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October 22, 2020 / SoniaLMT

The whole shebang

In my last post back in August I detailed what I planned to do to make your massage experience as safe as possible for both of us. Now that I’ve been back in the office for almost three months, I wanted to share my exact routine so you know precisely what I do here, especially in light of the increasing COVID numbers in Astoria and the rest of the city.

Actually, first I want to say thank you to everyone for being so awesome about mask compliance. I’d just like to ask that if possible, please wear a proper mask, preferably with ear loops- no bandanas or gaiters, please.

The first thing I do when I arrive at the office in the morning is turn on the HVAC, open the window and door, and turn on the air purifiers. (I have two air purifiers now- the first one I bought only cleans a room this size roughly twice an hour, so I purchased a second one that stays near the head of the massage table that cleans the room every 9 minutes or so, according to the company’s specs.)

I’m up on the third floor so I get pretty good air flow with the window open. The window and door stay open until I leave the room for you to get undressed for your massage. (Though if you’d like me to keep the window open during your session and the weather allows, I’m happy to do that too!)

When the appointment is over, I ask my clients to leave the door open on their way out and I open the window again until the next client. I use Nu-Foamicide to wipe down all the surfaces either of us touched while you were here (mainly the massage table, my lotion bottle, the bench and side table, and the doorknob). Then I spray the headrest and top part of the table again and let it marinate in those juices for at least 10 minutes. Once the table is dry, I wash my hands or use hand sanitizer before putting a clean set of sheets on the table for the next client.

Other stuff:

-I do sometimes remove my mask in the office. If my mask is off, the window is open. I wait at least 20 minutes after a client leaves, and put the mask back on about 20 minutes prior to my next appointment. (I figure that gives the air purifier two full cycles at 9 min per cycle). This is also partly why I ask that you arrive on time for your appointment, to make sure my mask has been on long enough before you come in.

-I am seeing fewer clients than I used to pre-COVID to make sure I have enough time to air out the room between clients. Usually this results in me seeing 4 clients a day, though occasionally I will see 5, if there are a few 45 minute sessions and time allows. There is never less than 45 minutes scheduled between appointments, usually it’s an hour or more. It’s not great for my bottom line, but safety takes precedence right now.

-I am getting COVID tested regularly, and have gone four times since returning to practice. Given the increase in cases, I am going every 2-3 weeks now. At the end of August my antibody test came back positive (no surprise given my COVID experience back in March), and I will get tested for antibodies again in November. Even with antibodies, I am still acting as a whole as though I can get and transmit COVID again, which, you know, maybe I can. Who knows.

Hopefully this is everything you wanted to know and more- if you have any questions please feel free to shoot me an email (info at sonialmt dot com).

July 23, 2020 / SoniaLMT

Returning August 2nd

Hello! I will be back to work on Sunday August 2nd. I will be back to my regular hours, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am-8pm, and Sundays from 10am-6pm. If you’re not ready to come back yet, I totally understand, and look forward to a time where we can all feel totally safe doing things like getting a massage again! If you are ready, here is the link to my booking site.

That said, I am doing my best to make our encounter as safe as possible, so I want to be transparent about the changes that will be happening with your appointment and my office practices. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

First and foremost, masks! They are required by state law to be worn by both of us for the entire time you are in my office. (If you do not have a mask please let me know prior to your appointment and I can provide you with a mask upon your arrival for $5.) In addition, I will be wearing a face shield or goggles. You will be able to take off your mask while you are face down during the session if you’d like- we’re going to be doing this little thing with the headrest and the pillowcase that acts as a little hanging mask. Polina did a great video demonstrating this if you’d like to see it here.

My HVAC guy has confirmed that the system brings in outside air, so I’ll have the HVAC set to “on” whenever I am in the office. In addition, I have purchased a Medify air purifier which filters the air in a room the size of my office in under 15 minutes, so the air will be continuously cleaned. I will also be opening the windows between clients to get some fresh air in the room.

I will be wiping down the massage table and anything you or I touched with Nu-Foamicide after every session, and then spraying it again and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes for a proper cleaning. There is also a no-touch hand sanitizer dispenser for your use.

In order to make sure I have enough time to clean and have a breather between clients, I will be starting and ending sessions on time. Please arrive at your scheduled appointment time. If you require a longer discussion of your session goals, please reach out to me ahead of time so we can discuss over the phone prior to your appointment.

A few other things:

  • If you are early, I ask that you wait outside my office until your appointment time.
  • We can’t touch the area covered by the mask, so no jaw/TMJ massage for the time being.
  • I encourage you to prepay for your appointment if possible (you can do this when making your appointment).
  • If possible, please bring your own water, tissues, etc.
  • For the time being I am no longer offering 30 minute sessions, and am seeing a maximum of 4 clients a day. 

Even more so than before, if you are feeling unwell (or even just unsure), please let me know and we will cancel your appointment.

I think I’ve covered everything here! Again, please get in touch if you have any further questions. It’s been a long 4+ months and I am looking forward to returning to work and seeing you all again.

Sonia

July 2, 2020 / SoniaLMT

Holding off on reopening

Hello all,

Phase 3 is scheduled to begin this Monday July 6th, but I have decided to wait a few weeks and keep an eye on how the continued reopening of the city goes before I return to practice. If all goes well, I plan on starting up again in the first half of August. Will post again when I have a return date!

June 9, 2020 / SoniaLMT

A bit of an update

Hey folks! I don’t know about you, but I could really use a massage! 🙂 The good news is massage therapy has finally been assigned to Phase 3. That doesn’t give us a solid reopening date, but at least gives us something to work with. For now, my practice remains closed…

March 30, 2020 / SoniaLMT

Still Closed

According to the governor (and rightly so), I am a non-essential business, and therefore I am closed until Cuomo says I can open again. Who knows when that will be? In the meantime I am keeping my booking site open so that people can book up to two months in advance, but know that for now none of these appointments are happening. (Sorry if that’s confusing- contact me at info@sonialmt.com if you have any questions.)

March 15, 2020 / SoniaLMT

Closed for now

I have made the decision to close my practice for the time being. The bottom line is there is no way for me to responsibly practice “social distancing” (ie physical distancing!!) and do massage at the same time.

For now I am cancelling all appointments through the end of March. While it is almost certain that it will be more than two weeks before life returns to normal, let’s see where things stand at the end of the month.

I am keeping my scheduling site up and running if you’d like to set something up for when I’m back in the office, whenever that will be.

I wish good health for you and your loved ones as we get through this pandemic.

March 13, 2020 / SoniaLMT

COVID-19 update

The tl;dr version:

  • I’m still open, for now
  • If you want to cancel, please do (especially if sick, obviously!!)

  • Wash your hands when you come in

  • I am cleaning all the things

 

For the time being, if you’re willing to come in for massages, I’m willing to give them. (I’ll post again if/when this changes.) As a licensed massage therapist I already practice regular cleanliness measures, such as washing my hands up to the elbow before and after every session, and using clean sheets for each client. Now, in addition, I am vigilantly wiping down all the things – if you touched it, or I touched it after touching you, it gets cleaned after every session.

If you have an appointment scheduled and want to cancel, please do! You have my blessing. My cancellation policy remains the same- please give me at least 24 hours notice if you are going to cancel your appointment. If you feel at all unwell, please do not come for your appointment, even if your appointment is within 24 hours. I have never penalized someone for canceling due to illness and I never will. I will do the same- if the moment arrives where I feel sick, I will cancel all appointments. (If you were scheduled to see me between mid-December and mid-January, you know it’s true – I cancelled a lot of appointments due to being sick.)

I ask two things of you:

  1. If you are coming in for an appointment, please wash your hands before we get started.
  2. If you are feeling unwell, please don’t come in.

I feel it’s likely we will reach a point where I will close, and if that happens I will post again. In the meantime I will do my part to make our interaction as safe as possible for us both.

Be well,
Sonia

January 2, 2020 / SoniaLMT

Elevator out of service!

Happy new year! Some unfortunate temporary news: the elevator for the building is going to be out of service starting this coming Monday, January 6th, for approximately a month (for upgrades, woohoo!). I don’t know when the work will be finished- the sign on the door says they’ll be done around the first week of February, but I will update here when I have an exact date. I am so sorry for any inconvenience this causes. If you are a client who requires use of the elevator, please contact me directly and I will reach out personally when I find out when the elevator will be usable again.

(Update 2/25/20: still not back in use. Hopefully soon!)

December 23, 2019 / SoniaLMT

Appointments available December 26th

Hi all, my holiday travel plans changed and I will be in the office this Thursday, December 26th. I hope that some of you have the day off and can enjoy a massage that day! 🙂

A few people have asked me recently if I am still working Sundays – the answer is yes, it’s just that I’m currently booked almost two months out for Sundays at the moment. If you’d like to sign up for my last minute cancellation email list, you can do that here. As always, if you can’t get in with me, I highly recommend the ladies of Strength and Comfort (formerly known as Active Outlook Massage), with whom I share my office space. I’ve been going to Polina for years, and have had a couple of truly fantastic massages with Anna recently as well.

Happy holidays and see you in 2020!

August 29, 2019 / SoniaLMT

Out of town August 30-September 9

Hey all, I’m taking my first vacation in two years (woohoo!) and will be back in the office on September 10th.