Julia Cook, owner of Julia Cook Massage and Mentoring in Lakeside said professionals who rely on physical interaction with clients should consider taking this time to analyze what they want to change about their business.
“It is stressful but I’m encouraging other massage therapists to take a good look at where they were when this started: did you like what you were doing? What would you change? We need to use this time for a reset. One of the groups I’m part of is doing a good deal of online training- they’re keeping us learning while also keeping us busy,” Cook said.
The masseuse said she has started using the Zoom online meeting application to coach some of her clients through guided stretches at home.
“It’s a direction I was going to start heading in anyway but this forced me to get it going. I don’t want anyone with a compromised immune system to leave the house and possibly put themselves in danger, but I also don’t want them to be in pain at home. I really want to have my hands on people and relieve them of chronic pain but this is one way I can connect with them in the meantime,” Cook said.
She says she has continued to work on select clients who are completely isolated at home, but has had to limit her exposure to other people in exchange. Additionally, she has had to warn those clients that her husband is considered an essential employee and works outside the home.
Cook has observed different approaches within the massage community: some providers claim that they would be doing a disservice to their clients if they allow them to suffer with pain while others have entirely ceased services until social distancing measures have been lifted.
“Each situation is different. I have my husband’s income to fall back on but for others it is stressful. When we come out on the other side and start working on people again, there is supposed to be a second wave and we don’t want to be a possible point of where things spread. I come in contact with many people, I’ve done up to seven hours of massage in one day,” Cook said.