Reintegrating acupuncture treatments into your life has become an option again, but as businesses and community members are weighing their own personal choices amidst changing state guidelines, it’s 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.
First and foremost, both my family’s and my patients’ health are of paramount importance to me and I would never do anything to intentionally jeopardize either. I stay up-to-date on the current guidelines for Los Angeles County and if you have questions, you can always reach out to me.
I already had strict disinfection policies in place prior to COVID-19 and, due to the fluid nature of the pandemic, I’ve adapted as necessary to integrate the ongoing current situation into my business model, while keeping everyone (including myself) as safe as possible. If you’re interested in receiving treatments again, please read further to see what policies we’ve implemented and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
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. Seeing as how receiving a treatment is a one-on-one interaction, gathering in a place with several people is not really a concern. My office is staggering appointments so as to minimize time in the waiting room, as well as contact with other patients. We ask that if you arrive early for your treatment, that you please wait in your car until the appointment time. That being said, in terms of social distancing, we obviously will not be able to maintain a six-foot distance from each other. However, we will both be wearing face masks. 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.
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 bed and pillow covering on my acupuncture table between each patient, as well as sanitize the front desk area and other frequently touched surfaces in my office.
We’ve upgraded the air filtration and circulation in the office as well. There’s a large air purifier in the waiting area and an air purifier with a HEPA filter and a built-in UV light in the treatment room. Appointments are staggered so as to allow time for the HEPA machine to properly filter the contents of the room and to give me time to use medical grade disinfectants to wipe down all surfaces, as well as to go over the room with a handheld UV light.
For yourself, it’s your responsibility to decide whether it’s safe for you to schedule an appointment. If you’re feeling sick, staying home will help protect your community and the healthcare workers in your area. Prior to your treatment, you will be required to read and sign a COVID-19 Informed Consent to Treat form that helps you to better understand the potential risks involved in seeking in-person care and also helps us to screen for any people that may be better suited for virtual visits.
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 check your pulse, I can still deliver you a powerful and effective customized treatment plan. Also, picking up herbal medicines or having them delivered involves less contact and time than a full appointment.
Acupuncture/acupressure and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are excellent resources for anxiety and stress reduction. Given the stressful nature of these recent days, TCM is a great option, so don’t shy away from reaching out to me to ask what is possible today.