I am temporarily closed for COVID-19 prevention.

Updated May 15, 2020

It is hard to project an absolute reopening date at this time. There is conflicting guidelines about when and how massage therapists can reopen, and even if the guidelines were made more clear, it is not safe to rush this process.

I am working hard to prepare my office for reopening, but there are some important facts to consider:

  • The State of Maine determines when I am legally allowed to return to practice. Although "massage facilities” are listed in Stage 3 of the plan to reopen Maine, "massage therapists” were listed in the Stage 1 healthcare reopening guidelines. Although it is clear that any LMT who has currently reopened must only serve clients who have obtained physician referrals, there is uncertainly about professional certifications and liabilities. Until I better understand my responsibilities, it would be unfair to ask you to do the work to obtain physician referrals.
  • The PPE and disinfectants I need must become regularly available. My suppliers are on on backorder with no projected shipping date. Although the guidelines for reopening businesses currently allow some substitutions when PPE is scarce, it would be clinically and ethically irresponsible to reopen until I can obtain the best equipment and adhere to the best practices. Widespread COVID-19 testing has only newly begun. While we are gathering a more complete picture of our public health, it is too soon to open.
  • I am making changes to the physical space and planning new safety routines, based on the best guidance in my industry. However, until the state guidelines for “massage facilities” are released in June, I will have no guarantee that this preparation will meet the expectations of state law.
  • The expected opening of gyms and nail salons has been delayed. Although there has been much hope that rural businesses could reopen sooner, when we follow the science, we find that these close environments are perfect for community transfer of the COVID-19 virus. I expect that there may be further adjustments to the timelines and expectations for massage therapists as well.

If you are scheduled with me for a session in June, I will contact you personally to discuss your appointment; expect to hear from me about a week before you are scheduled to see me. If we are able to proceed with your session, I will let you know what my new procedures will look like. If we are unable to keep your appointment, we will find the best option for rescheduling. Of course, if you need to discuss your personal circumstances sooner, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I want to thank you for your patience with this situation. The world is currently shaped by confusion and uncertainty, intensely so for anyone who is working to return to massage therapy. I may be able to open at some point in June, but I may need to wait until July. Although I would like to offer you some clear dates for my reopening, I just don’t have the information to do that. In the meantime, I am lucky to say that I am emotionally, physically and financially well; I hope the same is true for you.

Stay well out there. I hope to see you again soon,

Emily Bilodeau, LMT

Updated April 26, 2020

I am remaining closed until June 1st.

Again, I am postponing my reopening until June 1st. Massage therapy services are not listed by the State of Maine as “essential,” which I respect completely. Therefore, I am mandated to be closed until May 1st. I believe that the current order closing non-essential businesses is likely to be extended, so I am acting now rather than reacting later.

The larger factor in my decision not to try to open later this week is the guidance I am receiving from professional massage and public health organizations. We are flattening the curve, but we have not established sufficient testing or contact tracing for it to be ethical for me to considering opening just yet.

I am working hard to prepare my office for reopening, but keeping my projected date of June 1st will depend on the following:

  1. The State of Maine allows massage therapists to reopen.
  2. Widespread COVID-19 testing and contact tracing per CDC and WHO guidelines.
  3. Farmington and Franklin County see a dramatic drop or cessation in new cases.
  4. The PPE and disinfectants I need become regularly available.

If you are scheduled with me for a session between now and my projected reopening, I will contact you personally to cancel or reschedule—please be patient, as I have many of you to touch base with. If your next massage is scheduled for June 1st or after, I will wait to contact you once I know if I am able to reopen. Of course, if you need to discuss your personal circumstances sooner, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I want to thank those of you who have checked in to see how I’m doing through all this. Honestly, I’m holding up well. I have secured a PPP Loan (Franklin Savings Bank has been wonderful to work with!), which will help me weather this storm and reopen once conditions permit. In the meantime, I have been taking online professional development, making some important technical upgrades to my website, and increasing my base running mileage. I’ve managed to stay busy, but I am eager to get back to work with all of you.

Stay well out there. I hope to see you again soon,

Emily Bilodeau, LMT

Updated: April 2, 2020

I am closed until May 1st.

Again, I am postponing my reopening until May 1st. Massage therapy services are not listed by the State of Maine as “essential,” which I respect completely. Therefore, I am mandated to be closed until May 1st.

The Stay Healthy at Home order has further restricted what businesses can operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Massage therapy is not an essential service; however, some physical therapists and chiropractors have the discretion to remain open. If you are in pain and you want to discuss your options, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please remember that essential travel is permissible during Stay Healthy at Home. Although we should all be limiting our trips and keeping six feet from folks who are not members of our immediate household, we can still travel:

  • To and from essential workplaces
  • To the grocery store and pharmacies
  • To care for family members
  • For take-out food
  • For outdoor recreation

I am especially grateful that I do not have to give up running until May 1st. I hope that each of you can get outside and enjoy springtime like I intend to. Please remember to uphold social distancing standards if you do play outside and to choose trails that are neither busy nor muddy if you hike. Our careful stewardship is the only thing that will keep these resources available to us.

Updated: March 26, 2020

I am closed until April 8.

Already, I am postponing my reopening until April 8th. Massage therapy services are not listed by the State of Maine as “essential,” which I respect completely. Therefore, I am mandated to be closed until April 8th.

These mandated business closures are in our best interest. The quicker we act to halt the spread of COVID-19, the quicker our lives can return to normal.

I hope you are all managing to take good care of yourselves while we wait this out. I’m personally grateful for all the sunshine lately, and I hope that each one of you has managed to get some fresh air in your daily routine.

Updated: March 23, 2020

I am closed until April 6.

I intended to reopen after my vacation last week, but we’ve all been watching medical science and public health practices change rapidly. For the health and safety of my clients, my family and my own self, I am closing for the next two weeks. At that time, I will assess the best course of action, whether to reopen or remain closed a bit longer.

If you are scheduled with me for a session between now and my projected reopening, I will contact you personally to cancel or reschedule. If your next massage is scheduled for April 6th or after, I will wait to contact you once I know if I am able to reopen. Of course, if you need to discuss your personal circumstances sooner, please do not hesitate to contact me.

In the meantime, let’s all do our part to support each other. Wash your hands. Keep an appropriate social distance. Stay home if you are feeling unwell. If we are patient and consistent, and if we remember that we are doing this for each other, we can flatten the curve.

I know that I have said to every one of you, at one time or another, that I have the best job in the world. I still feel that way, and I assure you that this closure is only temporary. I’m naturally disappointed, but I am 100% confident that it is the right thing to do. I don’t want any of you to ever expect any less of me.

Stay well out there. I hope to see you again soon,

Emily Bilodeau, LMT