By Barbara Allen, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – For Andrew and Jill Dudka, owners of Elements Massage in Shrewsbury, the health and safety of their staff and clients is of the utmost importance. For those weighing the well-publicized benefits of massage against the risk of possible exposure to the coronavirus, Andrew Dudka has a message of reassurance: Elements Massage is going above and beyond to protect their clients and staff, while continuing to offer the same quality customer service for which they are known.
“The state of Massachusetts put together clear re-opening requirements for massage studios,” Dudka explained.
At Elements, staff must pass a temperature screening prior to beginning work. Appointments are staggered to reduce social interaction. More time has been allotted between clients to better facilitate deep cleaning and disinfecting of private massage spaces. Both massage therapists and clients wear face masks; therapists also wear goggles, aprons and gloves. New gloves and laundered aprons are changed between every client session.
But protection starts even before the appointment. When scheduling a massage, clients must answer a verbal questionnaire regarding their health. Upon arrival at the massage studio, clients then have their temperature taken with a touch-less thermometer. If the client’s temperature is elevated above the guidelines set by the CDC, he or she must reschedule their massage appointment. Prior to their massage, clients also need to answer another short questionnaire, this time written, about their current health status and any potential exposure to illness.
Besides carefully following the re-opening requirements, Dudka has taken precautions one step further with the addition of an antimicrobial UV light system to the studio’s HVAC system.
Pathogens borne by air particles are killed by the UV light, he explained. The particles are then captured via a MERV filter. The sanitized air is then recirculated back into the studio.
For a business which has taken a substantial hit due to Covid-19, operating since their re-opening on June 24 at only 65 percent of their previous client volume, “it was a significant investment,” Dudka admitted. “But it was important that I do all I could to make my employees and clients comfortable.”
He pointed out that their Elements franchise is a small business, independently owned and operated and, as such, he and his wife face the same struggles as other small businesses during this difficult time to make ends meet.
For clients, the ailments which had been effectively treated by massage prior to the pandemic have not gone away.
“They may have become worse,” observed Dudka, “not only due to COVID-19, but because of the additional stress of everything else that’s going on in the world.”
He encouraged clients to book an appointment at Elements, to gift themselves a respite from all that, “to let their minds go blank and embrace the hour of stress relief,” offered by a massage.
To learn more about Elements Massage of Shrewsbury, their membership-based service, types of massage offered, and add-ons (which include cupping, salt stone massage and CBD oil, to name a few) available, visit their website at www.elementsmassage.com/shrewsbury.
Elements Massage is located at the White City East Shopping Center, 100 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. For questions or to book an appointment, call 508-319-1720.