Podcast

Episode 342

Mar 5, 2021

Listen to the Allissa and Michael discuss whether you can refuse a services for a client that chooses not to vaccinate.

Listen to "E342: Can I Refuse Clients Who Choose to Not Vaccinate?" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 342

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • Can I Refuse Clients Who Choose to Not Vaccinate?
    • Spoiler alert: Heck yes.

Quick Tips

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Sponsors


Transcript: 

Allissa Haines:

This episode is sponsored by The Original Jojoba Company. I firmly believe that massage therapists should only be using the highest quality products because our clients deserve it and our own bodies deserve it. I have been using jojoba for years and here's why: jojoba is nonallergenic, I can use it on any client and every client without fear of an allergic reaction. It is also non comedogenic, so it won't clog pores. So if you've got clients prone to acne breakouts, jojoba is a good choice for them. It does not go rancid, there's no triglycerides, so it can sit on your shelf for a year plus and not be a problem, and that's what also makes jojoba a wonderful carrier for your essential oils as well. It won't stain your 100% cotton sheets, so your linens are going to last longer.

Allissa Haines:

The Original Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure, first pressed quality jojoba, and we are delighted to be their partner. You, my friends can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Hello everyone, welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint Podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

This is Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

And we're your hosts today.

Allissa Haines:

We are.

Michael Reynolds:

Welcome, welcome.

Allissa Haines:

What have you been reading, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

I have been listening to podcasts as usual. You know I love these podcasts about life and business and politics and stuff. But anyway, one of the ones I like, as you know, is The Journal, from The Wall Street Journal. One of the most recent ones I listened to that I really enjoyed was called "A Voting Machine Company Fights Disinformation with Lawsuits." That sounds really boring and dry, but here's why I was so interested. This whole voter, stop the steal thing by these fringe people and the whole idea that voting machines somehow stole the election from Trump or whatever, it just makes me angry. The whole thing just makes me really, really angry, because I think it's really damaging to our culture and our society that this group of people was allowed to spread this kind of disinformation, and that it was so widespread that, obviously, we know what happened, lots of violence and stuff happened. I really enjoyed the fact that the Dominion voting machine company is suing Fox News and other media outlets because of the slander, basically, and the libel, things they said against Dominion voting machines.

Michael Reynolds:

The podcast episode interviews the CEO of Dominion, and he talks about what they decided to do and how they decided to form the lawsuits and why they're doing it and how they have employees at their company that can't even go home because they were getting death threats, and they're basically in a pseudo witness protection program because people are threatening them and threatening violence against them, and the whole thing is just, it's so infuriating. I don't have any particular loyalty to Dominion voting machines, I don't know what kind of company they are, I don't know them at all. But I was really satisfied to hear that this company is fighting back, because they're losing a ton of revenue because of this whole thing, this whole conspiracy theory mindset that has occurred. I just really enjoyed listening to the story of how they're fighting it with lawsuits, they're fighting back, they're saying, "No, this is ridiculous, we are suing the people that have said these things, the false claims about our voting machines."

Michael Reynolds:

It's a fascinating episode, so I really enjoyed listening to that. It soothed my anger a little bit to see that they're fighting back against all this ridiculous crap that has happened. That's what I'm listening to, not really useful to anyone listening, I don't think, but that's what I'm listening to and I found it interesting.

Allissa Haines:

I think it is useful. It's important, I think that a thing that we haven't seen in the last several years is people being held accountable for their lies.

Michael Reynolds:

Yes, that's it!

Allissa Haines:

To see that accountability happening, or to see at least a company trying to make that happen is really heartening. And I know this has been happening for a bajillion years, but the last couple years especially, we saw law enforcement who was killing people get off because they have qualified immunity, they're allowed to do things on their job and then not be responsible for them as humans, even if they have done things that violate the rules surrounding their jobs. We have seen all kinds of things like this in so many areas and so many ways that it is at least mildly heartening to see some kind of organized legal response to it, in the way that this is. So I hear you, I really do hear you.

Michael Reynolds:

Thank you for clarifying that in a way that I was not doing a good job of. [crosstalk 00:05:30] You articulated what I was feeling very well.

Allissa Haines:

It's in a way that is not revenge-y, it's not thoughtless or rage-y or revenge-y, it is simply, what you are doing is not right, and therefore we are going to do this thing to correct it. You are not allowed to say these things about us and go unchecked, we are checking this. It could go terribly wrong because the Supreme Court are stacked now, so who knows how far this will go. It's heartening to see, so I'm with you, buddy.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

I have nothing to contribute to the what have you been reading or listening cause I've just been not really reading or listening to anything.

Michael Reynolds:

That's fair.

Allissa Haines:

There you go.

Michael Reynolds:

Well ...

Allissa Haines:

Our first ...

Michael Reynolds:

That's a great time to show some love to Acuity.

Allissa Haines:

It is, and you know what would have been even better, is if I was actually ready with my Acuity talking points for the ad spot.

Michael Reynolds:

We can't be on our A game every week, sometimes it's a B+ kind of week, it's all right.

Allissa Haines:

Okay, but at this point I can tell you that this episode is sponsored by Acuity, our software of choice. Acuity is the scheduling assistant that makes it easy for you to run your traditional business, or your virtual business. It is your online assistant, it works 24/7 to fill your schedule, you don't have to play phone tag, and there's a really cool conversation about this somewhere online this week, online scheduling can actually really help you hold your boundaries. If you're someone who's like, a client calls and they're like "My back really hurts, can you fit me in?" And you're someone who's like, "Oh, okay, I'll stay late for you tonight." Instead, you can make your online scheduling the bad guy and be like, "Here's a link, you can click and book my next appointment here," and then they have to come in in a day instead of that night, or whatever. It can really help you hold your boundaries, and that's part of why I love online scheduling, and specifically Acuity scheduling because you can handle your forms before the appointment, you can handle payment before the appointment.

Allissa Haines:

I will note that I am seeing clients tomorrow, and all four of them have already paid because they got their reminder email last night with the little "Pay for your appointment here" button and it made it super easy, yay! You will eliminate no shows, and you can use emails or text reminders to do that, and you my friends can get a special 45 day free offer when you sign up today at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

Michael Reynolds:

Alrighty.

Allissa Haines:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

Tell us what our topic is today, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

You're going to make me introduce this?

Michael Reynolds:

Sure.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, so today we are going to talk about the question, can I refuse clients who choose not to vaccinate?

Allissa Haines:

Ugh, this is so good. And the conversations have, again, online, in our premium community and also out in the regular world of massage therapists, have been very, very interesting, and sometimes borderline enraging. Just a heads up now, if you've got little ears around, I don't know if I'm going to swear or not so, you've been warned.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. Can I choose clients who choose not to vaccinate? I actually threw this out to a couple of leaders in the field, and it almost seems like nobody wants to touch with this a stick quite yet. I think because there's concern about a lack of information and things could be different in every state, and I want to note that I don't think my notes here on this are all inclusive of every ethical consideration. I'm not an ethics teacher, but I did want to, because the question is being asked so often, and it's so important, I did want to think through all of, as much as I could, the different factors involved.

Allissa Haines:

The first answer to "Can I refuse clients who choose to not vaccinate?" And we're talking vaccination about COVID-19 here specifically, although I do see this evolving into a conversation about flu vaccines later. The first response is, you need to check your state laws. Some states that regulate massage have very clear rules about how and when you are allowed to just not see a client, or if there are factors and parameters around refusing to treat any particular client. In New York, you can refuse a client for any reason. I actually checked my own state laws in Massachusetts and what they say is that massage a therapist maintains the right to refuse to treat any person in order to protect the mental, physical, emotional, and professional boundaries and safety of the practitioner.

Allissa Haines:

What that tells me, is if I feel that treating a particular client makes me unsafe, mentally, physically, emotionally, professionally, I am allowed to say, "I cannot treat you." So for that reason, I do believe that Massachusetts has empowered me to refuse clients who choose to not vaccinate. You've got to look at your own state laws, and this is harder in states with no or minimal regulation for massage therapists. If you're in a state that doesn't clearly lay out what you are allowed to do in this realm, I would suggest that you start looking into what other types of healthcare practitioners can and cannot do. Are there doctors in your state, usually it's a pediatrician's office, who refuse to treat pediatric patients who are not vaccinated from other typical childhood diseases? If there are pediatricians in your state that are doing that, it means that in your state you're allowed to do that.

Allissa Haines:

If you have public schools, and they are allowed to refuse students who do not vaccinate, you're probably allowed to do that. If you have private schools that are allowed to not take in students who are not vaccinated, as a private school, you as a private business are probably allowed that same empowerment, I don't know the word I'm looking for.

Allissa Haines:

Legally, if you're allowed to not see clients who choose to not vaccinate, is going to be about your state laws. You can, in absence of your sate laws, look at some other businesses and what they are or are not allowed to do in your state, and see if that helps you. Ask a couple of physical therapy offices, ask a couple of chiros, although a lot of the real hippie chiros aren't vaccinating either, so they might not be the best resource.

Allissa Haines:

There's that. There's also the factor of, are we even allowed to ask? I have seen arguments online where people have said that it's not ethical to even ask a client if they are vaccinated. To that I would say, bullshit! You are absolutely, see I did swear, you are absolutely allowed to ask if a client has been vaccinated, it is no more or less valid than any other common question on a health intake. We ask about medications, we ask about health conditions, of course we're allowed to ask if someone's been vaccinated. It's relevant in a couple of different ways. It's relevant, if they have been vaccinated, we need to know the date so that they're not coming in 12 hours after getting a vaccination, which might not be the best idea since some people have some side effects and some illness immediately after.

Allissa Haines:

Also, if they are not vaccinated, you know the risk of them transmitting COVID to you, or coming in with an active infection, is higher than someone who is not vaccinated. And I want to asterisk this by saying, we don't have long term data yet on if vaccination reduces transmission. It looks like it does, but we don't have enough data on that to be able to say it. So right now, we need to assume that a vaccinated person can transmit just as much as a non vaccinated person. However, we know that the more symptomatic a person is, the greater chance they will transmit.

Allissa Haines:

There's a lot going on here, and I don't want to dive too deep into the scientific data, because we don't have enough of it yet. But it is fair to say that if someone is not vaccinated that there is a greater chance they are going to come in while carrying the virus and able to transmit it. Roll with that for now. If you don't agree with me, that's fine, that's not the only argument here.

Allissa Haines:

Those are two reasons why it's super relevant to ask if a client has been vaccinated. I will note that I do not think it is okay to ask about intention to be vaccinated. I think that, if you ask, you can say, "Have you been vaccinated?" And the answer to that is yes or no. If you're asking "Do you intend to be vaccinated?" One, I don't think that's our job to ask that, or our right to ask that, because their intention is not at all relevant to our hands on work that particular day. You are choosing to work on someone if they are or are not vaccinated. That is information you need to know. What they plan to do in the future is none of my business. And it's also just not relevant to the work I'm going to perform that day.

Allissa Haines:

There's that. If someone comes in and they present with a rotator cuff issue, and I'm treating, they need to be relived of that tight muscle pain around that rotator cuff, that is our goal for the day, whether or not they are choosing to get rotator cuff surgery in three weeks is not relevant to my hands on work on that particular day, and I feel like asking that intent to be vaccinated is the same area. None of our business, and it's not a thing we should be making judgements based on, someone's future behavior is not relevant to the judgment I make today about safe treatment.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. That's the "Can we even ask?" Does it matter? If someone is not vaccinated, does it matter? In some ways, no, because you are going to follow all of the same protocols for everyone who walks in your door. Not just for people who have or have not been vaccinated. You can't be just taking masks off if both of you are vaccinated, that's not the current wisdom, and in states that are requiring masking, you can't just not require it anymore until the state lets up on it, and if you're requiring masking on your own, even if your state's not, now is not a good time to let up on that. You're going to follow all the same protocols if you are choosing to see clients who are not vaccinated, as if you were choosing to see clients who are.

Allissa Haines:

But again, it is relevant in some ways, and it does matter in some way, because right now with the data we have, working on unvaccinated people could cause greater risk to us. There is a higher chance someone is going to come in with an infection, and with a transmittable infection if they are not vaccinated.

Allissa Haines:

Yes, it does matter. It is relevant. If you're going to spend an hour in a small room, breathing each other's air, even if you've got masks on, there's still aerosols that can escape masks. It absolutely is matter because there's greater risk to you.

Allissa Haines:

The next thing I've heard is that it's a client's personal choice, a lot of people are like, "My body, my choice!" While I am a big fan of the "My body, my choice" concept, it doesn't actually apply here, that's not a relevant thing to say here. Of course it's a client's choice if they get vaccinated or not. But this particular choice has an impact on my safety. A client's choice to skip their blood pressure medications and not tell me about it, or even tell me about it, is their choice. But choosing to vaccinate or not is a public health issue. No one has an inherent right to be on my table. And again, my state law has said, I can refuse service for any situation that makes me feel physically unsafe. I'm allowed to say no, no one has a right to be on my table, and no one has a right to risk my safety.

Allissa Haines:

This whole "My body my choice," in regards to vaccines is very much like the anti-masker thing, like, "Freedom! I don't want to wear a mask, I don't have to!" Not wearing a mask puts other people at risk, so you do not have an inherent right to walk into my massage room unmasked, and I get to decide if you're going to come into my massage room unvaccinated. It is exactly the same thing. Choosing to not vaccinate has some kind of ramification to public health, and to my health, when we share a small room for an hour at a time, breathing each other's air.

Allissa Haines:

I also want to note that a lot of times these arguments default to "You have a very little chance of dying if you catch the coronavirus." I hate that argument, because it completely disregards the 30+% of people who have had the virus who are now experiencing issues related to permanent organ damage, and the long hauler COVID clients and patients who are having long lasting symptoms of pain and fatigue and brain fog and clotting issues and liver damage. Some of the damage that goes along with this virus is disabling. There are thousands upon thousands of people who have become disabled, which means they cannot lead their previous active working life, they are disabled, they can't work, they can't live, they can't care for their children, because this virus has had such an impact on their body.

Allissa Haines:

It's not just about, whatever, the 1% who die from this. Long, long lasting damage, we can't begin to know. Nevermind the emotional and health issues that go along with having to be hospitalized or ventilated, the rate of PTSD in people who had to be put on ventilators is insane. I don't want that to happen to me, I don't want to have heart damage. It's not just about dying. I understand if I get this virus I'm probably going to be sick for a week and it's going to be really bad, and then it's going to take me a couple months to recover. But there's also a really good chance I'm going to have lasting heart damage, and I am not okay with this. And I get to make the choice to reduce my exposure in any possible way including in my massage room of my private business.

Allissa Haines:

There's some sticky gray areas here, and I think it's really important to address them. The point at which vaccination is available to everybody, and if I want to say, "Have you been vaccinated?" And if the answer is no, I want to refuse service, what about clients who have a legit medical exemption? Who gets to decide what is a legit medical exemption? Their doctor helps them decide, but do I have to go along with that? I'm not certain yet, and in a minute I'm going to talk about my choices and how I'm going to handle it, but it's a sticky gray area that we do need to think about.

Allissa Haines:

What about clients who lie? There's always going to be clients who lie, and I'm not sure that we can do too much about that. Do we require documentation? I don't know. Are we allowed that? I think we are allowed to ask if someone's been vaccinated, can you give me copy of your vaccination card. Something about that feels uncomfortable to me, but I don't necessarily think it's wrong, and I think this is going to be a thing that gets legally fleshed out in the next year or two. But these are the gray areas that you have to think through in order to make your own decision.

Allissa Haines:

I will say right out, as of the recording of this on March 3, here is what i have decided to do. I've decided that after the point at which the vaccinated has been available to everyone, I am only going to accept clients who have been vaccinated. And I am going to have a caveat that, for those who have not been vaccinated due to medical reasons, please give me a call before you schedule an appointment so we can have a conversation.

Allissa Haines:

For me, a lot of that conversation is, how can I make sure that my space and your massage is as safe as it can possibly be, and the answer to that is going to be, keep following all the same protocols I'm following. Of course. And I'm going to keep following all those same protocols even for clients who are vaccinated, but it's a conversation I want to have. And an example of this is, throughout this pandemic, I stopped practicing for several months, I went back for a few months when we surged I stopped, I'm going back again this week. But throughout this, had a client who had lung cancer, and had some surgery just before the pandemic, so I wasn't going to see her for a while anyway. She has come back since, and when I saw her in the fall, I was very clear about only scheduling her as the first client of my day, when no one else is around. I only wanted her coming into an office where no one else had breathed for at least 12 hours.

Allissa Haines:

If I am going to see clients who are not vaccinated for some medical reason, I want to make sure I am going the extra mile beyond my current protocols to make extra sure that it's safe for them, as safe as possible for them. That's why I want to have a conversation, not necessarily to screen them out, but to make sure that I'm doing above and beyond. And also to ask what other precautions they're taking. If someone hasn't been vaccinated because of some kind of illness or vaccinated reaction, but the rest of their life, the rest of their time is spent socializing indoors, unmasked, with other people, or going to bars that are, and eating out at restaurants and other high risk activities, I'm absolutely not going to see them. They may have a valid reason for not vaccinating, but if when we are having a conversation about risk factors they share that they have been, what I consider to be, a little more risky, I'm probably not going to see them for a while. And I'm okay with that. You may not be, that's okay, you get to choose.

Allissa Haines:

Outside of that medical issue thing, I do, and this could be a totally incorrect judgment on my part, but I am concerned that people who refuse the vaccine for anything other than medical reasons are the same people being reckless with their safety in other ways. They're the people who have been going to parties all along for the last year, and hanging out indoors, and passing the virus amongst themselves, and bringing it home to people who might be immune compromised, who themselves are trying to be safe, passing it along at the grocery store, etc, etc. I don't want reckless people as my clients, and I'm not going to feel bad about that, I'm going to hold my boundaries. That is how I have felt through this entire pandemic and I am going to keep applying that, moving forward.

Allissa Haines:

I have no doubt this will cause a problem for me, I have no doubt people are going to be pissy at me about this. I am choosing to be okay with that, in the same way that I don't really care about people who are pissy that I don't work Friday or Saturday nights. Whatever. It's your issue it's not mine.

Allissa Haines:

I have heard a few bull crap arguments online, when the conversation comes up, "You'll stunt your business" is my favorite. As if really good safety practices and boundaries are bad for your business. Choosing to not work on someone who was just recently put on blood thinners and wants a deep tissue massage, that's not stunting my business, it's saving my damn career. Are you kidding me? This concept that your business will go downhill because you practice scrupulous safety practices is ridiculous. My clients, the ones who have come back, have thanked me for being strict. When I screened them over the phone before they came back, even people I have known for 15 years, and I pointedly said, what are you doing, what's your social life like right now, what's your work life like right now? When I asked if they're going into an office, are you eating lunch in a lunch room with other people unmasked, my clients thanked me for being this strict, because they understood it meant they were walking into the safest possible environment to get a massage.

Allissa Haines:

They knew I was screening everybody like this. They were more than happy to pay my new increased rate, they are more than happy to adjust their schedules to my new schedule, because they appreciated the boundaries and the safety protocols I was putting in place. My business is stronger now, because I have stricter boundaries, than it was before. The idea that one will stunt their business by refusing to work with people who aren't vaccinated is just absolute, ignorant, amateur bullshit.

Allissa Haines:

The second part of this is, "Well people won't tell you," or "They'll refuse to tell you." I'm okay with that. Any client who refuses to share that information that's connected to my safety is not a client I want to have anyway. Asking about vaccination is a really great way to prune out potential clients who are reckless with their safety, and therefore mine, and by extension, my safety, my other clients' safety, and the safety of my family that I come home to every night. This problem solves itself just by asking about vaccination.

Allissa Haines:

The next thing I see is people who are like, "You're going to do this with flu shots too?" In this astounded concept. Yeah, yeah I might. Uh-huh, I probably will start doing this with flu shots if I find it's relevant and important when the next flu season is beginning. Yep. And there are often people in these conversations that suggest, if you are that concerned that you would screen out clients who are not vaccinated, you should find another career. Oh really? I should find another career, because I'm vigilant about keeping my oncology clients and my immune compromised clients safe? You can just fuck all the way off, because anyone who thinks that's a relevant reply to someone who is concerned about their safety and the safety of their clients, you should really stop giving advice to colleagues. You are an ignorant jerk.

Allissa Haines:

And finally, what I'm going to note is that I have plenty of colleagues, massage therapists and other health related, who have worked straight through with exceptional precautions. And at the same time, they were living their personal lives, and posting pictures of the least safe possible behavior. Being indoors and unmasked with family and friends, all kinds of crap like that. I will never refer to these people again, ever, even after, and I think that we're going to find out in the future how many of these people actually had asymptomatic infections and therefore have long term organ damage. And [inaudible 00:30:11] for friends, there are people I don't think I'm ever going to be able to hang out with and continue these very deep, personal friendships, because I've lost so much respect for them.

Allissa Haines:

Finally, what I want to note is that this goes both ways. I also am going to choose to not see providers who have not been vaccinated. I've actually cut a couple providers out anyway because I went for, I'm not going to name it, but I went for a health related visit and it's a small room and they didn't have an air cleaner, and I kept saying, I went two or three times, with my mask taped down to my face and needing this visit because I was in pain, and I made the educated decision to take a certain risk to get out of pain.

Allissa Haines:

And every time I went I was like, "Dude, you need to get an air cleaner for this room." "Well, you know, we open the window at lunchtime." Great, but there were 12 people in here, one after another. So that 12th person you saw this morning didn't get any kind of fresh air, and you could seriously get a $150 air cleaner and turn the air over in this room 6-8 times an hour. Here's the air cleaner I bought, it's super cheap. To the point where I almost brought one in on my last visit to be like "Here's a gift to you, cause I don't want to keep coming here." And then finally I just decided I'm not going to see this practitioner anymore. I'm not going to see practitioners who behaved irresponsibly during the pandemic, and I'm not going to see practitioners, and this includes eye doctor and dentist and chiropractor and massage therapists, I will not see any of these practitioners who are not vaccinated, and I'm going to ask that every time I make a phone call or book an appointment, "Are you vaccinated?"

Allissa Haines:

I am choosing to not do that, I will not hang around a few friends who I know are not going to be vaccinated. And again, I'm only implementing all of these policies after the point at which we are all able to get vaccinated, I don't want to refuse treatment to someone right now because they can't get vaccinated if I feel they need treatment. It'll be a conversation, but that's what I'm doing, and I am sleeping just fine at night, and if you think this means I should find another career, you can go suck it.

Allissa Haines:

Finally, if you have thoughts about this, if you have factors that I did not cover in this list, and I'm sure there are many, I really want to hear them. So email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. This is an ongoing conversation, and I want you to be part of it if you think I'm very right, if you think I'm very wrong, if you think I've forgotten a factor that needs to be weighed. Do not email me if you're just mad that I swore, because I don't care. And that's what I got, Michael, what do you think?

Michael Reynolds:

I think it's very well thought out.

Allissa Haines:

Have you, in your life, started to think about who you're going to ask if they've been vaccinated or not?

Michael Reynolds:

Well, in my life, it's a little different, I'm not a practicing massage therapist, so pretty much all my work is virtual, so it's less of a factor for me. I guess one of my questions is, if you could explain a little more just for my potential ignorance, in seeing providers who are vaccinated or not, if you are vaccinated, and you are declining to see a provider who is not vaccinated, is that because we're still not sure if there's potential for you to become infected and pass it along to others even if you are vaccinated?

Michael Reynolds:

Yes.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Michael Reynolds:

That is amplified short term because I'm in a household where no one else has been vaccinated yet. And we're looking at the end of the summer before the kids are going to be vaccinated. So yes. And also I think it makes me question someone's judgment. It makes me question, I don't want to go to a dentist who doesn't believe in science. I don't want to spend an hour in a room with a dental hygienist who doesn't believe in science. I feel that way about the bulk of my providers, especially when it's being, when you're in a small room inside with someone.

Michael Reynolds:

Gotcha. Another factor I've got a question on, if you are vaccinated and your client is vaccinated, and, you said you're following the same protocols, wearing masks, let's say we're a couple months down the road, basically the vaccine's out for everybody, is that still the same reason, is it because one or both of you may be infected and still protected because you're vaccinated, but that infection may linger for someone who might come later or a different time, and who maybe is not vaccinated for medical reasons, is that the thought process there?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, absolutely. That's why I want to know if someone's not vaccinated, so that I can make sure, again, they're the first person in the room in the day, or I have extra time to air out the room for longer, things like that.

Allissa Haines:

Again, this is all going to be evolving. My feelings might change six months from now when everyone in my family and my household is vaccinated. And I'm okay with that, this is what any kind of protocol should be based in, the willingness to evolve and change.

Allissa Haines:

I do think it's interesting, the number of colleagues I've talked to who say, and I am included in this, "I don't think I'll ever work without a mask again." Just knowing how reduced the flu was this year, my kids have not gotten a sniffle this year, because when they have been in schools, they have been masked. I don't know, long term, how good this is for our immune system to not be building immunity against little viruses, but that's a whole other conversation. But I'm never going to work unmasked again. I think back now on how many times I think I got and or transmitted a cold to and from clients, without knowing, before the sniffle kicked in. And even for some clients who came in after the sniffle kicked in, I can't imagine I will ever work unmasked again. When you think about it, dental hygienists and stuff, they've been masking forever, because it's good policy. I can't imagine ever working unmasked again, so I think this is a situation that will kind of resolve itself over time.

Allissa Haines:

If my state says, "All right, y'all don't need to be masked anymore," and even still, if the CDC either just announced or they're about to officially announce that unvaccinated people can be together unmasked, they're about to say that that's okay, I'm still going to mask myself, six months from now will I require clients to be masked? Probably not, as long as my state has let up on that. This is evolving, but for me, if I was going to hire a babysitter for my kids, I would absolutely ask if they are vaccinated. I'm not going to go hang out with my grandson until at least all the adults in his house have been vaccinated.

Allissa Haines:

I'm asking people and it's uncomfortable, the first couple of times, but I'm over it cause I don't want to die or have organ damage, or kill someone in my family or give them organ damage.

Michael Reynolds:

What I always found it interesting about masks is, in Japan, masking has been normalized for so long, because if people have the flu or a cold or something, they wore a mask because they want to be polite to others. I find it very interesting that that's an accepted cultural norm there, because people want to be polite and take care of other people. And it's such a foreign concept here where, even before COVID, no one ever put a mask on, they just had a cold and went to work. I just find it interesting that we're seeing the wisdom of some of those practices, in general.

Allissa Haines:

Yes, and that amazing concept of being courteous to the people around you and caring about their health and safety, who know?

Michael Reynolds:

Exactly, yeah.

Allissa Haines:

All right, we're done. People are tired of hearing me talk, so let's get through the rest of this episode.

Allissa Haines:

Who is our sponsor?

Michael Reynolds:

Well, it is our friends at ABMP.

Michael Reynolds:

It is our friends at ABMP, thank you ABMP. CE courses you will love are available for purchase, or included for free with membership in the ABMP education center at abmp.com/CE, and I will say, personal note, yesterday someone in our community was asking about incorporating stretching into their massage, and I went right to ABMP.com/CE, and noticed that they have a handful of videos about Thai yoga massage, so stretching related stuff, on the table. There's a whole bunch of classes about how to incorporate such things into your massage treatment, and I said, "Hey, go here, maybe look at these courses." And the premium member was like, "Ohh, thanks."

Allissa Haines:

Super applicable, super practical. You can explore hands on techniques, complete ethics requirements, all ABMP memberships include 200+ video based, on demand CE classes. If you're not a member, that's okay, we still love you, and you can purchase access for a single course or a CE package, super affordable, at ABMP.com/CE. If you want more, you can get more, listen to the ABMP podcast, it's available at ABMP.com/podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts, just search for ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

That's what I got.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice.

Allissa Haines:

I don't have a quick tip, but you do, bring it.

Michael Reynolds:

I do. It is, first of all, you're welcome, it's not something you have to act on, in fact it's something I'm encouraging you not to act on, so you can kick back, and today's quick tip requires zero action. My quick tip is, your website is better than you think, and therefore ... here's a fun fact, we use a Google Doc for our notes, and I'm looking at the Google doc, and when Allissa changes the notes around, it makes it jump up, I lost what I was looking at.

Allissa Haines:

I'm so sorry!

Michael Reynolds:

That's okay, so I was like, "Oh crap! What's happening?" It's very distracting.

Allissa Haines:

I'll stop.

Michael Reynolds:

Anyway ... this came up because, as many of you know, I also have a financial advisory practice, and my financial advisory practice website was designed a couple years ago, maybe a year and a half ago, and I am, like many of us are, I'm kind of prone to getting sick of it. I'm like, oh well should I change it? I've been looking at it every day for a year and a half, suddenly it doesn't look as good as I thought it did back at the beginning, should I change it up and redesign it?

Michael Reynolds:

I've noticed, by the way I worked in digital marketing for like 23 years owning an agency, so I've been through this a lot, I know how this works, and it was a reminder that this is how things happened, that we often get sick of our own websites because we look at them every day. But I was reminded of the reality when, I'm in some financial advisor forums, and people are saying, "Hey, post a link to your website, like to get some inspiration." And people are posting their websites, and I posted mine, I was like, "Yeah, I kind of like mine, what do you think?" And a bunch of people were like "Oh my gosh, your website is so good, it's so amazing." Got really, really good feedback, and it reminded me that what I think of my website is different than what other people think of my website because they're seeing it for the first time or they're objective and they're not emotionally attached to it.

Michael Reynolds:

I think a lot of us need to have a reminder that your website's probably better than you think, if you're just tired of looking at it, that's an emotional thing, but as long as it has the right stuff on it, as long as it was professionally designed, either by you or by someone else, and has some good intention behind it, and it's well thought out and it looks good, it's probably just fine, and you probably don't need to redesign it. As long as you know objectively that it's in good shape. I'm giving you permission to stop worrying about your website if you're sick of it, and it's probably just fine.

Michael Reynolds:

Now, the caveat here is, if it's not just fine, and you really do know it's not just fine, that's a different thing. We have a related thing coming up, where ABMP is partnering with us to do a website review, so watch out for ABMP's communication, we'll try to put out our newsletter as well or announce it as it comes up and you can submit your website for review. If you don't know if it's good enough or not, send it to us for review, apply online when you get the form, and we will hopefully, I get as many as possible, in the mix to review and let you know what we think. Or if you're a member of our community, post in the community and say, "Hey, what do you think of my website?" And we'll give you honest feedback as well.

Michael Reynolds:

Bottom line is, if your website was well put together from the start, it's probably just fine.

Allissa Haines:

Well that's reassuring, thank you Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Michael Reynolds:

I want to give people permission to not do anything this week.

Allissa Haines:

That's nice. Also, spend your time thinking, cause we've got a lot of ethical things to think about as we evolve through what is hopefully the latter stages of this pandemic. Just spend some time thinking and take care of yourself.

Michael Reynolds:

There you go.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, well thanks everyone. We are always grateful that you're a listener, you can find us online at massagebusinessblueprint.com, if you are a premium member of our community, you can always find us there and post all your questions and thoughts and stuff you want to talk about there, and if you're not a member, check us out. You can try it free for 30 days, and you can look around, get to know people, see what it's all about, and then decide later if you want to stick around. We think you will.

Michael Reynolds:

You can email questions or comments to us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com, thanks for joining us today, have a great day, [crosstalk 00:43:59].

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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