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As I re-evaluate my massage business and practice efforts in 2021, I am encouraged by the prospects of growth in the massage therapy field. I am reminded what has fueled my massage business: the desire and opportunities to serve with the healing power of touch.

There are still many tremendous opportunities to rekindle one’s business and make our businesses thrive.

Certainly, we cannot change the reality of COVID-19’s impact in our communities. It is everyone’s responsibility to curtail the spread of this virus. Consistent safety measures taken will curtail viral spread and exposure. We can choose which measures we can take to be as safe as possible in our massage practice.

9 Safety Measures

In my facility in Tempe, Arizona, we take these safety measures for both massage clientele and class attendees:

  1. Temperature check upon arrival.
  2. Masks/face coverings are required in the building. No exceptions, as we have turned people away for not wanting to wear such item.
  3. Client/Student washes hands in restroom.
  4. Rooms are cooler than usual as ventilation systems are consistently on. Doors may be left open if no other sessions are being performed in the building.
  5. Class sizes limited to 10 attendees max allowing for ample distancing of chairs in classroom.
  6. During hands-on practice, we ensure tables are at least six feet apart and that dyads may utilize all four regions of the room with their table setup.
  7. Class breaks are longer to allow ample time for cleaning between sessions during class.
  8. Half hour blocks of time are scheduled between sessions to allow ample time to clean massage room.
  9. We use a professional laundry service to deliver and pick-up fresh linens weekly.

My business has always been diligent to follow universal precautions and pristine health standards. Clients have expressed gratitude when we reopened in large part to the concerned efforts towards cleanliness. We ensure a half hour minimum between sessions to allow ample opportunity to clean effectively.

Today’s efforts need not be a far stretch from past efforts of maintaining a hygienic practice. All massage entry level curricula teach ways on maintaining cleanliness in one’s massage practice. Realistically, no one’s efforts should be a far stretch in this regard. Refer to your massage and/or pathology manuals from school for suggestions made by your instructors.

Cleaning Supplies

The quality of your cleaning supplies are important in your massage practice.

The quality of cleaning supplies will matter in maintaining hygienic massage treatment spaces. Mainstream cleaning agents such as Clorox and Lysol, popularly sold in stores, can be harsh chemically and cause equipment such as vinyl and padding to break down prematurely.

Other brands that may be more environmentally friendly and user-friendly in our field include:

  • Seventh Generation
  • Rejuvenate
  • and Citrus II

Cleaning agents with a more potent impact include:

  • Barbacide
  • Cavacide
  • Madacide
  • and Clear Gear

Electrostatic disinfection in the form of misting sprays may sanitize a room easily.

Brands include:

  • Force of Nature
  • and CleanCloud

Also, purchasing a vinyl table cover can help a massage table padding last longer. These may range from $25 to $100 depending on quality. These covers are often presented in Lomi Lomi or Sports Massage classes to protect the table from excessive product usage in these classes.

Another reality to bear is that COVID-19 will be tracked yearly as its fluctuations of cases will likely mirror those of influenza annually. There may be discussion each autumn season on getting an annual COVID-19 shot akin to receiving an annual influenza shot. Keeping this reality in mind – maintaining a strong immune system will be vitally important.

Increase in 3 Types of Clientele

When speaking to peers engaged in a private practice, the vast majority are informing me they are seeing an increase in certain types of clientele. Becoming confident and proficient with these populations will give you a greater chance to thrive this year.

1. Lymphatic for Cosmetic Procedures

Many people have taken the last several months to work on their bodies, including cosmetic procedure.

Amongst the most popular trends in recent years in cosmetic procedures include (1):

  • Mommy Makeovers, which involve a combination of multiple procedures including a tummy tuck; breast lifts, augmentation or reduction; liposuction; vaginoplasty and/or Brazilian butt lifts.
  • Rhinoplasty, which changes the shape and contour of the nose.
  • Botox used to eliminate facial wrinkles, aid in neck spasms, strabismus, hyperhidrosis and facial contractions.
  • Breast lift and augmentation to change the size, shape and contours of breast tissue.
  • Brazilian Butt Lifts to transfer fat to the gluteal region changing its size, shape and contour.

Lymphatic drainage techniques in addition to massage specific to addressing the lymphatic system can greatly aid clients receiving cosmetic procedures.

2. Children and Teens

With your nation’s youth predominantly engaging in online / at-home based schooling during this present school year, children and teens are developing many chronic challenges within their body usually only seen in adults.

Be sure to notice the posture held by our youth. Can you see the effects of sitting on a computer for over 5.5 hours, an average elementary school day, on a daily basis?

Forward head posture, shoulders rounded internally and slumped back positioning will contribute to many issues. Headaches coupled with neck and shoulder pain will become prevalent as a forward head posture puts unusual strain upon the shoulder girdle and neck musculature. (2)

Children and teens need massage more than ever as their bodies present with condition states usually seen in adults.

3. People with Chronic Headaches

Modern technology can lead to neck pain and chronic headaches

As people rely on technology more to stay connected to the world, in lieu of human connection, the misalignments of shoulder and neck alignment will lead to tension and related headaches. (3) Learning more techniques and approaches to address these misalignments can be a great choice for your next set of continuing education.

We can also teach clients simple stretches to perform daily to maintain their posture. Helping a client remain consciously aware of their posture daily will allow their gains made in a massage setting last longer.


Use the considerations shared in this article to create and morph your massage practice in positive directions. Ultimately, your mental attitude and fortitude will help you navigate these unusual times. Remain positive, keep working towards your goals, avoid listening to negative people, and remain consistent in your business efforts. You can thrive in 2021!