Should Massage Therapists Wear Gloves?

The last time I had a proper massage was back in August of 2020 when COVID cases weren’t all that bad. From that point on, however, things quickly went downhill and with the new restrictions and lock-downs, getting an in-person massage slowly became impossible.

At the time of writing this post, there is a sense of normalcy in some parts of the world at least. For example the US seems to slowly be returning back to normal. However, India is definitely seeing the worst of it with no end in sight!

At the time of writing this post, there is a sense of normalcy in some parts of the world at least. For example the US seems to slowly be returning back to normal. However, India is definitely seeing the worst of it with no end in sight!

I do hope all of you are staying safe and doing your part to ensure yourself and everyone around you remains well. Don’t fret too much about massage and other restrictions, these things will all slowly start coming back in due time.

Should massage therapists be wearing gloves once restrictions start to ease up during the COVID-19 pandemic? By wearing gloves, there is definitely an added layer of protection in terms of transmission, no doubt about this. But…..

By having gloves on, a therapist can no longer perform his/her technique in the same manner as they would with bare hands. In that sense, the overall experience is negatively impacted!

By having gloves on, a therapist can no longer perform his/her technique in the same manner as they would with bare hands. In that sense, the overall experience is negatively impacted!

When I went to get my massage in late 2020, the therapist I was seeing was wearing a face mask. However, gloves were not part of the attire. To be quite honest, I didn’t see it as a big deal, because I too was required to wear a mask.

However, that’s just my opinion and I know that some folk will feel differently. Some may feel more safer with gloves, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this!

Should wearing gloves be enforced when it comes to massage? I don’t think so. If all the massage therapists start wearing gloves, the joy of getting a massage will quickly disappear.

It’s not just about a therapist not being able to perform their best strokes, it’s also about the human touch. Human touch is much more than just the physical, but there’s also psychological aspects to it. All of these important benefits would disappear if gloves were deemed to be required.

What do you think? Do you think wearing gloves should become mandatory? Leave a comment down below and let us know!

What do you think? Do you think wearing gloves should become mandatory? Leave a comment down below and let us know!

I think more important than wearing gloves is for massage establishments to ensure their clients feel safe and at ease. There’s a few measures both establishments and therapists alike can take to ensure this. For example, ensuring the sheets and bedding are all clean, and reiterating the same to the patient.

If a patient can do away with a face mask, that might make the massage more comfortable and therefore more enjoyable. However, this is easier said than done. I think in order for this to happen, COVID cases will have to be really low. Of course, I feel like we are very far away from reaching this!

One point that definitely warrants further discussion is allergies surrounding latex. In case you didn’t know, some of the disposable gloves are made of latex. If these gloves are used on someone who is allergic to latex, the consequences could be dire.

If you wanna know more about latex allergy along with the associated symptoms and causes, check out this article from Mayo Clinic!

Basically it varies from itchy skin to something as serious as anaphylaxis. If gloves are made mandatory, then the health agencies will definitely to consider alternatives to latex. It’s not only a patient who could be allergic, but also the person delivering the massage. Either way, the consequences are the same.

While gloves do provide an added barrier against transmission of viruses, the ability to break up fascia and perform deep tissue work is impacted. Essentially, a large element of human touch is also lost.

To me, the cons far outweigh the pros, and while I think safety is indeed paramount, other methods to curb the spread of the virus should be taken.

For example, wearing face masks, ensuring frequent cleaning of bedding and pretty much all surfaces, frequent cleaning of the floors etc.

If you’re a therapist in the industry, we’d particularly love to hear from you. What do you think about gloves and massage? Do the 2 mingle, or are they a strict no-no in your mind?

If you’re simply someone who loves getting a massage, and haven’t been able to do so lately because of COVID, what do you think? Would you feel safer if your therapist was to put on gloves?

Leave a comment down below as we’d love to hear from you!

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