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Curious about what massage therapists and spas are doing to prepare for reopening? Wondering about what a massage experience might be like in the “new normal?” We know you are, given that 73% of you are aching to get your stress worked out when wellness businesses reopen post-COVID-19. Well, we are just as curious as the lot of you. So much so, that we reached out to our friend Jenalee Dahlen, Chief Visionary and Integrative Officer of Yoso Wellness Spa, to get some answers.
Jenalee: A few things they can expect to have changed when they come in are...
1. Forms and screenings
We send clients an intake form along with their booking confirmation, as well as a COVID-19 form and safety reminders to read and sign before their service. This removes or minimizes the time clients are gathering in the reception area. Upon arrival, we ask a series of COVID-19-related health questions and give clients a no-touch thermal temperature check. From there, we offer a spritz of sanitizer or directions to the restroom, so clients can wash their hands before receiving their service.
2. Faster checkout
On top of that, we are also providing checkouts before the services. Once the client’s treatment is complete, the practitioner can immediately step outside with them, schedule their next appointment on a tablet, and send them on their way. The only reason they would need to spend time in the reception area after their service is if we needed to show them skincare products.
3. Protective gear
The practitioners providing the service will be wearing gloves, face coverings, and, when necessary, a face shield or protective eyewear.
4. Fewer amenities provided
To reduce touch points, we are asking clients to bring their own water bottle, and for the time being, have removed our magazines and books for lounging and reading, extra amenities in the restroom, and client refreshments and snacks through the spa.
These new processes will help reduce client crossover, limit the number of practitioners being in the space at the same time, and protect everyone within our doors, reducing potential exposure. Our top priority is the health and safety of our team and clients, followed by the prevention of our business from being closed again. When it is closed, we cannot physically support the wellness and self-care of our community. Anything we can do during this time to continue to create an experience while protecting everyone within our doors, we will do.
While Yoso Wellness Spa has always had high standards for cleanliness, we have created a space to take a deeper look at our processes. This is to ensure we are creating a safe space for our clients, community, and team.
Some additional new "Stay-Safe Protocols and Policies" we have implemented that our clients are not directly involved in are increasing our cleaning schedule for sanitizing and disinfecting through the spa:
1. If the restroom is used, a team member will be going in and wiping it down after.
2. We always try to keep the front door open to reduce the number of touch points for our clients. If a door needs to be opened, one of our team members will do it.
3. We have removed testers from the skincare area and are asking clients not to touch the retail products. A team member will be handling the products unless a client has already purchased it in order to reduce any potential exposure.
4. To help keep our clients safe, we are also holding the team members of Yoso accountable with COVID-19 screenings, staggered lunches, and sanitized skincare bottles in the treatment room at the end of every service instead of at the end of the day.
5. Additionally, Yoso is scheduling or has already taken COVID-19 testing to reassure our community that we are a safe space. We are taking this seriously, as our clients’ health and wellness are top priorities. Yoso was created to be a respite—a space for healing, balancing, and nurturing through touch and wellness—and we will do everything possible to continue to uphold, and go above and beyond, our standards to continue this mission.
6. While it is not required, to help keep our clients safe, we have also ordered eight eco-friendly air-purifiers to place throughout the entire spa, including staff-only areas. These air purifiers use a process to deactivate airborne toxins and collect tiny particles as small as bacteria from the air.
Ultimately, our goal is to create a calm and seamless experience. While processes have changed due to COVID-19, we continue to do our best to make sure our services feel gentle, reassuring, safe, and enjoyable. What won't be different is the care, passion, and heart that go into each treatment, and the smiles that are happening under our masks.
As you can see, our favorite spas are doing everything they can to keep us safe and healthy. Whether you feel comfortable going back or want to stick at home for a while, find comfort in the fact that they’re patiently waiting and preparing for your safe and comfortable return. Thanks, Jenalee and Yoso Wellness Spa!
Yoso Wellness Spa offers a variety of treatments from CBD massages to spray tanning. Live near Santa Cruz and want to check them out? Browse their services and book on Mindbody!
Don’t live near Santa Cruz, but still want a massage? Browse wellness businesses near you.
By now, we all know the benefits of virtual and online fitness classes, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about some of the struggles. To adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, studios and instructors all over the world had to get crafty, many with little-to-no experience with live streaming or recording workouts at home (so, if you haven’t, make sure you send your instructors a quick thank you—because they deserve it). Now that we’ve realized virtual fitness is here to stay—and we’ve all had lots of practice—the virtual experience is getting a whole lot better.
Here’s what your favorite studios and instructors are doing to improve their virtual fitness classes right now:
Everything seems harder than it must be right now...which is why jumping through hoops to get into a class should be the last thing on your mind. As with most things, the simpler, the better (unless we’re talking about the actual workout). Studios are working on creating a one-button experience to join a class. You sign up, get an email, press ‘join,’ and you’re in. And if something happens with your WiFi and you end up getting kicked out, no worries. One button click and you’re back in, without even missing a circuit.
If there's one thing more annoying than not having easy access to classes, it’s bad quality and connection. We’ve all found ourselves in online classes where you literally can’t follow along due to poor connectivity causing instructors to freeze every five seconds. Or if it’s an on-demand class that doesn’t buffer, you’re stuck looking at a spinning wheel as your heart rate decreases at the worst possible time. Not fun.
Now, studios and instructors are doing their absolute best to make sure they have top-notch WiFi and streaming services so we can work out without delays. Better cameras, lighting, and space setups are just a few of the investments instructors and studios are making to make virtual workouts as close to the in-studio experience as possible.
For most, working out with music is a must. But figuring out how to balance tunes with the instructor’s voice can be a challenge. In the studio, they have state-of-the-art speakers blasting playlists throughout class, and oftentimes they have headset mics—all adjusted to the perfect volume so you can sweat to the beat, without missing a beat.
But at home, it’s a little more difficult. Now that instructors have had some time to work on it, they’re figuring it out. Some instructors suggest playlists for you, others have mastered the perfect music to voice volume ratio, and some have invested in some high-quality mic setups for their home studios. In yoga instructor, Dani Schenone’s words, “Instructors are Jedi masters at the music-to-voice volume ratio at this point. When necessary, external microphones offer an amazingly clear experience. I record my classes and listen back, noticing any audio issues I need to address the next time around.” We’re getting there together, and again, thank your instructors. This isn’t easy.
With instructors improving their own spaces for filming workouts, we need to be doing the same as attendees. An instructor’s key to creating a good virtual experience is making it all replicable—creating a space and using equipment that’s realistic for anyone to mimic at home. If they're using weights, they should let you know ahead of time, and maybe even give some household items you can use as alternatives.
Instructors are people too, and they know this. They’re coming up with tons of creative ways to make the experience easier for you, whether it’s propping up their cameras so you can see their entire setup and body, notifying you of equipment needs early in the booking process, or teaching classes that can realistically fit in most spaces.
Have you seen the videos of teachers trying to keep their kindergarteners engaged over Zoom? Fitness classes are not much different. Signing up for group fitness classes means more motivation and encouragement, so we can’t skip out on the hard moves and cut our workouts short when we’re feeling tired. Instructors, though, have an interesting challenge—keeping that spirit up through a computer or phone screen. And right now (as always), they’re stepping up in several ways:
• They’re always on time, beginning and ending class right when they say they will.
• They talk through all the moves, so you don’t constantly have to be looking at the screen, and demo them at least twice in case you missed the first one.
• They shout out words of encouragement and call people out by name, just as they would at an in-studio class.
• They give tips and pointers for perfecting your form, even if they can’t always see you.
• They have a positive attitude throughout the class and are consistent with their delivery, so we always know what to expect.
• They’re our superstars, and we love them for it.
Shifting from IRL to virtual fitness has not come without its own set of complications, but let’s not forget about the struggles of the people on the other side of that screen. Our instructors are working hard out here to make these classes better because they genuinely care about our health, well-being, and sense of community.
Virtual classes are here to stay, and they’re just going to keep getting better and better. Thank you, instructors.