Updated: Mar 30
By Daryl Fang, R.Ac
Wow, has it really been around 2 months since I have written anything here? I feel like I have just woken up from lock-down hibernation and now that we’re all starting to come out of our homes and start aspects of our life again! So this might be a good time to touch base and let you all know that acupuncture is once again back on the treatment menu at Darou Wellness.
However, some of the acupuncture process (from the intake, to the procedure, to the actual overall look of things) have changed – for the better! New safety procedures and protocols have been implemented in the overall acupuncture treatment to make sure that patients, the team (and of course, myself) are safe and treated in a sanitary and clean working environment (following the mandated COVID-19 safety protocols that have been set by my professional regulatory college).
This means in everyday normal person-speaking terms: we have made preparations for a safe return to work and you may start booking appointments again. Now I am sure many of you may have received this email but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post these new COVID-19 safety protocol guidelines again so that the information would be accessible to those of you who check in with Darou Wellness Newsletter news. This is just a summary of some of the new, updated acupuncture treatment and intake process that we are enacting right now at Darou Wellness. Have a quick look and make yourselves comfortable with some of the new guidelines.
NEW THINGS FOR YOU, THE PATIENT, TO KNOW:
1. Pre-screening Prior to Your Appointment
Yes, this will be a new implementation. It is a bit cumbersome but it is a necessary step to ensure that patient safety is kept a priority. We want you to come in for your appointment knowing that we have ensured that the premises are safe for your arrival. We also want to assure you that should patients meet with a positive pre-screen, that if appropriate medical help is needed for them (beyond what we can offer at our clinic), that patients are immediately referred to get it without delay.
We do urge that if a patient feels unwell in the days prior to their appointment, that they immediately make an appointment to see their GP or primary medical practitioner. Acupuncture appointments may be cancelled or rescheduled and our usual clinic cancellation fee in such circumstances will not be applied. We certainly will accept same day cancellations / reschedules in this case.
2. Wearing a Mask
We ask that all patients coming in for acupuncture treatments wear a mask (it may be a surgical mask, home made fabric mask, or a washable, re-usable mask that they have purchased from a vendor etc) before they come in for their appointment and keep it on for the duration of their treatment.
3. Types of Acupuncture Treatments That Will Be Offered
For the time being, my professional regulatory college has asked that practitioners limit their acupuncture treatments to treatments that are essential for the patient’s well-being and to provide only those services that are required on an ongoing basis to ensure that their patients’ well-being is maintained.
What this means is that I will be allowed to only provide acupuncture for certain essential conditions (which fortunately, does cover a lot of what we usually treat here in the clinic such as pain relief, anxiety, fertility issues, IVF support, depression, hormonal balance, skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis, digestive issues such as IBS, Chron’s and Ulcerative Colitis, just to name a few).
What this also means though is that cosmetic acupuncture treatments will for the time being, be suspended from being offered until more guidance can be provided from our regulatory college as to whether we can fully operate at the fullest capacity and scope of our services (being as cosmetic acupuncture is not considered an essential service for the time being).
That is not to say that skin conditions of the face itself cannot be treated if cosmetic acupuncture is not available for the time being. If the condition is severe (such as really severe acne lesions, dermatitis or eczema) regular acupuncture also can be done on the body to alleviate the condition. If needles are deemed to be required near the site of the lesions or skin condition, the area around the active site can also be needled (with minimal needles) around the forehead, temples and head to relieve redness, pain, inflammation and swelling; provided that face shields and the proper mask is used by the practitioner for treatments provided in relative proximity to the head and face of the patient.
This would be treated as a regular acupuncture treatment and not a cosmetic acupuncture treatment. Patients would also be advised to keep their mask on during treatments (taking it off briefly only for the purposes of showing the practitioner the site of where the lesions or skin condition are).
(I have attached some posters below that we have produced at Darou Wellness so that you will have a simpler and more comprehensive pictorial summary of what I have just outlined)
WHAT I WILL BE DOING AS A PRACTITIONER:
(TO ENSURE THAT YOU, MY PATIENTS, ARE TREATED IN A SAFE AND SANITARY ENVIRONMENT (following my regulatory college guidelines))
1. Use of PPE
I guess this should come as no surprise to you that I will be in a very different outfit when you see me at the clinic. This will be done to ensure that you are being treated in a safe and sanitary environment by myself wearing (to each new acupuncture session with a patient): a surgical mask (N95 if treatment close to the head needs to be given), gloves, scrubs or medical lab coat, and a face shield when close contact treatment near the head needs to be provided.
The use of PPE will allow me to provide an additional barrier of safety for you because it may be disposed of and changed between patients to ensure that new and clean PPE will be used for each individual acupuncture session.
Face shields (along with a mandatory surgical or N95 mask during all treatments) will be used when close contact with acupuncture points near the face, head and neck are used for the purposes of treatment so you can rest assured that I am making your health, protection and safety my first priority.
2. Sanitizing between Treatments
You may also notice that the appointments have been staggered out a bit more so that they are no longer booked back to back like they were before. This 15 minute break between appointments and bookings was put in to safeguard a space of time to allow for disinfection and cleaning of treatment surfaces and high contact surfaces in the treatment room between each appointment. That way you may rest assured that you will be coming into a freshly sanitized and clean treatment space for your booked appointment.
3. Use of Scrubs (or a lab or medical coat) during Treatments
I will be taking the additional step of changing into a set of medical clothes before I start my shift so that I will not be treating in the clothing that I came to work in. This is to ensure that the medical garments I use are strictly for clinical use only and that they will be laundered immediately at the end of each shift so that a fresh set of medical garments will be ready for the next shift when I see you again.
4. Taking Sick Days
Lastly, because we ask that you inform us if you are sick and stay at home until your symptoms are better, I too will also oblige by this rule and in the event I am not feeling well, I will let you know promptly and stay at home until the symptoms get better so that I do not come into work unwell and take the risk of spreading anything to the clinic and to you, the patients. I will honour any cancellations or rescheduled appointments in the event that I need to stay home until I get better and cancellation fees will not be applied if this should come up.
And just so those of you who prefer to use pictures to summarize the new way of doing things, here are two charts that the Darou Wellness Team has prepared that you can also refer to (for a more pictorial representation of the above).
We just wanted to let you all know that we are really excited at being able to start providing acupuncture treatments again (even if they do look a little different and may not quite flow in the quite the same way they did prior to the shutdown). If any of you have any questions or would like to check in with us on anything regarding acupuncture treatments, or ask about how acupuncture can help treat certain conditions, don’t hesitate to send us an email or give us a call.
And while I am at it, keep an eye out for my next acupuncture blog article about acupuncture and the treatment of stress and anxiety (as well as some additional spillover disorders such as acne and digestive conditions caused by stress) while living under the pressures of the current pandemic. I have discovered that lately, a lot of my treatments have mainly been focused on dealing with helping patients deal with the anxieties of daily living while dealing with managing pandemic and lock-down measures. Until next time, I hope this article finds you in good health and spirits. It’ll be great to see each of you again and catch up!
Are you interested in acupuncture? Daryl Fang would be happy to answer your questions! Contact us to book a complimentary meet and greet 15 minute consultation.
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