‘ESSENTIAL’ treatments to stay open during lockdown

The current national lockdown means I’ve suspended most of my services once more in line with the latest guidance. As with the November lockdown, you can still book some essential services with a few conditions, outlined below.

I’m keeping essential massage open.

According to the latest guidelines, you can still book osteopathy, physiotherapy and five types of remedial massage (essential sports massage, essential deep tissue massage, reflexology, injury/pain management and pregnancy massage) for health issues that can’t be managed with self-care.

I currently can offer pain relief massage (including Buccal massage, TMJ (jaw tension) relief massage and pregnancy massage.

You can book as usual through the website or direct contact with me.

These safety-adapted services are allowed to stay open in line with government guidelines

I know there’s a lot of confusion out there and legislation that leaves room for different opinions and interpretations, so I wanted to take a moment to talk through my reasoning and reassure you that my stance is legal under current government policy. I’ve thought the safety implications through carefully.

Part of that is about making sure that people affected by health conditions, injury or disability can access services essential for ongoing health in a way that’s as Covid-secure as possible. The benefits of this are both physical and mental.

What the guidelines say

The latest government guidelines appear to support a need-based approach. Here’s a direct extract that talks about which services can operate:

  • Businesses allowed to remain open include “dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services and treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health”

In section 86.9 of the current UK Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (2007), the government defines ‘other human health activities’ as: “activities for human health not performed by hospitals or by medical doctors or dentists: activities of nurses, midwives, physiotherapists or other paramedical practitioners in the field of optometry, hydrotherapy, medical massage, occupational therapy, speech therapy, chiropody, homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture etc”.

Who can perform essential health services

Initially, there was some discussion within the industry around what level qualifications massage practitioners in particular would need to have to work in homes.

Here’s the guidance that supports our understanding that Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5-qualified massage therapists (as well as degree-qualified osteopaths and physiotherapists) are allowed to perform essential services:

  • As mentioned above, “other medical or health services” are allowed to remain open

  • According to the Register of Regulated Qualifications, a large proportion of L3 massage certificates and diplomas are classified as belonging to the health and social care sector. Since no government guidelines or legislation distinguish between L3 and other higher levels of qualification within the health and social care sector, any qualification belonging to this sector would be allowed to continue health related activities based on the arguments above.

Stay home, stay safe, but seek support if you really need it

Based on our research into this topic as well as consideration of the safety, moral and societal issues surrounding it, I’m making treatments available to those who cannot manage their issue through self-care alone.

We strongly believe that with the right safety measures in place, these services offer vital support for patients. By facilitating early intervention to prevent longer-term musculoskeletal issues, we also aim to lessen the need for NHS referral down the line.

We’ll update you if government guidelines change

As we said at the start, we know there are lots of differing views on this topic and you may find different interpretations of these laws and guidelines elsewhere. We’re open to these opinions and will always reconsider our stance if new scientific evidence emerges to contradict it, or if the law changes.

If you have further questions or concerns in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out To me