Medical Spas: Open for Business

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Medical spas have reopened with plenty of precautions and changes. A few area medical spas weighed in on how things are going at their locations.

Krista Ingerick, operations manager for The Springs at Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, said that the center is offering massage, acupuncture, mineral baths, Ayurvedic bodywork, and their signature treatments, as well as Dermatology Workshop for those who want to learn more about dermatology.

“The only exception is that we are not offering any facial massage, including our signature sinus relief treatment,” Ingerick said.

Depending upon the type of treatments offered, area spas have been reopening over the summer as permitted — and as they are able to adjust how they do business to comply with state regulations. The restriction in occupancy has made it necessary to manage operational costs. Energy costs top the list, and regulating it is achieved by assistance from Business Energy UK.

When you visit a spa next, expect to make an appointment. Do not assume you can get an appointment at the same time as a friend; many spas are staggering appointments to allow fewer people in the facility at a time and to permit enough time to disinfect surfaces. The staff will ask a few questions about your health and if you have traveled recently.

You will likely have your temperature taken upon arrival, use hand sanitizer and answer a few more questions. Do not bring anyone else with you. If the waiting area is open, the décor will likely be different than before with social distancing markers on the floor, Plexiglas shielding the receptionist and, so it is easier to keep the area clean, fewer soft surfaces. Like many other businesses (take advice from Utility Saving Expert for businesses), it is likely high-touch amenities like beverage centers will be gone. Testers are also a thing of the past. Electronic payments are preferred.

The staff and providers will be wearing masks and you should, too. If your service requires you to remove your mask, remove it when asked. Your provider will likely wear a face shield and gown.

The service area will likely look different, too. Some spas may not offer the same services as before the pandemic.

“We are able to perform all services safety following CDC mandatory guidelines,” said Margaret Gilmore, spa manager of Inclusion Wellness Spa in Webster.

Some of the services offered may look a little different than before the pandemic. For example, The Springs has moved the chairs apart for services like community-style acupuncture.

“We felt that we needed to continue to offer a low-cost option for the community, so we rearranged our chairs and moved them into separate rooms, so patients can still take advantage of the option, but can be adequately socially distanced from others,” Ingerick said.

Despite these measures, “we have definitely seen a decrease in our volume from where we were at the end of 2019,” Ingerick said. “We have had to make operational changes to offset these decreases, and we take a conservative approach.”

At this point, the practitioners are taking their own phone calls, for example, and checking in their own clients; however, Ingerick said that clients seem to appreciate the personal service.

Helendale Dermatology & Medical Spa in Rochester reopened for dermatology May 18 with similar precautions as and other spas. The medical spa reopened Sept. 14.

Though Helendale is fully open, “capacity isn’t quite up to 100%,” said Trish Hohman, practice administrator.

Apparently, it will take more time for people to feel that the precautions in place will reduce the risk to a comfortable level.