After eight weeks of confinement in France, I started back to work on 11 May. Working within the guidelines of the French government and the Fédération Française des Réflexologues (FFR), I had to make the necessary changes to ensure the safety for myself and my clients. One of the requirements was for both of us to wear a mask (face covering), which I know is causing a lot of concern for fellow reflexologists.
When I returned to the treatment room, most clients are still sleeping or dozing with the mask. It is not causing a barrier between us in relation to communication, connection etc.
To be honest, the main problem is mask envy! The first few minutes of conversation now seems to base around preferred style, fit, colour, pattern etc. and yes, male clients included! I find myself choosing which mask I feel would suit which client 😳😃.
It’s not ideal and I know we all wish the situation was different, but sadly it’s not, so we are just getting on with the ‘new normal’. For my clients they are just happy to be back in my chair, some have had no human contact for nine weeks. They all feel safe and so do I.
I know the UK is not ready yet, but it will be and I know for some, the reopening won’t be right for them. But for when the time is right, and if you have to make the same changes that we have had to, really don’t worry.
It works, it’s a bit weird at first but it’s okay too.
If I can give any advice, it would be don’t panic! We are all qualified reflexologists and have to ensure hygiene already, this is just quite a bit extra. Remember, when you are allowed to return to work, it will be because it is SAFER to do so.
France is now mostly inactive for the virus, which is why we can reopen. Once you have your guidelines from the government and any association that you belong to, you can then do a risk assessment on your own work area and make the necessary changes. Just please don’t over think things or become overwhelmed – it does work, I promise.
One extra bit of advice, when you can start again, you will be full of enthusiasm to book all clients back in – don’t! Give yourself a few days with fewer clients, the cleaning routine etc. is a lot more.
I am sure your guidelines will be the same for that – I have 30 mins between clients and I need all of that! So you will be more tired than usual. For me, after eight weeks’ rest, then the extra needed for cleaning and the thinking process, I was shattered half way through the week!
It got easier after that, once I had found a new routine that worked for me; but with hindsight I wished I hadn’t booked so many clients in the first few days.
Good luck, I promise, it’s a bit scary at first, but you will be fine.
Pauline Neville MAR (France)