Safe Massage Policies and Protocols – What you need to know about our safety precautions for massage therapy

Our Safe Massage Policies and Protocols are designed to help you understand the safety precautions for massage therapy we take to minimise the risk of acquiring a healthcare-associated infection – and to assist you in making informed decisions. Our protocols set the benchmark for hygiene and infection control practices in wellness massage.

Best practice

“It’s not about telling people what to do, it’s not about status or exclusion … it’s about how we introduce safety controls that are commensurate with the risks.”

– The Association of Massage Therapists.

Duty of care of employers precedes but does not supersede public health orders.


You reserve the right to specify the required vaccination status of your visiting practitioners prior to onsite visits.

Massage is contra-indicated (not to be applied) if a prospective recipient has received a Covid-19 vaccination within the three days prior to our visit.

For flu jabs, it’s okay to massage unless the recipient feels unwell. Practitioners simply avoid the penetrated area.

Standard precautions

Mask use

Clients and therapists have equal rights regarding mask wearing whilst a therapist is onsite. A client can wear and/or provide and request a therapist wear a mask and a therapist can choose to wear a mask without being asked. Personal safety is the driver.

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is considered one of the primary control measures for reducing the spread of infection.

To further promote hand hygiene, we encourage our therapists to keep their natural nails short and clean.

Seated Massage requires all therapists and, wherever possible, all recipients, to perform hand hygiene using the correct hand hygiene technique. Hand hygiene refers to any action of hand cleansing, such as handwashing with soap or hand rubbing with alcohol-based sanitiser.

Handwashing: Hands must be washed with soap and water when visibly dirty or visibly soiled, and after using the toilet.

Hand rubbing: Using alcohol-based hand rub is the preferred means for routine hand sterilisation in situations where hands are not visibly soiled. If alcohol-based hand rub is not readily accessible, hands must be washed with soap and water.

Handling of used linen

Therapists are required to handle linen in a manner that minimises the transfer of microorganisms to other individuals and the environment and follow laundry disinfection protocols. Linen used where direct exposure has taken place during traditional (table) massage is replaced with clean linen after each single use.  

‘Single-use’ items (e.g. tissues) are disposed of in a manner that minimises the transfer of microorganisms to other individuals and the environment.

No cloth linen is used for any chair massage or roving/at-desk massage sessions. Tissues/disposable covers are used, placed over the sterilised face cushion and are disposed of after each massage.

Equipment cleanliness

When equipment is required to perform our service, Seated Massage therapists bear the responsibility of equipment cleanliness and sterilisation. This includes the cleaning of shared reusable equipment and ensuring suitable protection where required.

Therapists are requested to routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces using cleaning and sterilising agents (alcohol-based). Disposable alcohol-based wipes or liquid steriliser (min 70% alcohol/ethanol) should be used to clean any equipment surfaces before and during daily use.

As part of our safety precautions for massage therapy, Seated Massage agrees to accommodate any reasonable equipment cleanliness requirements of the individual client as required, such as the regular cleaning of door handles and other ‘touch-points’. 

Acute respiratory hygiene

To minimise the risk of transmission of infection to others, any therapist with signs and symptoms of an acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) is required to notify Seated Massage immediately. The therapists will not attend work/client sites until they are free of fever (37.5° C or greater), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines.

Therapists who become unwell, or present with the signs and symptoms of acute respiratory infection during any client site visit will separate themselves from other individuals immediately.

Skin-to-skin contact

As stated above, all care is taken by attending therapists to ensure their hands are kept sanitised.

Skin-to-skin contact occurs with permission from the recipient and can include the rear of neck, scalp/head, arms and hands.

Therapists with any cuts or abrasions will cover them with a waterproof dressing in order to create a barrier to pathogens.

Therapist personal safety

Seated Massage therapists reserve the right to refuse massage provision to any and all individuals after communication with recipients, the client contact and Seated Massage head office.

Changes to our infection control policy

Seated Massage reserves the right to change this policy at any time. You should periodically check this page for updates.

As the originator, this information is published expressly for our clients and therapists. Copyright Seated Massage Pty Ltd March 2020. Use without permission is strictly forbidden.

This information was last updated on 13 March 2024