How a Local Massage Therapy Business Stays Afloat During COVID
We’re approaching month seven since Alabama saw its first COVID case. Peaceful Solutions Massage Therapy has been in business in Montgomery for years, but when the pandemic hit, it affects a business that operates by touch a lot harder– Both physically and financially.
“I didn’t quit working because the governor told me to. I quit working because I wanted my clients to be safe,” Peaceful Solutions Massage Therapy Owner, LeAnne Owen, said. She decided to close the doors to her business ten days before Governor Ivey mandated it. Massage therapy was not deemed an essential job by the government.
“If you’re going to say chiropractors, P.T’s and everyone else is essential, I have people I keep off of pain medication on a regular basis, and they were hurting,” Owen explained. “I was told I could not work even though I had done the stuff to get myself back to work.”
After being quarantined for 11 weeks, Owen said she had a lot of time to plan out how to safely get back to business… 14 HEPA filters later, plus several no-touch hand sanitation stations, no-touch trash cans among other supplies… all equaling close to $20,000 to safely operate during the pandemic.
“It is the fundamental of it all is us touching, but we try to do it as safely as possible. We now have a new website that lets them do an intake form, so if they have any symptoms, I know and can tell them not to come in,” Owen said.
She explained everything from using lotion out of the same container has had to be changed. That’s why she invested in a specific organizer. Each client gets their own portion of lotion, and her clients who come regularly are stored on a shelf and labeled. She said she’s working between 50 and 75 percent right now, and has had two cancellations already this week from people worried they may be infected.
“A good massage will lower your stress level by increasing your oxytocin, serotonin. You get a little more dopamin. Massage does all sorts of things, but I have my chronic pain patients, a lot of VA people, people from Maxwell, and they really need that monthly massage to keep them from having to take a lot of strong medicine, which we’re trying to get people off of right now.”
Owen told us she did receive an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the government, which helped out the business while it was shut down and also helped cover some of the supplies she has added to stay on top of safety.
With the new system of separating lotion use, the spa has been able to incorporate C.B.D. oils into massages to help with pain and anxiety, among several other symptoms.