Since we’ve returned to face to face massage classes, a lot of QM students, sports/massage therapists, and aromatherapists have asked us where we get our PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) from. So we’ve put together this guide for you that will make buying your PPE quick and easy.
Make your treatments Covid safe
Government guidelines are prone to change regarding the laws and rules for close contact services. Current guidelines are to to wear a visor and mask, and the client receiving massage wears a mask. In their guidelines, the GCMT (General Council for Massage Therapists), the MTI (Massage Training Institute), and ITEC (International Therapies Examination Council) state that gloves must also be worn for hands-on work. Not all PAs (Professional Associations) agree with this but the GCMT and MTI have decided on best practice, so using maximum PPE to minimise risk, instead of following the minimum standard. And that’s what we’re doing here at QM.
For giving massage these need to the medical grade 11R type. We bought these ones, and these ones look good value too. One of our students told us about these ones. They’re 11R and the big bonus is that they can be recycled. All you do is post your used masks back to them to go through their recycling process. Looks like a fantastic alternative by cutting down on the waste. These look interesting, though we haven’t yet used them. The blurb says washable up to 20 times and 11R.
TOP TIPS: This may sound obvious right, but we’ve seen it happen so here it is…make sure your mask is the right way around (not inside out). This usually means the darker shade of blue faces out. And don’t wear it upside down. Yup seen that too. The metal piece is to press in on your nose for a more snug fit. Wear your glasses so the frame sits over the mask, and if they fog up, place a folded piece of tissue just beneath the mask where the metal piece is. Final word on masks…to save wildlife from getting tangled up, please cut the ear loops.
We find the glasses type of visors less hot than the ones with a strip of foam under the headband. Same ones available from eBay. The visors seem to wear pretty well and will last some time before you have to replace them. They’re easy to disinfect after each use, either with sanitiser spray and paper, or with soap and water.
TOP TIPS: Remember to peel off the plastic film front and back before using otherwise the visor will be slightly opaque and not easy to see. Washing with soap and water before use will make them not fog up. Don’t use super hot water because you might warp the visor – we may know someone who’s done this!
We’ve bought some wipeable aprons from this company. They have different colours to choose from. (We nabbed the blue ones.)This means that you can disinfectant your apron after each use. They’re also washable which is great. If you’re after disposable aprons, try these ones.
TOP TIP: If you don’t want to wear an apron, change your uniform for each client.
Nitrile or vinyl gloves can be used, but we’ve found that nitrile give a better fit, give a better feel and don’t make any noise. We’ve also found these ones that are biodegradable (small size suit long rather than short fingers). The thing about biodegradable gloves though is how do you dispose of them? What happens to them if you put them in your usual waste bin? Won’t they just go to landfill? Don’t they need some biomass to start them off degrading? Need to do more research on that.
TOP TIPS: The trick to using gloves for massage is to use snug fitting ones. That way they stay put and you’ll still be able to palpate when doing your massage. And another tip: when wearing gloves for massage, you’ll need to use more oil than usual.
MASSAGE TABLE COVERS
We usually use some nice lightweight towelling couch covers from Tavy Cover, but at this time, it’s more practical to have a plastic one. Luckily the Massage Warehouse have been quick of the mark to develop these ones. They’re not expensive and can be wiped down and disinfected before and after each client. They’re looking like they’re going to be very durable too. They also sell a more heavyweight cover that resembles the same product that is used to cover the tables. They cost more than the lighter ones.
TOP TIP: Instead of using a cover, some therapists have been disinfecting their massage table. They’re now finding that the disinfectant is damaging their tables. That’s why we’d highly recommend using one of the above covers.
FACE CRADLE COVERS
If you’re using a face cradle with a horseshoe shape cushion you’ll want to cover it with something other than the usual fabric covering. These are the disposable ones we’re using.
We like these compact crates to use for holding all the extra equipment needed at this time. Things like sanitiser, disinfectant spray, sanitiser wipes, etc. And when not in use they collapse down so they are space saving too. At time of writing the grey are unavailable but they come in black and grey as well.
Rolls of paper to use for wiping and cleaning surfaces. We got ours from here.
We’re using Dettol spray from chemists and supermarkets but you can source them online from somewhere like like Wilko. Amazon seem to be charging way more than buying from a bricks and mortar shop.
Among others, we’ve bought these ones but there are lots of different ones available online and in shops.
TOP TIP: Remember to check the alcohol level. Best to be at least 70%.
How to safely put on and take off your PPE
Keep in touch
This page will be updated as we continue to source new products. Do let us now if you come across any gems that you like.
And if you’d like to keep up to date with info about our courses, tops tips and other news join our e-newsletter list. If you’re new to massage press here. And if you’re already qualified in massage press here.
Dympna and Doreen🙂
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