People are getting antsy and frustrated. I get messages frequently asking if I am open or when I will re-open. Some small businesses throughout the country have opened against their state mandates and more and more are talking about it. Here in Lewis County we have seen low Covid-19 numbers, people are in pain, small businesses are suffering and many just want to get back to normal. Many are saying "we need to do something!".
I see you, I hear you, I feel for the pain that you are in that only massage relieves, but I cannot and will not open until we are permitted to, and we are not part of phase 1. We don't actually know what phase we are in (though many believe we may be phase 2).
Many people ask me "did you go to school for this?". YES! NY requires more hours of education than any other state other than one (at the time that I received my education). One can receive an associates degree in massage or pursue a trade school, which only omits general education classes like english and humanities. We still take anatomy and physiology, neurology, myology, and many hours of various massage modalities.
At then end of that education we sit for a state licensing exam that is only offered 2 times a year and if we don't pass, we can't practice until we do.
We carry liability insurance that only covers us if we are practicing legally and within our scope that is defined by NYS.
We are required to obtain 30 hours of continuing education every 3 years to renew our licenses.
To go rogue would mean potentially jeopardizing all of that. I just completed nursing school, however I plan on practicing massage well into my retirement years. I love it and I want it to always be a part of my life in some form as long as I feel called to do so.
If I begin taking clients before NY gives us permission and I have a client who tests positive, they may have to disclose that they came to see me. Then I have to disclose all of the clients that I have seen during that same time frame. Or I test positive, and then again I have to disclose that I practiced on however many people during that time. All of this while practicing illegally according the NYS shutdown. My liability insurance won't cover me during that time, I could be fined $10,000, and I could lose my license.
I love you all, I care about you and your health and your pain, but I cannot jeopardize all of that. I have invested too much time and too much money and I am no good to you if I can no longer practice, not to mention I just applied for a second state license that I have spent the past 3 years working towards and I cannot afford to jeopardize that either.
You all have been incredibly kind and patient with me and I appreciate you. You have shown what quality clients you all truly are and for that, I am forever grateful. I hope to see you all soon, legally, and with the proper procedures in place for everyone's health and safety.