 years, specializing in post-operative care; author of "Hands Heal: Communication, Documentation and Insurance Billing for Manual Therapists," now in its fourth edition; a past president of the Massage Therapy Foundation, a philanthropic non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education, and community service.