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  • Mary Carolla

Should I Reschedule My Massage If I’m Sick?

Yes, please. Cancel if you are sick. Great! We’re done here.

Nah, we’ve got a bunch more to cover. I usually talk about this stuff more during cold and flu season, but with COVID, especially the Delta variant, hanging around, I figure it’s as good a time as any to go over some basic information. And cold and flu season will be here soon, so, why not?

There are a lot of variables to being sick. What does it mean and why does it matter? Let’s dig in.

What is ‘sick’?

For determining your ability to receive massage, ‘sick’ means one or any combination of the following:

  • Fever and related symptoms

    • Chills

    • Aches

    • Unusual/New fatigue

  • Respiratory issues

    • Coughing

    • Sneezing

    • Very runny and/or stuffy sinuses

    • Sore throat

  • GI issues

    • Nausea

    • Vomiting

    • Diarrhea

If you have any of the above happening, it’s best to reschedule.

Massage isn’t going to help you feel better faster

A sick body needs rest. Receiving massage is an active task. Massage causes change in the body and your body has to work to maintain stability. Getting a massage when you are sick takes attention away from rest and recovery. That’s not going to help you get better and may prolong the time you feel crummy.

You’re not going to be cozy on the massage table. Sure, it sounds like a warm, comfy massage table would be great, but the moment you put your already-stuffy head into that face cradle, you’ll realize the error of your ways. Gravity and pressure are not your friend here. Even if I do a great face massage to drain your sinuses, you’ll likely feel worse when you get off the table.

If you’re feeling at all dizzy or loopy, laying face down can make that sensation even worse. Remember getting ‘the spins’ when you drank a little too much? That. Only worse because you’ll be worried about puking on my office rug and not just your shoes.

There is often some gray area, especially if you are in the recovery phase of a virus or bacterial infection. You may have that lingering dry cough well past the stage of contagion or actual illness. Or you could have seasonal allergies that make you a runny mess.

If you’re unsure about your situation, please call me before your appointment, and we can make a decision together.

It’s really, really easy to spread those germs

If we have learned anything in the last year and a half, it’s that germs spread far more easily than we may have thought. When we share space, we are sharing air and the droplets we have exhaled into it.

If you come in sick, you may get me (and my other clients) sick. Even with the best handwashing, coughing into your elbow, and precision skills depositing your dirty tissue into the trash bin, you’re likely to leave a few germs hanging in the air, and I’m likely to breathe them in.

Fun (or potentially disgusting) fact, when someone sneezes, the little droplets of doom can travel up to 8 meters and can stay suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes. Yikes.

There’s a lot we just can’t control about getting sick. We may have been exposed without knowing and be contagious for a few days before symptoms show up. That’s just part of living in a world with other people. But we can control where we go and who we see while we are symptomatic. I know it’s a bummer to delay your massage, it’s also the right thing to do when you are potentially contagious. And I promise, if I’m ever sick, I will make sure I reschedule so I don’t get you sick. This is something we all can do for each other.

Stay healthy

You already know the best ways to stay healthy through cold and flu season and through our current pandemic. (But I’ll remind you.) Talk with your doctor about getting a flu shot and/or COVID-19 vaccine, wash your hands, get enough sleep, get out into the fresh air when possible. For now, continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

If you feel something coming on, do your best to reschedule whatever you can (including your massage), keep your activities to a bare minimum and just rest. Stay hydrated. Ask for help. That’s hard to do, but worth the effort.

Here’s to staying healthy through this season, this lingering pandemic, and always!

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