As the country moves toward reopening, reintegrating acupuncture treatments into your life will become an option again.
Just as businesses and community members are weighing their own personal choices amidst changing provincial guidelines, it is a personal choice whether or not you feel safe to visit an acupuncturist. As you weigh this choice, here are a few things to keep in mind.
The Government of Alberta has announced today that Phase 2 of the economic relaunch will start on Friday, June 12, 2020. Acupuncturists are included in Phase 2.
From there, it is up to each practitioner to decide in what manner we would like to reopen. If you’re interested in receiving treatment again, please reach out to me to see what policies I’m adopting as I integrate the ongoing nature of the coronavirus pandemic into my business.
In terms of your own safety, getting an acupuncture treatment can be compared to getting a massage or a haircut in regard to the health and safety precautions to keep in mind. Because it is a one-on-one interaction, gathering in a place with lots of people is not really a concern. That said, in terms of social distancing, we will obviously not be able to maintain a six-foot distance from each other. However, as practitioners we will be masked during your treatment, and you have the option of wearing a mask as well. Studies have shown that both parties wearing a face mask is beneficial in preventing the spread of the disease, even when neither party is sick, because transmission can occur before you show any symptoms.
We continue to observe rigorous hand hygiene, and have always practiced good hand-washing before and after treatments. Hand sanitizer is available for your use at our front desk and inside each treatment room.
As for the acupuncture needles themselves, these do not present a danger to you, because they are sterile and single use. I open the needles from a sterile package just before using them on each patient, and dispose of them immediately after they’re removed. I also change the bedding and pillows on my acupuncture table between each patient, as well as sanitize the front desk area and other frequently touched surfaces in my office.
To understand the specific steps I’m taking, please feel free to call my office.
For yourself, it is your responsibility to decide whether it is safe for you to schedule an appointment. While acupuncture can be great for mediating symptoms of colds and allergies, because of the uncertainty of the symptoms patients with coronavirus may experience, we would ask that you do not book an appointment if you are experiencing symptoms comparable to those described by coronavirus patients, if the symptoms are not linked with a known or pre-existing condition.
If you are feeling sick, staying home will help protect your community and the healthcare workers in your area.
Remember that traditional Chinese medicine is not just acupuncture. Extensive healing can come from lifestyle changes and the use of Chinese herbal medicines. Especially for new patients, herbs can actually be the best way to start treatment, moving your body toward improved balance and alignment before supplementing your treatment with acupuncture.
In this case, please reach out to me to talk about options for virtual appointments, over the phone or computer. While I won’t be able to do everything I could in a regular appointment, like checking your pulse, I can still do a lot. And, picking up herbal medicines from me involves less contact and time than a full appointment.
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine are a great resource for anxiety and stress reduction, and given the stressful nature of these times, it can be a great option, so don’t shy away from reaching out to me to ask what is possible today.