You can now get an outdoor massage in Toronto
Tanya Pillay of Hypnosage first proposed the idea of outdoor massages to friends last summer as she was trying to figure out ways of mitigating the risk of COVID transmission indoors.
As of May 26, 2020, RMTs were gradually allowed to restart services, but business at Hypnosage was still suffering.
"I have two windows that open in my indoor treatment space, but people were not booking at pre-pandemic rates even after we were permitted to reopen, unlike larger practices that were already established and full enough to continue indoors or with industrial-level air filtration," says Pillay.
Then things started getting warmer, and it gave her an idea.
"I used to do massage outside at Kensington Pedestrian Sundays in 2009 before I became an RMT, and at festivals for friends on bails of straw or standing on a dance floor," says Pillay.
So she figured it wasn't a big leap to her backyard.
With summerlike temperatures here already, she hopes outdoor massage be just what the massage-deprived locked-down throngs will be loooking for.
She makes it clear, though, that it doesn't have to be sunny out for her to do her outdoor work. In colder weather, she says, she's even given massages through a snowsuit.
"People have been very accepting of my modest backyard and unconventional massage style," Pillay tells blogTO.
Her safety protocols include wearing an N95 mask and facial shield, sanitizing all touch points to get to and from her bathroom inside for hand washing, providing sanitizer and encouraging only those local to her area to come to avoid travel between hotspots.
She wants people to note that there's the possibility of outdoor sounds, changes in temperature and sun exposure, and housemates passing by on a shared walkway while undergoing treatment outdoors.
Fees start at $20 for 15 minutes and can range up to $120 for a 90-minute appointment.
"Many people are close enough to walk over from home and use their own washroom to avoid indoor time completely," says Pillay, who has her own washroom available for use just in case.
"I've had pregnant women and parents be very keen to come and thankful for the option to have the body care without any indoor risk."
In addition to registered massage therapy, Hypnosage also offers trauma-informed coaching involving hypnosis.
Options for a therapist offering their own space for an outdoor massage in Toronto appear to be few, but there are mobile RMT services that will come to you as well if that's more suited to your comfort level.
There's even an app called Massago that allows you to book mobile RMTs for a time and place that suits you, including requests for outdoor spaces, and they'll show up with their own massage table.
Join the conversation Load comments