Flu Proof Your Practice


Each year the CDC works to create a flu vaccine that targets flu strains that are most likely to make people sick. Unfortunately, according to the CDC, this year’s vaccine “offers reduced protection, and this underscores the need for additional prevention and treatment efforts this season.” You don’t have to go far to hear a choir of coughs, sniffles, and sneezes, so how do you plan on protecting yourself and your clients from the misery of this year’s flu symptoms? Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


No one likes to cancel a message, but that is the best course of action if you or your clients feel the effects of the flu! It is important to let your clients know what your policy is regarding sickness. A good standard is to not work on anyone who has had a fever within 48 hours. Other symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and runny noses are harder to draw a line on as they could result from allergies. That said, ask your clients who display these symptoms questions to determine how concerned you should be. Ideally, clients will be clearly on the post-acute side (four or five days after symptoms have appeared) before considering receiving a massage.


Keep common surfaces that you and your clients regularly touch clean and germ-free. Use sterilizing hand wipes or disinfectants to regularly clean doorknobs, pens, the restroom key, water fountain handles, and sink and toilet fixtures. Create a routine so that these surfaces get wiped down several times a day. It is also a good idea to have hand sanitizer available for people’s use.


Please wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Sickness often starts when we contaminate ourselves by giving germs an easy entrance to our bodies via our eyes, nose, and mouth.


It is possible that you could encounter a client who gets upset about being denied a massage. If this happens, gently remind the client that it can be harmful to receiving a message when feeling sick. Let them know that you sympathize with the sore, achy muscles they are experiencing, but their immune system works hard to capture and kill the infection in their body. Massage could potentially disrupt that process and could send the virus on a fast track evasion! Encourage clients to instead rest and hunker down at home where they can drink lots of fluids, eat chicken soup and keep themselves and others safe!


Remember, there is no such thing as a “little” cold! Clients trust you to make good decisions that keep their best interests at heart. It can be financially painful to cancel clients who are sick, but it is even more of financial hardship to have to cancel multiple days of sessions because you are sick! Protecting yourself results in you protecting everyone else. It is your responsibility to do the right thing when that client walks through the door saying they have a “little” cold or that they “aren’t contagious”! Be sure to clarify what they mean and make the best decisions for both you and the rest of your clientele. They will thank you!


Massage therapy