May 28, 2020 Update

First of all I would like to thank all my valued clients for their patience and support over the last two months. These have been confusing times and I would like to clarify as much as I can about the announcement made yesterday and how it pertains to my own Massage Therapy practice. On Wednesday, May 27th the Ontario Government and the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health have provided a new directive for Regulated Health Professionals that allow for a gradual restart of services to be carried out with adherence to guidance from each health profession’s regulatory college. The directive includes Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) under the guidance of our College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO). I want to clarify that this announcement was a general statement which means not all Regulated Health Professionals will be opening at the same time or at the same rate (or at all, for now). At this time our College, the CMTO, is not expecting RMTs to return to practice if they do not feel it is appropriate or safe to do so. The CMTO also encourages limiting the number of in-person visits by prioritizing clients with essential care needs. Treatment is considered essential when: the client’s overall health or function would considerably decline if treatment were not provided (i.e. lead to hospitalization or other serious health consequences). Our first priority as Massage Therapists is to the health and safety of ourselves, our families and our clients and to ensure that the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks. In my own personal practice, although there are benefits to massage therapy treatments, most of my treatments are for wellness and/or maintenance and therefore are not an essential healthcare treatment at this time due to the risks still present for COVID-19. Our State of Emergency has also been extended in Ontario to June 9th and social distancing is still in effect which I will be continuing to follow. I will update my clients further when I can foresee a potential date to begin reopening my own practice but now is not that time. We have just begun to receive direction on practices and procedure guidelines that will need to be put in place before I can open safely. These include, but are not limited to, the pre-screening of clients before every treatment, increased frequency of handwashing & cleaning practices, increased signage, documentation and record keeping of practices, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks for myself and clients and additional health & safety training. Please remain patient as implementation of these guidelines and the obtaining of sufficient PPE due to shortages can be a lengthy process. As I have stated before the health & safety of myself, my family and all of my clients is my top priority. I will only return to practice when I feel it safe to do so and will keep everyone posted. Thank you again for all of your support during this time. I hope everyone remains safe & healthy!