Preperations for Re-Opening “Hands-On” Therapy Practice

As I’m sure everyone is aware that all therapists that offer “hands-on” therapy have had to suspend their work from March in compliance with Government and Professional Association guidance. It has seemed rather bizarre that at the very time when patient needs are at the very highest we as therapists have been prevented from offering help. Touch offers the most powerful form of comfort. Words do not have the same impact as the physical act of holding a hand, or giving or receiving a hug. Or in my experience giving a reflexology treatment to patients that are anxious, stressed or in pain.

The good news is that the guidance regarding information of when we might be able to re-open our therapy rooms is after July 4th.  With this date in mind (the exact date will be posted on my website) there are a range of steps that I am taking in preparation to insure my practice is Covid-19 Secure. All information can be found on this page.

I have produced a thorough and detailed risk assessment of my therapy room following guidelines from Gov HSE,  NHS England, FHT, AoR, CThA. The Gov HSE has a template to download that contains the following : What are the hazards ?  Who might be harmed and how? What are you already doing to control the risks? What further action do you need to take to control the risks? Who needs to carry out the action?  When is the action needed by? Done (date signature )There will be a copy of my completed risk assessment on display in the therapy room for patients to read if they wish. Therapists are used to undertaking risk assessments as a process reflective of good practice. 

To minimize the risk in the therapy room and being mindful of social distancing guidelines I have installed clear plastic screening between myself and the patients (see photo) It is said that necessity is the mother of invention and it is surprising how creative we can be when needs must. This will protect the patient and myself. The couch will be wiped down following each patient and new couch roll used per patient. Any coverings such as white towels used for modesty or pillows for support ( will be covered in plastic with cotton pillowcase over ) these will be removed following each treatment, sealed in a plastic laundry bag until laundered at 90 degrees. There will be laminated signage and infographics for patients displayed in easy sight. Placed on the therapy room table for the patient to access will be hand sanitizer, a box of tissues, a leaflet, a business card, a sealed mask (for patient use if they are not wearing their own) and anything else that might be recommended.

Personal protective equipment PPE. I will be wearing a uniform that will be fresh for each patient, a mask and plastic apron. Each patient will be asked to wear a mask these can be easily obtained on-line, from pharmacies and other sources. Patients may wish to wear gloves.

How my practice will function will depend on my giving clear instructions to patients and patients following what might seem overly cautious but necessary instructions to keep themselves and others including me safe. Future appointments will be confirmed via email accompanied by a “Patient Instruction Sheet” this will set out what steps patients must take on the day of the appointment prior to their visit and will explain what will happen when they arrive for their appointment at my property. I’m afraid this will be the new norm.

A copy of my Patient Information Sheet can be found here.

These steps might seem overly clinical to some but this virus remains a potential threat to everyone. We need to be sensible and to continue to take what steps are necessary to reduce the risk to ourselves and others. The greatest risk to all is the Asymptomatic patient so please be vigilant. My thoughts are that your own body’s defense system should be your new best friend. My mantra remains the same to keep your immune system as strong as possible, identify and manage your stress, eat well, keep hydrated, engage in appropriate exercise in the fresh air and sunshine and enjoy peaceful sleep. Practice good hand hygiene and if you do cough or sneeze use a tissue and dispose of it safely. I’m sure I speak on behalf of every therapist when I say I can’t wait to welcome back all my patients and introduce new patients to the amazing benefits of Complementary Therapy. Advice on boosting your immune system in “ July 2019 articles “on website.

Contact  Tel 01305 784986.