Thai massage workers are using blue PVC pipes to give socially distanced treatments

Thai massage workers are using blue PVC pipes to give socially-distanced rub downs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Footage shows an instructor demonstrating how to put pressure on a customer’s body using the pipe without having skin-to-skin contact with them in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand on March 21. The no-contact massage included using plastic wraps and vinyl pipes to keep a safe distance between the masseuse and the customer. Several locals participated in the 50-hour class instructed by certified masseuse Komet Chanmuenwai at the Regional Education Office. Education officer Kornkaew Baebklang said the classes will help Thai massage therapists learn the safe technique so they could continue giving body rubs during the pandemic. He said: ‘Students first have to learn about anatomy. They must know the locations of nerves, tendons, and muscles before they could handle the vinyl pipe properly. ‘We’ve found that PVC pipes are the best tool for massage. They can also be easily cleaned after.’ Aside from the pipe which is the main tool used for the socially-distanced massage, plastic sheets were placed inside the rooms to lessen contact between visitors. Thailand has 28,346 reported Covid-19 cases with 92 deaths as of March 24. The government had previously shut down massage shops and spas leaving hundreds of thousands of workers across the country jobless. The restriction was recently lifted at the end of January allowing masseuses to return to their profession. However, shops have to use track and trace systems, hand sanitiser and workers have to wear masks.