Posts in the Sanitation category


Massage Magazine has published CE Institute LLC Founder & Instructor Selena Belisle's article of how to sanitize a massage table and table equipment during COVID-19:



Alternating Face Cradle Cushions for COVID-19

Alternating Face Cradle Cushions for COVID-19

Massage therapists, spa and bodyworkers have stepped up their sanitation habits in our new pandemic of COVID-19; however, there is one additional step that can be taken in addition to sanitizing a treatment table.

If you must work during COVID-19, it is best to work on clients in a prone position/face down to avoid direct airway-to-airway exchange.  And for best sanitation practices, it would be wise to sanitize the face cradle cushion then allow it to sit with a proper amount dwell time by using a 2nd cushion for your next client.  Swapping 2 cushions back and forth is a little extra effort and expense, but could additionally minimize COVID-19 exposure, especially when proper sanitation and safety measures are exercised. 

How to Improve Air Quality in the Treatment Room, published by Massage Magazine

How to Improve Air Quality in the Treatment Room, published by Massage Magazine

Air quality is an increasing concern for massage therapists given they often work in small, poorly ventilated treatment rooms.  The CDC and other government sites are now acknowledging that COVID-19 can aerosol and linger in the air for longer periods of time, even after an infected individual has left the room.  

Please click HERE to view Massage Magazines publication of CE Institute LLC founder Selena Belisle's article regarding how you can improve your air quality in massage treatment room if you must practice massage therapy, spa sessions or bodywork during times of COVID-19.



Selena Belisle, Owner/Founder CE Institute LLC - Author of HOW TO SANITIZE MASSAGE STONES: 7 STEPS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK RELATED TO COVID-19 at Massage Magazine



Please click HERE to view Massage Magazine's publication of CE Institute LLC founder Selena Belisle's article about CONTACT TIME, which is also known as "dwell time".  Unfortunately due to multiple reasons including rushed schedules and lack of training, some therapists are not practicing proper contact times with their disinfection processes.  Please read this article to learn more about what contact time is and how it should be practiced!




Sanitation Chemical Hazards & Safety 101 in a Massage Therapy Practice, Spa or Salon

Sanitation Chemical Hazards & Safety 101 in a Massage Therapy Practice, Spa or Salon

By: Selena Belisle, Owner/Instructor CE Institute LLC, Miami FL

Most massage therapy, spa or salon workplaces share a large amount of personal interaction which will require regular sanitation effort.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of negative health side-effects when chemical agents are used.  As such, this BLOG is to provide some basic information to help service providers and owners make the best decisions they can to keep their workspace healthy and clean:

Common Cleaner Chemicals and Known Side-effects

  • Ammonia & bleach (sodium hypochlorite) cause asthma in workers who breathe too much at work. It can trigger asthma attacks in people who already have asthma. It can also irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds (also known as QUATs, QACs, or QATs) are not volatile compounds, but using them as sprays can cause nose and throat irritation. Benzalkonium chloride is a severe eye irritant and causes and triggers asthma. Exposures to QUATs may cause allergic skin reactions. Use of QUATs has been associated with the growth of bacteria that are resistant to disinfection. Sometimes this resistance also transfers to antibiotics. In laboratory studies, QUATs were found to damage genetic material (genes).
  • Triclosan is a suspected endocrine disruptor and may lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • Phthalates are used in fragrances that are found in air fresheners and cleaning and sanitizing products. They are endocrine disruptors. Research indicates that phthalates increase the risk of allergies and asthma and can affect children's neurodevelopment and thyroid function. Studies show links between phthalates in mothers to abnormal genital development in boys. Phthalates have been found in human urine, blood, semen, amniotic fluid, and breast milk.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that vaporize at room temperature. Many VOCs that are released by cleaning supplies have been linked to chronic respiratory problems such as asthma, allergic reactions, and headaches.
    • Fragrances are mixtures of many chemicals, including VOCs. They can contain up to 3,000 separate ingredients. There is no requirement that fragrance ingredients be listed on the product label. Many of these chemicals:
      • can trigger asthma and allergies;
      • may be hazardous to humans.
    • Terpenes are chemicals found in pine, lemon, and orange oils that are used in many cleaning and disinfecting products as well as in fragrances. Terpenes react with ozone, especially on hot smoggy days, forming very small particles like those found in smog and haze that can irritate the lungs and may cause other health problems.
    • Formaldehyde, which:
      • causes cancer,
      • is a sensitizer that is linked to asthma and allergic reactions,
      • has damaged genes in lab tests,
      • is a central nervous system depressant (slows down brain activity),
      • may cause joint pain, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep.

Each year about 6 out of every 100 professional custodians are injured by the chemicals they use to clean, sanitize, and disinfect. Burns to the eyes and skin are the most common injuries, followed closely by breathing toxic mists or vapors. Many of these injuries are due to improper use of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products. For example, many chemicals used for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting come in a concentrated form. To be used, they have to be correctly diluted with water:

  • When diluting concentrated products unsafely, the user increases their exposure to the health hazards of the product. Humans are exposed by breathing the fumes of the concentrated product into the lungs or absorbing the liquid through the skin.
  • If the wrong chemicals are mixed together, they can react to form a toxic gas and the health effects can be much worse. For example, when bleach is mixed with ammonia or quaternary ammonium compounds (found in some disinfectants), chloramine gas is created, which is highly toxic.
  • If a chemical is too concentrated (the user doesn’t add the amount of water indicated on the product label), then the health effects of using that product are increased. They are increased for the person who is using the product. They are also increased for the people who occupy the indoor space where it is used.
  • It is important to follow dilution instructions carefully to avoid harm to the person doing the diluting, as well as to the others in the same work areas. Personal protective equipment such as gloves and goggle, when indicated on the product label, should be worn while working with concentrated chemicals. Better yet, avoid using products that require personal protective equipment!

Because there have been so many cleaning solutions and sanitary products that have caused occupational injury, the EPA has formed a list of Safer Choice Products which can be viewed by clicking HERE .

We hope this information helps readers understand some of the hazards that can happen at work with sanitation efforts and using chemicals.  To learn more about massage therapy, spa and salon sanitation, please click HERE.

Fingernail Hygiene for Massage Therapists & Personal Care Services Providers

Fingernail Hygiene for Massage Therapists & Personal Care Services Providers

By: Selena Belisle, Owner/Instructor CE Institute LLC, Miami FL

Nail Hygiene Tips for Massage Therapists & Personal Care Service Providers[i]

Appropriate hand hygiene includes diligent cleaning and trimming of fingernails.  Fingernails can harbor dirt and germs that can contribute to the spread of infection. Fingernails should be kept short, and if there is room to scrape underneath the fingernail, then it should be cleaned frequently with soap and water.  Longer fingernails can harbor more dirt and bacteria than short nails, thus a larger chance of harboring harmful germs which could contribute to the spread of infection.

Before clipping or grooming nails, all equipment (for example, nail clippers and files) should be properly cleaned. Sterilizing equipment before use is especially important when nail tools are shared among a number of people, as is common in commercial nail salons.

Infections of the fingernails are often characterized by swelling of the surrounding skin, pain in the surrounding area, or thickening of the nail. In some cases, these infections may be serious and need to be treated by a physician.

To help prevent the spread of germs and nail infections:

  • Keep nails short and trim them often.
  • Scrub the underside of nails with soap and water (or a nail brush) every time you wash your hands.
  • Clean any personal nail grooming tools before use.
  • Ensure nail salons sterilize tools prior to use if you have them trimmed at a nail salon.
  • Avoid biting or chewing nails.
  • Avoid cutting cuticles, as they act as barriers to prevent infection.
  • Never rip or bite a hangnail. Instead, clip it with a clean, sanitized nail trimmer.


Author Selena Belisle is the Founder of CE Institute LLC in Miami FL.  She is a retired professional athlete and has been practicing massage therapy for over 30 years.  Selena is an approved CE Provider with NCBTMB & the Florida Board of Massage.  She now teaches full time for the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Industries. You can learn more about Selena’s training and CE classes at www.CeInstitute.com

[i] National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. “Water, Sanitation & Environmentally-Related Hygiene.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  30 Dec. 2009, www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/hand/nail_hygiene.html.