Should I still come to my appointment sick?

When I first started this post I had every intention on sending the message that people don’t seem to care about going to places when they are sick. This was right before COVID. For once everyone seemed to be on the same track of, just stay home. We as a society used to have a bad habit of going to places sick. Just the other day I was reminded of this, by a client who got huffy that I required people who are sick to reschedule. That client came after the pandemic, and was the only person since the requirement had been placed on my intake forms. Before the pandemic hardly anyone questioned if they should go to appointments sick, they didn’t care how it would effect them or others. Which made me realize that due to this, people are now staying home and focusing on their health.

It was and is still common for people to question whether or not they should go to work sick or try to pull off working when sick. This extends to other public places, like massage offices, with many still deciding to still go as if it wasn’t a problem. Except it is a problem, as not only is it unpleasant and worse for someone to get a massage when sick, they expose other people and their Massage Therapists.

Massage is not a fun experience when you’re sick. Most often you can’t breathe due to the face cradle, your nose is running, and you have to cough every few minutes. Massage is actually contraindicated for colds, flu, and pneumonia for a reason. It can exacerbate the symptoms of whatever acute illness you’re suffering from. Your body is already doing a lot of work trying to fight off what’s attacking it, increasing blood and lymph flow can overburden the body at this time. If you want to help your body and not make things worse, it’s probably best to stay home and rest.

When we go to work, or the store, or an appointment sick, we as a society are stuck on auto-pilot. We’re more focused worrying about bills, what we need to pick up, making sure we’re sticking to our schedules and promises. We don’t think about others, we are so unconscious that we have now unintentionally exposed someone else to what we are suffering from. We ignore simple suggestions from the CDC to stay at home even when we have the option to order delivery or use pick-up for groceries and medications. We tell others to avoid sick people because it’s not enough to tell sick people to stay home. I say “we” because we all find reasons to still go out, so unaware that we very rarely consider this. Others will get sick if we don’t take the time and space to take care of ourselves. 

Disease and illness spread through human contact, the air we breathe, through physical contact, or bodily fluids. Though industry standards in the massage business include regularly washing hands, changing out tables, and wiping everything down between clients, a massage therapist is in physical contact with someone for an hour or more. In a typical massage session, people are more physically interactive with their therapist than they are with the majority of humanity. If someone goes to a massage sick, they will usually have a runny nose, will cough, and for those really enjoying the experience they may even drool. Your therapist comes into contact with all of that if they choose to work with them. Many massage therapists will refuse to work with clients if they’re sick simply so they don’t catch what their clients have. This effects business as we now have to cancel out our schedules until we can get back to work, or risk working with other clients and spreading the sickness further. Some massage therapists have strict policies on this. I for one have now opted for a wellness agreement clause as a promise to not come in sick and requesting others to do the same.

So please, if the question even comes into your mind on whether or not to go into your appointment sick, reconsider. Not only is it more harmful to you, it’s harmful to the people around you. Choose instead to cuddle up at home with your best blankets, take your medication or immune boosters, and simply rest and recuperate.


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