covid-19 Archives - Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage : Sports Massage and Massage Therapy New York City

Massage Safty Policy & Pricing Updates-Summer 2021

COVID Safety precautions in place

Kindly wear a mask for your visit

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Massage Safty Policy & Pricing Updates-Summer 2021

We always adapt with the times to provide the safest and most professional massage and yoga services possible. So while taking into concern new state policies, feedback from our guests, and what’s best for our employees, here are some changes coming to Body Mechanics this season.

Covid safety policies: We are evolving as fast as the rules allow us to but following the state mandates. Here are the Covid Safety rules for our office:

  • Masks still on in the lobby, halls and building for everyone
  • Therapists will still be wearing masks during treatment
  • Vaccinated guests may opt not to wear masks; if they provide proof of vaccination- proof can be in the form of the NYS pass or in your card
  • You can find the full list of rules set out by Gov. Cuomo here.

Intra-oral TMJ Massages are coming back for vaccinated folks! For everyone’s safety, we were offering only exterior TMJ massages since we reopened last year. Now that 10 million people have been vaccinated in New York state, we feel it’s alright to offer intra-oral once again. It will be an option for anyone getting a TMJ massage, not mandatory if you still prefer to keep your mask on. However, everyone who chooses to do intra-oral must provide proof of vaccination. They can bring it on the day of their appointment or send a picture to reception. We’ll make a note in our system, and you won’t have to provide proof more than once, and that information will not be shared with any party, ever.

Lymphatic massages are increasing by $15 starting in July. This massage is a specialized treatment that aids specific issues. They will be $145 for a one-hour massage.

TMJ massages are increased by $10 Starting in July. This is a highly specialized service and we need to compensate our workers for that.

Healthcare Hero discount is ending in on 6/30. This discount was originally going run for only a month, but after a year of being available this discount will be discontinued in July.

Please send any questions or concerns about any of the above to info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

The secret permit you didn’t know existed that is ruining massage in New York City and what we can do about it

If you are a licensed massage therapist practicing in New York City, you need to read this article now. 

9 years ago, in opening my business, I came up against a wall called the Adult Physical Culture Permit. If you are a licensed massage therapist and do not know what it is, you are not alone. When I started asking about it, many of the business owners and teachers I asked were unfamiliar with the permit or misunderstood how it worked. Many long-established licensed massage therapists did not know that their businesses were technically in violation of an out-of-date zoning law. 

What’s is it?

In the 1970s, regulations were put into place in New York City to get a grip on the brothels and unsafe prostitution houses running out of bogus business fronts. The regulations used a wide brush and stated all businesses where the services provided include touch or instruction between man and woman needed to prove that they weren’t selling sex. To do so, they needed to apply and be approved for an Adult Physical Culture Permit.

The Adult Physical Culture Permit is highly specialized, much like a liquor license. It requires that you have rented your space before applying for the permit, you then go through a permit application that can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to process (while you pay rent!), hire an architect to do a land survey, interview neighboring businesses and residents to see what your impact on the community would be, and go through a public hearing process. If that sounds like a LOT, you’re right it is!
Read more about how the permit came to be here

How this hurt’s NYC Massage bussinesses

Here’s how the math played out when I estimated the cost to opening a very small clinic of 3 rooms:

Let’s say rent at your potential location is $4,000 a month, but your landlord requires a 6-month commitment and deposit, so in your first month, your initial cost is $24k. At a minimum, the permit process takes another 6 months, so that’s another $24k just in rent. According to land attorney Howard Goldman, the lawyers, architects, and processing fees to get the permit approved can cost up to $50k. So to get into your space, before you factor in insurance and payroll, you need $98,000 in operating costs to practice massage legally in New York City right now.

Aside from the gross and possibly debilitating financial drain on small businesses, like our very own, the very fact that the permit requires massage therapists to prove that they aren’t performing sex work before they even open their space implies that massage could only be sex work if some government authority doesn’t oversee it. We’ve already spoken about the biases people can have toward massage, conflating it with sex work, and this shows that bias can literally be written into law.

Setting the financial bar so high ensures that large companies dominate massage in New York City rather than actual small businesses. Meaning, people with no training in massage are often running a massage business through a corporate structure, ensuring low pay and low quality.

What we can do about it

I am bringing this up now because there is a chance for us to do something about it.
Sometime this week, NYC is hosting public feedback sessions to potentially change the text of this law, leading to therapists no longer needing this permit to practice in New York City. Massage therapists, business owners, and future owners will be able to call in and testify how this permit hinders their business, profits, and plans. NOW IS THE TIME MASSAGE THERAPISTS NEED TO ACT.

Because of the service we provide, massage should rightfully be classified as medical care, and the zoning should reflect that.

If you attended the webinar held by the New York State Society of Medical Massage Therapists, you have already gotten some information on the players involved and who will be speaking, but anyone can attend the hearing virtually. 

35 years is way more time than this thing should’ve been on the books. Many small businesses and entrepreneurs are crushed under the weight of this permit, leaving room only for the big spa chains and corporations. Let’s change that now!

Today, the date and time for the review haven’t been decided, but we will update HERE when it is. We are asking that you forward this to any massage therapist you know so that they can get involved.


Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204, New York, NY 10001Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

World Health Day and Facing the Oversexualization and Dehumanization in Massage

2020 was likely the first time many people heard so much news directly from the World Health Organization so it wouldn’t be surprising if this is the first time you’re hearing of World Health Day. It isn’t not marked on many calendars but April 7th 1948 was the day the WHO was established and is now the day they create many campaigns to raise awareness of serious, imminent global health issues. Last year’s theme spurred by the surging number of COVID-19 cases, was to foster an appreciation of nurses and midwives, the people at the forefront of the most precarious and daunting medical situations during the pandemic.

This year’s World Health Day theme is  Creating a Healthier World. WHO’s goal is to have international agenies address inequalities in the perception and treatment of different social groups. This directive can be seen as a lesson learned from COVID-19 and the fallout surrounding the pandemic . One inequality that we see more and more each day (especially as New Yorkers) is a rise in racism and violence toward people of Aisan descent. We here at Body Mechanics emphatically denounce these heinous acts and stand in support of the Asian people and communities who have been affected by this senseless and unjust hatred.

Massage in Media

The world of massage can sometimes contribute to the negative light that paints how society views Asian people, and it is up to us as part of the massage community to push back against these ideas. Racist and sexist ideas often develop because a certain group of people have been dehumanized by another. When we don’t have to look at someone as a fellow human, we don’t have to offer them respect, understanding, or empathy. Without those things, abuse, intolerance, and hate can grow. The media and general culture of American society dehumanizes massage in three major ways: attaching mystic orientalism to massage practice, conflating massage with sexual favors, and minimizing female massage workers as only sexual objects.

Movies, shows, or books that refer to Asian-run massage establishments as “rub and tug joints” or making jokes about getting a happy ending whenever someone mentions massage gives a bad connotation to both sex work and massage. Believing that there’s a secret, dirty code you can give any massage therapist to receive a sexual favor reduces the person and the work they do to being a dirty secret. The people working with our bodies deserve the same respect we’d give any professional.

Respect must also be given to the cultures from which we in the West have taken and commodified certain massage practices. From “namaste” tattoos, to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to any stereotypical; Dragon Lady character, the history of stereotyping and other-ing Asian culture runs deep. The same applies for massage techniques of Asian origin.

Discussing Orientalism in Medicine with Nick Ng

Body Mechanics sat down with Nick Ng, founder and editor at Massage and Fitness Magazine and spoke about his personal experience traversing the world of massage education as an Asian American.

Body Mechanics: Why do you think Asian women tend to be sexualized in massage settings?

“Orientalism began in the 13th century, but the fantasies and misrepresentations it provoked stretch through media and text all the way to the present. The fetishization of Asian women in a massage setting has its roots in Orientalism.”

Body Mechanics: In the past, you’ve spoken about how Orientalism is common in health and wellness. Can you explain some of the ways the misrepresentations of Orientalism manifest in massage therapy?

There’s a gap in the understanding of the language between the Japanese and Chinese language to the Indo-European language. Other than my [ethnically] Japanese teacher, everyone else [in massage therapy school] misinterpreted a lot of the meanings of the Chinese narratives and even the language and the characters themselves when they mention about Traditional Chinese Medicine. And I’m just rolling my eyes in class and I try not to voice out, but nobody challenged it. And it gets passed on to clients, it gets passed onto media, it gets passed on to each generation of massage therapists.

A lot of therapists who study these Asian massage therapies or other Indigenous types of bodyworks, they do not understand the culture and the history and the language of the people who first practiced it. And it’s a sign of colonialization. …what [American therapists and educators] don’t realize is that a lot of these techniques and narratives also have their own identity. Like Lomi Lomi has its own Hawaiian narrative, Shiatsu has its own Japanese narrative, Thai massage has its own narrative. And there is an issue with cultural appropriation where they leverage these cultures. They use these techniques to leverage for their own thing.”

Body Mechanics: Is there a way for someone who is not from these cultures to teach or practice in a way that still honors and respects these cultures?

Really spend the time and energy to try to fully understand the history of the cultures from where the techniques come from rather than just using the techniques for personal gain.

We here at Body Mechanics hope that on this World Health Day, this post shows the proper respect to the people and cultures from which many massage therapists derive the skills and knowledge they use to help their clients and patients. A healthier world doesn’t just mean getting medical representation of at risk groups but creating a safer world for the people currently at a higher risk of being attacked, mistreated, stereotyped and taken advantage of.


By Matt Danziger and Ken Douglas

Related reading:
Science-based Educators for Massage Therapy

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

Supporting Small Businesses in the Holiday Season of Covid

The Ultimate Guide to Paying it Forward to Small Business During Covid

 

It is no surprise that 2020 is a hard year for most people. As a small business owner, it has been especially challenging. Many New York businesses were closed upwards of four months at the start of the season representing crushing financial losses.  While most of us New Yorkers gripe about the big box stores coming in, New York is still mainly made up of small businesses, and those businesses represent jobs, and more importantly, people.

The SBDC of New York, which offers free business counseling for New York business, lists that small business makes up 99.9% of all business in New York. As a group, we made up 50.2% of the private workforce and employed 4.0 million people. That is a lot of people, of those, 708,962 of those are also minority/woman-owned. With the current situation, there is less money in people’s pockets which means less spending money, there is less foot traffic and many businesses have capacity restrictions on them (such as ours follow us @bodymechanicsnyc) that make paying the rent a challenge. As a community, we need to come together to support each other.

With that in mind I wanted to put together a list of things you, the public (or fellow small businesses) can do to help make sure your favorite Mom and POP’s make it through the winter.


Prime Guide Partners Logo

We reached out to PrimeGuide Partners, a social media marketing agency based in NYC, to get some advice on best FREE practices to support small businesses. They are women and minority-owned small businesses themselves. Here is the list of completely free tools most people have at their disposal. They recommended some of the following bolded tips. Be sure to follow @primeguide on Instagram for more social media advice:

  1. Posting a positive review to Yelp or Google. (or both) Posting reviews for a business is FREE marketing for them. It can also provide content for Google to crawl/read so it can affect how businesses come up in search, so putting words that include the neighborhood and service into their review can be extra helpful. Since Google is a huge search engine, it is preferred, especially since Yelp sometimes filters first-time reviewers.
  2. Following the business on Facebook and Instagram…and commenting on their posts. Prime Guide specified that “Engagement on a post can be as simple as a smiley face emoji or heart. It helps businesses understand what type of content is resonating with their audience. Also, posts with more active and thoughtful interactions will get more reach and help the business grow its online presence. And don’t forget to share on your page or story!”
  3. Feature the business in a story or post. If you have a favorite photographer or are remembering an event, remember to tag/geotag and give a shout out to the business involved. Telling your friends via a story that you just had your workout with your favorite trainer is literally invaluable.
  4. Recommend them online in social groups. While these kinds of recommendations do not come up in Google the same way reviews do, they are often more trusted as they are personal recommendations from online community groups. The thread may be searched over and over again by others looking for recommendations from real people that they trust. Trust is a high-value reward.
  5. Sign up for their mailing list. Signing up for a business mailing list can keep you aware of opportunities you might be interested in.
  6. Word of mouth referral. This one is old fashioned, but it works. Face to face referrals are trusted…and can build long-lasting relationships.

For industry-specific advice, we reached out to some of our other favorite businesses to see if they had ideas about things that might help them the most in the next few months.

Photography:

Katie Ward Photography
Katie Ward Photography

Katie Ward, a family photographer, is currently only offering outdoor shoots due to COVID. This has cut her season short since no one wants to have outdoor shoots when it gets cold. In addition to the suggestion of buying gift certificates for friends and family, or booking shoots now for next year, she also added that many photographers can provide prints and holiday cards for you as well. “I know that most of my clients are already planning on spending money to have prints and holiday cards made. What would be ideal is if they love my work, and the photos I provide to them, to make these purchases through me. The commissions from these purchases would be helpful in keeping me afloat during the winter when I can’t be shooting.”@katie_n_ward


Yoga Studios:

Due to both being labeled as exercise and being a face-to-face business, yoga studios have been hit hard. Yoga studios are not necessarily a place to go exercise, they are technically schools and community meeting places. We reached out to Teri from Park Slope Yoga and she had this to say:” There are many thoughts on what support looks like – and the longer this goes, the amounts required keep rising. Coming to class and purchasing online memberships seems obvious, but can be problematic to those who struggle with space (mental/physical) in NYC apartments. Our beautiful community has provided donations that have allowed us great benefit.” She recommended introducing your neighbors, friends, and coworkers to studios you love…this season it seems like it might be time to give the gift of yoga, after all it will be a gift that flows two ways. To help right now you can access on-demand yoga from their website rather than go to YouTube, and buy gently used props for home practice. Please check with your local studio for their offerings.  @parkslopeyoga


Fitness:

Luisa Noelle

Making it as a small fitness + wellness business on the other side of Covid requires flexibility, a focus on safety and quality more than ever.  We talked to Luisa Noelle about her personal training business and she said she has, “shifted about 80% of my fitness and yoga clients online.  My nutrition services were generally online already or shifted along with my personal training clients to online. 10% of clients have shifted to training outside.  As it’s getting colder, we are layering up and are still training outside.” While some gyms are open, it is at limited capacity and there are no classes, so now might be the time to start having some fitness dates at a distance. Being open to modifying your usual routine to train outside or online really helps. She also noted, because she took off 3 months in the pandemic, finding balance is hard, things can suddenly drop off, and “it’s hard to fit in the needed time for nonspecific client communication along with my other work-related tasks.  On the weeks where things sink to 5 sessions a week,  it’s hard to power work through a communications plan effectively due to change@noelleh33


Beauty:

Beauty industries have been hit hard because they are face to face and they were closed the longest. We talked to Hibba Kapil about her business Hibba Soho that specializes in waxing, threading, and eyebrow shaping about what she needs most. She said, “many people are reluctant to buy packages right now, due to the uncertainty of it all, but rest assured your packages will be there when this is over.” Buying them now is very helpful. She also said to enquire about other options if you do not want to come in. For example,  right now Hibba will come to you if you are in the NYC area for services over $100. Your whole pod can get pampered. Bottom line email the business and ask questions @hibbabeautystudio


Florists:

Stems Brooklyn
Stems Brooklyn

Businesses that produce things, like florists, gift basket makers, and personalized products face a different set of challenges altogether. We reached out to Suzanna Cameron of Stems Brooklyn, an eco-conscious florist in Bushwick to ask her about what would best help businesses such as her in this holiday season and she recommended, “To look for any items locally versus just going online to a big chain. And having patience with small businesses by understanding everyone is working more restricted services so that sometimes impacts how quickly you can get what you want.”. New York State has placed restrictions on business capacities and many mom and POP’s are now working with reduced staffing due to moves, finances, and staff changes. Buying local even when there is a big distributor for a service is super important right now. @stemsbrooklyn


Cafes:

Mojo Mousse Bar

We can all see what is happening to the restaurants and cafes….We have outdoor dining but winter is coming. We reached out to Jaqueline Assumpcao of Mojo Desserts on the Upper East Side to ask what she thought would be the best help. She had recently heard of something called a “‘cash mob‘, which is where groups of people come together and shower the business”. Buying in groups so the money really adds up, taking the initiative to organize and support your community can make a huge difference. And of course, if you’re wondering, order directly from the business. @mojodesserts


There are a LOT more suggestions. While I was putting this list together and talking to business owners, this website came out to support the UES Stores. Big thank you to the designers for taking the initiative. For businesses like mine, and massage therapy, that requires long face-to-face contact I would recommend contacting the city council for rent relief. In the end our survival depends on US working together as a community to keep the beautiful things we have built. I encourage you to tag, share, post, buy, recommend, ask questions about what you can do. Many small businesses are working at 25-50% capacity by law, and that does not cover the rent.

The other thing you can do is GET INVOLVED. There are things that could be legislated to help small businesses, but so far not much relief has been provided. If you have more ideas feel free to let us know!

Header photo by DiEtte Henderson on Unsplash

Continue reading “Supporting Small Businesses in the Holiday Season of Covid”

Massage at our location during COVID-19

Welcome to your local Massage Therapy information page for Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage!

If you are reading this blog, you probably have some questions about whether or not it is safe to receive a massage in the time of Covid-19, and what our practice and our cleaning regimen looks like since opening. If you have been directed here by reception or management, it is so that we can put all the information you need in one place.

** UPDATE as of September 3rd, NYS allows services, where you need to touch the face to take off their masks, provided the practitioner has had a Covid test….we are NOT taking masks off in treatment. It is unnecessary and creates undue risk. However, we feel that the ruling is an EXCELLENT indication of how safe it is to have a massage at this point. We look forward to breathing a little more deeply with you all when the risk is over. 

** UPDATE NYS posted as of Dec 12th that in-person services with precautions are not the driver of infections.

In July, Phase 3 allowed massage therapy to open in New York City. You can see our initial announcement about that at the bottom of this page. We were given specific guidelines to follow in a multiple page document from Forward New York that included a summary, as well as a detailed explanation of how a business is supposed to operate to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The instructions provide a comprehensive outline of required cleaning, safety, and operations. If you want to see the full document, you can follow the links here.

  • Fortunately, we have always operated as a medical practice, so most of what was in the document was already being used by our facility in the routine care of universal and standard precautions ( the accepted standard for cleaning and disease prevention).
  • Each of our rooms has always been equipped with 70% alcohol which is the CDC/OSHA standard for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • We have also always had 30 minutes between appointments because I was used to hospital-based care and I did not think 10-15 minute breaks between patients was a reasonable time to clean, disinfect and do a full assessment.
  • On a similar note, when we designed our space, all of the treatment room furniture was chosen to be able to be disinfected by chemical means. The chairs and tables may look nice, but we picked plastic for a reason.
  • Now, of course, we are paying extra attention to cleaning things like light switches and buttons in addition to wiping down all of our tables and chairs. Rest assured, however, that we have and will always strive towards a medical level of clean, as that was how we were built.

So what are we doing with our massage safety, and what will you find to be different? 

  • All staff is masked, and you will be too, for the entirety of your treatment. Not to worry, we have multiple ways of making this very comfortable and have extra masks on hand if you need a spare.
  • Our staff is wearing scrubs/smocks so that they are not bringing outside transportation yuckies in.
  • We upgraded our booking platform to a new one that is completely paper-free and HIPAA compliant. No passing forms back and forth, no touching clipboards.  All of your notes are now online (if you are an old customer, we kindly ask you to start with a new health history and consent form- but do not worry, we have access to all of our old information as well).
  • You might also notice that our linens are a little brighter. Previously we used a local laundry company. We have switched to a hospital laundry service. Everything is packaged and handled for medical care. Our laundry was clean….now it is pristine.
  • Your temperature will be taken on arrival.
  • There is hand sanitizer provided in the rooms, not just at the desk, as it was pre-COVID.

There have also been some changes you may not see:

  • Reception is disinfecting the desk on a regular schedule
  • We now have tap and go EMV payments
  • The waiting room is technically closed so most people go directly to their rooms after a brief pause to have their temperature checked. Our office has always been low traffic, but you may not even see another customer now or just see them briefly. You can help us by showing up promptly 5 minutes before your appointment so we can keep that happening.
  • Our staff is testing regularly.
  • Each room and the lobby has a discreetly placed HEPA filter device
  • Reception is tracking visitors to our office who do not have appointments such as mailmen and pest inspection.
  • All of our bedding/extra pillows/pregnancy supports have been modified to allow for disinfecting, not just regular laundering. * For example, our pregnancy pillows for side-lying used to be double covered in pillowcases to protect you. Now the pregnancy pillow itself is made from vinyl and that is covered with a pillowcase. We had custom pillows made for this
  • We fitted each room air filter that brings the outside air in with a MERV filter. All the air coming into our space is CLEAN.

We are ha{“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“dc67528d-d54e-428e-9e49-f4f067454a42″],”srcRootClientId”:””}ppy to answer any specific questions you have…please ask!

Our Massage Therapy Clinic in NYC Opening in Phase 3

Massage Therapy Opens in Phase 3!

We have an important update to share! Massage Therapy is scheduled for phase 3 re-opening in NYC! Phase 3 may be as early as July 6th. We will tentatively start taking appointments now for that date on a modified schedule. Our front desk is not yet open so all appointments must be made online.

If the opening is delayed, we will work with our customers and reschedule any appointments.  Due to Covid-19, there will be some office changes. 

Both you and your therapist will be required to wear a mask for the duration of your visit. This is now New York State law for staying operational. If you do not have a mask one can be provided for you, but please let us know before you enter so that we can provide it. Your therapist will also be wearing clean scrubs as their new uniform. 


Your temperature will be taken when you arrive to make sure that you are not running a fever. Our therapists will have their temperatures taken daily, as well as having the government required COVID-19 tests on an ongoing schedule. Please let us know in ADVANCE if you have any symptoms so that we can appropriately reschedule you. We will still be maintaining a cancellation policy. If you fall ill, send us a doctor’s note and we can waive it. 

We have cleaned your space just for you. We always operated as a medical facility so this was not a big change for us. You will notice some small changes in our protocol in the way our linens are handled and some of the products we use. Additionally, our building HVAC system has been upgraded and a HEPA filtration has been added to each room.


We have also upgraded our booking platform to a streamlined HIPPA compliant system, have less contact, and have all of our notes online. Please be PATIENT with us. This is a process and we did this to keep everyone safer and have a long term better experience, but in the beginning, there may be challenges. Before your first visit, you will need to fill out updated paperwork. If you do not see your favorite therapist, they have yet to be added, check back in a week or two.

Thank you for waiting…we are excited to see you. 

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
United States (US)
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com