Social Distant Massage Therapy & Bodywork Service Tips During Respiratory Pandemics, Outbreak & Flu

Social Distant Massage Therapy & Bodywork Service Tips During Respiratory Pandemics, Outbreak & Flu

Step Up Your Massage Business with Socially Distant Appointments

COVID-19 is an illness that is primarily spread through respiratory droplets.  The greatest risk of contracting this virus is through close contact with an infected individual, which is why social distancing has been recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As such, efforts should be made whenever possible during a massage or bodywork appointment to create as much distance as possible between a client's airway and a practitioner.

Some massage and bodywork services offer a greater amount of distance from a client’s airway than others.  Here are two appointment examples that can incorporate a COVID-19 social distancing theme at work: 

Foot Reflexology

This ancient healing art is a service that can provide full body relaxation while producing the greatest amount of distance from a client’s airway.  Foot reflexology can be provided in a supine or prone position, although prone position is preferred during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

This appointment can also start with a tranquil foot soak to cleanse the feet and set a relaxing mood of utopia during these stressful times.  Best practices are to provide the foot soak outside, on a rooftop or balcony for best air quality.  A soak also allows for an easy and enjoyable socially distant appointment as most do not require a practitioner to be present.

The Foot Makeover

aka Happy Feet or Renew You or Pleasure Paws or Service of the Month

This appointment can be renamed and produced as an add-on or independent appointment.  It is generally provided as a 30-minute session with 10 simple steps:

  1. Sit the client in a relaxing sudsy aromatic foot soak. Leave magazines for the client to entertain themselves during this relaxation time.  The foot soak will help cleanse the client’s feet of physical debris and odor. 
  2. It is usually recommended within the industry to provide water with lemon, an assortment of teas and spa snacks such as individually wrapped nuts or fruit during a relaxing foot soak. However, due to the pandemic, everyone at the establishment should wear a face covering.  As such, it is not recommended to serve refreshments so that the client will retain their face covering for their entire appointment.
  3. After an appropriate amount of foot soak time, lay towels or a clean bath matt between the foot soak and massage table, or provide spa slippers for the client to wear to the massage table. Dry off the client’s feet with a clean towel and lead them to the table where they will lie face down in the prone position.
  4. Place an ankle bolster underneath the client’s ankles to bolster their feet in the air and a large clean dry towel in between. 
  5. Apply a foot scrub to the client’s feet. Salt or sugar scrubs are the best choice in a dry massage treatment room. Focus the scrub on the bottoms of the feet and around the heels.  Use less vigor on the tops of the feet and around the toes. 
  6. After a thorough foot scrub, rinse hands with water and do not dry. After rinsing the hands, use wet hands to rescrub the client’s feet. This wet moisture on a practitioner’s hands will start to dissolve a salt or sugar scrub for easier removal.  Repeat rinsing hands and using wet hands to rescrub the feet until the scrub abrasives are dissolved.
  7. Apply wet hot towels to the client’s feet with gentle compressions. Begin to pull and rub away any remaining debris or stickiness of the foot scrub. Repeat the process with new fresh hot towels as needed until the feet are clean of all scrub material.
  8. Place a new clean large dry towel underneath the client’s feet. Wrap one foot with the corner end of the dry towel and start foot massage on the other foot then switch.  Use massage cream or skincare moisturizer for the foot massage.  Oils or gels are not recommended.  The goal is to moisturize and soften the foot. 
  9. Pat and rub the bottom of the client’s feet dry with corners of the clean dry towel that is underneath their feet. The goal is to remove any excess moisture from the bottom of the client’s feet so that they do not slip in their shoes or on any other surface. 
  10. Help the client off the table.  The client’s blood pressure has likely decreased during this heavenly service, so allow them to sit-up for a moment before standing to reorient themselves.  This service is now complete.

Socially Distant Massage Service Summary

Both foot reflexology and foot makeover appointments can be provided in the prone position and allow a client to remain dressed for the appointment duration.  Reducing the time a client spends in an establishment plus providing service in the prone position could help reduce a practitioner’s exposure to infectious agents such as COVID-19.

The best way to prevent the acquisition or transmission of COVID-19 is to self-isolate, so if you do work with clients, it is critical to seek education on how to improve air quality, sanitation, and other work-related preventative measures.  This includes getting creative to create and promote services that generate the greatest amount of social distancing between a practitioner and client during our new normal of COVID-19.


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