Policies & Procedures

As someone who has accessed massage therapy treatments in the past and hopes to access them in the future, you may be wondering what you can expect from a massage therapy treatment in the midst of a pandemic. We hope that this will help you feel safer and more confident as you access massage therapy care during this unprecedented time.  Please take your time to read through and if you have any questions contact us.

 

Before Your appointment

There will be some changes to the way appointments are scheduled and some new procedures for arriving to your appointment to keep you safe.

What you need to know before you arrive for a massage therapy appointment:

  • Be patient and assess your own needs. RMTs are required to prioritize patients with more essential/urgent care needs.

  • You will be required to read and sign a COVID-19 Risk Informed Consent.

  • Ensure you arrive alone, and about 10 minutes prior to your appointment start time if possible. If you are unable to arrive alone, the person accompanying you will be screened, asked to provide their name and phone number for contact tracing purposes, and to wear a cloth or disposable mask. 

  • You will need to bring a disposable or reusable mask, which you will be asked to wear for the duration of the treatment. If you do not have a mask, we can provide one for a small fee but we don't have many extras so we ask that you do bring your own. If you have a health condition that makes wearing a mask difficult, your RMT will use their professional judgement to assess the risks of providing a treatment. If you have any concerns about wearing a mask, please contact your RMT in advance. Your RMT will also be wearing a mask and additional PPE which will be discussed in a section below.

  • You will be asked to wait outside or in your car until your RMT is ready to begin your treatment.  

  • You will be PRESCREENED first by email for your risk of COVID-19 . This will be arranged during or soon after you book your appointment and include the COVID Risk Informed Consent . 

  • You will notice that there is more time between available appointments. This is because the RMT needs more time between patients to complete all cleaning and disinfecting procedures. 

  • We will have staggered appointment start times, so you likely won't see another client during your visit.

  • We will temporarily not be offering Hot Stone, Intra-Oral work, TMJ or face massages at this time.  Some therapists have decided not to offer 60, 75  or 90 minutes sessions.  We need to see how working in the PPE will feel! 

  • Email your therapists with any questions you may have or to find out when they might be returning to practice.  Click on  ~ Jeannie ~ Charity ~ Joeli  ~ 

 

When you arrive

Once you arrive at your massage therapy treatment, things might look a little different, and you may be asked to behave a little differently than you would have in the past. When you arrive at your massage therapy appointment you will:

  • We ask that you wait outside or in your car till your therapist calls you to come in.  At this time we will screen you a second time to ensure you are not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID.

  • We will ask you to remove your shoes once you enter the clinic.  A matt will be provided for you to place your shoes on just inside the door.  We will have reusable sandals/crocs that will be disinfected between each use, if you would rather not use our shoes you could bring a clean pair of socks. 

  • CLEAN HANDS You will sanitize your hands before we head to the treatment room. If you would rather to wash your hands with soap and water the restrooms are available outside the clinic. 

  • We may also be taking your temperature with a contactless thermometer after you have entered the clinic and before your massage.  Your therapist reserves the right to refuse treatment if you answer yes to the prescreening questions or have a temperature. 

  • We will ask you to provide your name and phone number in a log to be used for potential future contact tracing. You may choose to refuse to provide this information.

  • RMTs will be prescreening themselves before every shift to ensure they are healthy and not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.

  • The waiting room will look a bit different, our seats will be spaced two meters apart (seats may also be removed) and you won’t see things like magazines or a water service, which are difficult to disinfect.

  • You will be asked to social distance before and after the massage.

  • You will see signage at entrances and reception areas that outline the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, what to do if one is at risk, and how to limit transmission, including signage reiterating the requirement to wear a mask and wash your hands before proceeding.

During your appointment

While the treatment will remain as normal as possible, there will be a few changes.

  • You will be asked to wear your mask during the treatment.  We can discuss positioning on the table for your comfort. You might choose to do less time with your face in the cradle or try side lying.  Because COVID is spread by contact and droplets being in a supine (face up) position poses a higher risk of transmission.  We are looking at ways to reduce this risk by asking that clients might consider to wear a face shield over top of their mask in the supine position.  We will provide the face shields which are disinfected between every use.  If this is something you are not comfortable with it will be up to your RMT to discuss other options to do the neck and upper shoulder area.  

  • Your RMT will also be wearing a mask at all times.  Plus, we have decided to take the extra precaution of wearing a face shield to further reduce the risk of transmission ensuring your and our safety both.  

  • Due to the PPE we will be wearing we are going to reduce the extra chit chat during the treatment except for necessary conversation related to the treatment.  

  • Our tables might feel a little different as we have removed the heating pads and fleece cushions. (Sorry!) This was required, we need to remove everything from the rooms that can't be cleaned or disinfected.

After the appointment

After your appointment and as you go to pay and leave the clinic, things might be a little different as well.

  • We will ask you to remain in the massage room once you are dressed and to open the door open when you are ready for us to come in.

  • We will take payment in the massage room unless you prearranged payment with your RMT by e-transfer or invoice by email. We will continue with our electronic receipts to discourage touching any shared surfaces. This would include digital options for all necessary paperwork and forms.  

  • PAYMENT OPTIONS: In the room we will encourage non contact forms of payment, e.g. tap with a debit or credit card, still no cash will be accepted.  As mentioned above you can opt to prearranged payment by E-transfer to ottawa@myobalance.ca or receive an invoice by email. Visit our FAQ page for our amended cancellation policy for COVID.

  • After the appointment your RMT will wash their hands (including forearms and elbows) with soap and water before and after disinfecting. They will then clean and disinfect anything used during the appointment.

  •  While you are not receiving massage therapy treatment, you should maintain a 2 meter (6 feet) distance from your RMT.

 

Behind the scenes

There are a lot of things that we will be doing behind the scenes to keep you safe. Our cleaning and disinfecting has increased. 

 

This includes:

  • We will continue to use the linen service and have our sheets professionally cleaned.  We have removed the blankets but will double up the top sheet for your comfort.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces (e.g. light switches, door knobs, counter tops, etc.) is required at least twice a day.

  •  Disinfecting of the treatment rooms and all of its equipment will happen between clients. This includes but is not limited to the massage table, stool, oil bottle and face cradle. Any face cradle cover is changed after each patient.

  • We are using the "Wipe Twice Method".  Step 1 - Clean  Step 2 - Disinfect. Our cleaning products meet all requirements provided by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario for disinfecting environmental surfaces under the “Infection Control for Regulated Professionals Federation Guide.”

Although the treatment environment and the procedures you are expected to follow might be a little different, what remains the same is our RMTs’ commitment to the health and safety of our clients. During this unprecedented time, we are working hard to ensure we can provide you with the health care you need as safely as possible. 

We will stay informed of any changes from our College and Government and update them here.

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