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.


States and territories are gradually mandating vaccinations for all allied and mainstream health care workers. You reserve the right to specify the required vaccination status of your visiting practitioners where vaccinations for health care workers are not mandated.

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.

Accommodating Covid-19 

Visit flexibility/split visits

Ask us about splitting visits across multiple days to accommodate different ways of working and different schedules. We’re adaptable to your requirements in this changing environment, and can make massage work for a wide variety of situations, as our safety precautions for massage therapy outlined below explain.


We offer flexible cancellations for added peace of mind. No financial penalties are incurred if your visit needs to be rescheduled/canceled due to lockdown or government imposed restrictions (see below).


Seated Massage is staying informed via government and professional industry bodies regarding the general provision of massage therapy.

At the time of writing, state and territory government information across Australia states professional massage therapy can be conducted with appropriate risk management measures in place with the exception of Sydney and environs.

Procedures and protocols

Hygiene and infection control practices in wellness massage is paramount. Seated Massage and the therapist partners representing Seated Massage adhere to the Association of Massage Therapists (AMT) Massage Therapy Code of Conduct, including guidelines surrounding Infection Control and Hygiene. Seated Massage is also informed by the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) updates on current state and territory government policy regarding the current practice of massage therapy and infection control.

All Seated Massage therapist partners must complete the Australian Government’s recommended Covid-19 Infection Control Training for Healthcare Workers.

Seated Massage requires every representing therapist to hold current professional indemnity insurance, a police check and first-aid certification.

As part of our increased safety precautions for massage therapy in this climate, Seated Massage therapists will temperature check the morning of any visit to a Seated Massage client site prior to leaving their residence. A simple mouth thermometer will suffice for this. If at, or above 37.5°C, the therapist will retest after 30 minutes. If their temperature remains above 37.5ºC, the therapist will immediately self isolate and follow government recommended advice. 

Further helpful info 

The Association of Massage Therapists Covid-19 Risk Assessment examples chart is an excellent way to self-assess the current risks.

Assumption of risk

The basis of our Safe Massage Protocols and safety precautions for massage therapy is to assume everyone is potentially infectious (asymptomatic). Proper procedures including strict risk management are to be followed at all times.

Therapist testing for Covid-19 as an applied risk management measure is not required unless the therapist is showing symptoms or government requirements change in this regard or clients request testing.

Seated Massage therapists agree to be temperature checked upon arrival at each client site visit if required by the client.

Seated Massage requires their clients to ensure the safety of visiting practitioners.

Face masks

Adhering to the World Health Organisation recommendations and the Association of Massage Therapists guidelines, Seated Massage requires the wearing of face masks for therapists when at a Seated Massage booked client site.

Seated Massage therapists are advised to carry and wear N95 face masks. They can be purchased here. Please know that N95 masks can be worn for up to 8 hours at a time and can be reused up to 5 times with a 3 day interval between wearing (as per AMT guide on mask wearing).

The onus of responsibility is on the visiting practitioner, the client contact, and each massage recipient on each visit day to determine if wearing a mask is applicable for each recipient.

Standard precautions

Hand Hygiene

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

Hand hygiene is essential before and after contact with each client. 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.

Social distancing

Seated Massage is provided in workplaces only if recipients and the visiting therapist report as healthy and can positively answer the standard Covid-19 questions.

Maintaining physical distancing of 1.5m is not applicable due to the nature of massage therapy, however as stated in this document, risk management by both parties should be strictly followed.

Safe Work Australia current information on social distancing can be viewed here.

Handling of used linen

A potential risk exists for microorganism transmission through exposure to contaminated 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

Standard practice is to cover the nose and mouth with an unused tissue when coughing or sneezing. If a tissue is not readily accessible, an elbow or shoulder should be used. As mentioned, masks may be used by therapists and are also recommended for use by recipients.

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.

Therapists with an unwell family member or house-mate are required to notify Seated Massage immediately and will require a risk assessment/testing prior to returning to work.

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 and arms. No hand massage will be conducted for the foreseeable future.

Seated Massage therapists will carry latex gloves for use only at the rare request of a recipient.

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

Presenting skin conditions: Therapists will not provide massage with any presenting skin conditions of the hands. Clients/recipients with skin conditions are requested to inform their attending therapist and generally the area affected is avoided.

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.

Seated Massage will only visit client sites that have infection controls in place. Other personal safety measures are listed in the information provided above.

Changes to our infection control policy

Seated Massage reserves the right to change this policy at any time. We will notify you of significant changes to our Infection Control Policy by sending a notice to your primary email address. 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.

Seated Massage client partners reserve the right to cancel any and all bookings made up to the day of their initial visit date as a result of lockdowns and/or border closures only. This does not include change of mind. Covid-related cancellations do not incur any financial penalty and any monies paid are refunded. For all other date change and/or cancellation information, client partners can refer to our Terms and Conditions within their booking confirmation.

This information was last updated on 24 January 2022