Massage is Essential
Should massage therapy be considered an essential service? That has been a question throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and posing it has helped get discussions going about the ways in with massage can be part of integrative health care.
It is well known that massage can boost physical and emotional well-being, and assist in reducing stress. In many ways, massage therapy can be seen as preventative health care, allowing people to manage chronic pain, resulting from injury, disease or muscular conditions with fewer of even no pharmaceuticals. Regular massage can also ease muscular strain and stress related to athletic training or work, including adjusting to work-from-home setups that may not be ergonomically correct.
From an emotional standpoint, massage therapy is often used to reduce anxiety and stress. Managing stress, anxiety and other emotional issues with massage enables people to be more present for work, family and life in general.
So, is massage therapy essential? That depends on the individual. For some, massage is just a great way to relax after a long week. For others, massage is essential to quality of life by helping to reduce pain, improve mobility and potentially keep them from needing to go to an emergency room during COVID-19. Massage also helps reduce stress and anxiety to the point where people are able to function better in their daily lives without the need for doctor visits and/or medication. (Read more about who gets massages and why here .)
All of that said, the decision to provide massage therapy during the coronavirus should be up to individual practitioners. We are best qualified to judge the risks associated with our practices based on our own living situations and health concerns, as well as the population we serve. Ultimately, the responsibility for practicing massage therapy during this pandemic is dependent on both practitioners and clients, working together to ensure a safe environment so massage services may continue.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of massage therapy, and the role massage can play in an integrative health care plan.