Massage therapists work in close proximity to clients most of the time, and compared to other healthcare providers they are more susceptible to transmitting diseases as a result of contact, as exposure to a variety of pathogens that may have dangerous effects, and by the same logic, they are more likely to transmit diseases to clients by not Adherence to basic health and safety procedures. Therefore, adherence to health precautions and an understanding of infectious diseases and how they are transmitted maintains the safety of both the massage therapist and clients.
The following are some of the points that must be taken into consideration, whether for the client (the person receiving the massage) or the masseur, by virtue of the fact that he has a great role in ensuring that the disease is not transmitted from one client to another.
Adherence to general health conditions reduces the risk
Massage therapists can practice any of the precautionary protocols that have been developed to reduce the risk of exposure to a touchborne infection, beginning with sterilizing the surfaces and equipment that your client touches at each visit; Ensure that another customer does not touch this same item until it has been cleaned.
Not tolerating the rapid spread of bacteria and viruses
Bacteria and viruses are now stronger than they were a few years ago, and types such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and emerging corona virus (Covid 19) can cause long-term problems, and a number of other bacteria that can be easily transmitted with infection can also spread. It causes impetigo and rosacea, and if the immune system is weak, the infection may affect the lymph or blood, in addition to many other fungi, bacteria and viruses.
Therefore, the therapist must ask himself:
- Does the client have an undiagnosed and untreated skin infection? If yes, he must be referred to a doctor and the massage session rescheduled.
- Does the client or therapist have open and not exposed lesions (think nails, open wounds on the skin, insect bites, and the like)? If there is one, it should be covered and / or direct contact avoided.
The possibility of spreading herpes from skin to skin
Herpes is the most common and often sexually transmitted disease and what is most concerned about its spread is the possibility of it spreading from skin to skin, as contact with these very contagious sores can transmit herpes from person to person. In fact, most people infected with oral herpes become infected during childhood, as accidental contact with relatives can lead to the transmission of herpes.
If a client has an active cold sore and cannot reschedule, just avoiding the area and practicing good hygiene is a safe option. It is true that it is possible to pick up a secondary site of a herpes infection, but it does not happen that easily.
If the therapist is injured, his hand must be sterilized well, and it is better to wear gloves before performing the massage.
Cold and flu are low risk viruses
Having a cold or flu is extremely uncomfortable, time-consuming and a waste of money, however, if we start with a strong basic level of health and immunity, most of us are not at risk of serious complications, as these viruses can be transmitted all the time by their presence in Air or carry it from the surfaces of our hands to our eyes, nose or mouth, so be careful but don’t panic from these simple viruses.
Pneumonia is a frequent consequence of respiratory infections in people with weakened immune systems, so it is the highest risk and great caution should be exercised in these cases.
Infection with dangerous diseases can be avoided with standard precautions
Fortunately, there are vaccines that help. Most of the cancers and varieties that cause warts can be prevented with early vaccination against HPV. This is why the initial vaccination is recommended at age 11 or earlier, although it is possible to get it later.
Is AIDS transmitted by massage?
HIV / AIDS, along with hepatitis B and C, are among the most serious infectious diseases the world has ever seen! The good news for massage therapists is that this viral infection is only spread through the exchange of fluids: blood, semen, and breast milk. , Vaginal secretions, adequate limits and standard hygiene precautions ensure that this infection does not pose a risk to the health of massage therapists or to spread it to clients.
Massage and fungal skin infections
Skin fungal infections are a very important contraindication to massage, as they spread easily and quickly between individuals, and contact precautions are limited to ways to reduce or prevent the transmission of the disease that spreads through direct or indirect contact. Contact precautions require the use of barriers such as gloves and disinfection of contaminated surfaces.
For ringworm and jock itch, gloves or other barriers such as paper, for example, should be used when massaging hands, as they may be contaminated by the client by touching his pests. As for jock itch, the masseur should ask the client about the extent of the infection because lesions can be found across the buttocks and thighs, and so these areas should be avoided.
As for foot and nail infection, the massager should use gloves or any other barrier such as a sheet when massaging the hands or feet if they do not contain torn skin is considered sufficient, and massage sheets are treated as contaminated. If the practitioner has a nail fungal infection, gloves are worn during the massage.
Healthy habits are your best protection
With getting good sleep, eating vitamins, especially vitamin C, eating healthy foods, and exercising, we support our immune system, strengthen the body and health, and support it in the face of diseases, and these behaviors give us a flexible and resistant baseline that pathogens cannot easily overcome.
In short, although they are more likely to encounter and cause some types of infections, massage therapists can protect their health and the health of their clients with basic knowledge of infectious diseases and appropriate precautions.