Relief always puts your safety first! Please know that Massage Therapy establishments are NOT INSPECTED for sanitary practices in the entire state of North Carolina. This is not the case in many other states. You can go in any restaurant and have a general idea about their practices by what number a health inspector has posted. In a NC Massage Therapy establishment you have no clue unless you ask and look. Just because someone is a massage therapist does not mean they provide you with clean linens, tables, lotion, or hands. Please do not hesitate to ask every Massage Therapist what they do. When you can see signs all over Mission Hospital advising you to ask nurses and doctors when they washed their hands last, you really should be asking your massage therapist the same.
This is why I opened Relief. There are so many unsanitary offices and therapists in Buncombe County and the state, that I myself, could not find a therapist to receive Massage Therapy from or find a place to work for, that practiced proper sanitation. I have always been adamant to provide the same environment and therapy that I would want to receive. I have also heard some of my customers experiences regarding the unsanitary practices of more massage therapy establishments. Proper cleaning should be the most basic service that any therapist provides their customers with. Even some offices charging >$40-$100+ an hour are reusing linens, double dipping in one lotion source for all, not washing their hands properly, and more, unfortunately.
*Please contact our NC State Representatives. Let them know that you want Massage Therapy Establishments to be inspected and held to a standard, for you and your loved ones safety.
All linens including table liners are heavily soaked and repeatedly agitated after EVERY person. Clorox bleach (for sheets and face rest covers), Tide, Borax, and screaming hot water is used. Oil and lotion are not easy to get out of linens. Small amounts of linens (2 thin fitted twin sheets and 2 thin flat twin flat sheets, and 2 face rest covers OR 2 thin small blankets) are washed in extra large capacity load of water. An extra rinse cycle is always used. All linens have to go through a high maintenance process to be cleaned properly. The washer and dryer used to clean them is inspected and disinfected by me, at least once or twice a week. The linens are bagged directly out of the dryer until they are inspected, folded, and stored in an enclosed cabinet after washing and drying. All linens on the massage table are all bagged for washing after every appointment, including the blanket that is below the fitted sheet. RELIEF.
Relief's massage tables have built in heat under the vinyl. All surfaces are thoroughly disinfected after every person. Before they had tables with built in heat, I would put a heated blanket on top of the top blanket to warm the sheets and blankets through. The blanket would be removed and stored right before I would bring a customer to the treatment room. A space heater is also always in the room just in case you get cold. RELIEF.
Massage tables, face rest, bolsters, and other surfaces are disinfected after every appointment. Rubbing alcohol, Odoban, Clorox Clean up, and Lysol are used in the treatment room. RELIEF.
Our top quality lotion is portioned into disposable cups for each massage, right before the massage begins. The cups are disposed of after each appointment. The lotion is also certified vegan, nut oil free, and paraben free. You also have the option for Extra Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil. RELIEF.
Every Relief Therapist is required to practice thorough (minimum of 2 minutes of) hand and arm scrubbing (all the way above the elbow) with heavy amounts of soap, before and after every appointment. Nitrile gloves are worn to prevent lotion and exfoliated skin from getting under the nails and cuticles. RELIEF.
Some Other offices and franchises:
Blankets, towels, fleece liners (under fitted sheets), cloth table warmers are reused over and over without being washed, with many other Massage Therapy practitioners even at some franchises. What linens are washed (or when finally washed) are, many times washed in cold water, ineffective detergent, and/or many many times with no bleach. Oils and oils in lotion will not loosen without the use of hot water, no matter what else is used. Some massage therapists use fleece face rest and table coverings that are only washed once a week or less. If anything fleece is below the fitted sheet, guaranteed it is not washed after every massage. Lotion, oil, sweat, exfoliated skin, etc seep through sheets and soil the fleece liners. If they are not cleaned after every single person this can create an unsafe environment for you. A great environment for bacteria, not you and your loved ones. Know this, there is no way to wash a fleece covering after every use, that is why I have not ever used them. Many other therapists would rather save money than provide you with a properly cleaned environment. NOPE
Something similar to a heating pad ("Table warmer") is used by many other massage therapists. The warmers lay on top of the vinyl and below the fitted sheet. If these are used by a massage therapist, they are only washed once a week or less. Any liner used on a massage table that is not cleaned after every use is a potential hazard...and just plain gross! There is no way to wash table warmers (that are above the vinyl) after every use. They would not last long. Before they had tables with built in heat, I would put a heated blanket on top of the top blanket to warm the sheets and blankets through. NOPE
Massage tables, massage chairs, face rests, and surfaces are not thoroughly disinfected after every person. NOPE
The number of therapist here double dipping their hands in one lotion source is bizarre and disturbing. This is very common for therapists that use beeswax and other lotions. If a therapist is using a pump bottle, many times the outside of the bottle and pump dispenser are not thoroughly cleaned after each use. NOPE
Not enough scrubbing or soap is applied for any length of time. Again, when you see signs all over Mission Hospital advising you to ask nurses and doctors when they washed their hands last, you really should be asking your massage therapist the same. NOPE