As you’d all be well aware by now we are in interesting times with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is my role as your health practitioner to ensure that I deliver my Chinese Medicine services in a way that both benefits your health and is performed in an environment that minimises the risk of infection.
Below you’ll find the steps I’m taking to provide health services with suitable precautions to ensure that when it comes to your treatment you feel calm and supported in your health goals:
- Firstly, YES! The clinic is still open. Appointment-wise it is business as usual and you can still book in by calling or texting 0448 128 858, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the online booking system.
- Clinic continues in strict accordance with government health advice. I am keeping a close eye on Australian Government, Tasmanian Department of Health, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHRPA) and Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) directives and will comply completely. The situation is changing rapidly and I will remain flexible and responsive to those changes, notifying you of any changes that may affect you or your appointment. It is important to note that as registered acupuncturists we are already held to a high level of infection control and these infection control procedures continue with additional measures taking place in the building.
- Notify me ASAP by phone or email if you are unwell and/or are required to be isolated/quarantined. Your appointment will be cancelled/rescheduled with the usual cancellation fees waived. In this case, please DO NOT attend your appointment in person. We will either cancel your appointment or reschedule it to when it may be safe for you to return. To reduce the spread of infection it is important that you advise me as soon as possible if you are affected by the following:
- Experiencing fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue, and shortness of breath. We will cancel/reschedule your appointment and should you require symptom relief this may be arranged remotely for you. (See below.)
- If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.
- If you have had recent overseas travel and are required to self isolate. (Have returned from overseas on or after 16 March, have been in or transited through China or Iran in the past 14 days, have returned from South Korea on or after 5 March, have returned from Italy on or after 11 March.)
- Have been in ‘close contact’ with a confirmed case.
- Do you suspect you have COVID-19? If you think you might have COVID-19 because of recent travel or contact with a confirmed case, phone the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline (1800 671 738) for advice. If you haven’t travelled or had contact with confirmed case, phone your doctor or healthdirect Australia (1800 022 222).
- Skype & Phone Consults. This is the answer for when you can’t attend clinic due to sickness, isolation/quarantine or due to being extremely immuno-compromised but still need your Chinese Medicine treatment. The good news is that Chinese Medicine Skype and phone appointments are available for you! You may be surprised to know that Chinese Medicine is a lot more than just acupuncture. We have a full toolkit available to us including Chinese dietetics, lifestyle measures, exercises, herbal medicine, moxibustion (the herb I burn in clinic) and acupressure. Your treatment can continue should you be isolated at home with an individualised prescription of these methods tailored to your signs and symptoms and health goal. This applies to what you usually see me for or if you are seeking relief from other symptoms. These consultations will be conducted via Skype or phone. The fee is $50 and health fund rebates do not apply. Any products that are prescribed can be picked up by someone else or a courier service. If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.
- Preventative medicine. Please feel free to discuss your health situation with me at your next consult and we can discuss preventative measures. Of course these hygiene measures are your first line of defence. I have also been researching Chinese Medicine strategies that have been used in China some of which may be suitable to use here also.
- My health. I take my health very, very seriously not just now but always. My job requires me to be in tip top shape and if I’m even slightly unwell, I take time off. Currently I’m employing high level hygiene measures, hydrating, eating well and maximising sleep in a way that supports my immune system, and employing herbs, supplements and other Chinese Medicine methods individualised to me to maintain my health. We are dealing with a new pathogen here and research is limited as to what is effective. That said, each and every one of us can employ our winter cold and flu prevention practices.
BE INFORMED. I have included a page here of a wide range of links to useful and reputable websites if you want to be more informed about COVID-19.
STAY CALM AND SMILE. Employ your usual stress reduction techniques. My favourites are the meditation apps Headspace, Calm and the breathing/qigong app 7 Min Chi. Get creative. Read your favourite books. Enjoy time in your garden. Get some sunshine and keep exercising in a low contact way.
If you have any questions about any of the content in this newsletter please feel free to contact me.
To book an appointment at the Launceston acupuncture clinic or for further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture). Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), Chinese Medicine and natural health.