acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine

COVID-19 update: my Acupuncture clinic reopens 15th June!

Just a heads up: this is a long but useful post, I suggest you make a cuppa to sip on while you are reading.


House of Prana from right

With the Tasmanian Government’s recent announcement of the Roadmap to Recovery, I am excited to announce that my clinic will reopen it’s physical doors for acupuncture appointments on 15th June, in line with Stage Two! Of course, this is dependent on government advice, but it feels good to give you all a date to put in your diaries. I’ll be in touch soon with information on booking.

While I had hoped I may be able to provide acupuncture treatments sooner than this, the reality is that the building where the clinic is located is a wellness centre, managed by the great team at the yoga studio. When the yoga studio is permitted to operate (as Stage Two is given the green light on 15th June), then a coordinated plan with the individual health businesses within the building and the spaces they all share will be actively implemented, for the safety of everyone who uses the building. We will work as a team to make House of Prana a low risk environment that also feels warm and welcoming to visit.

First do no harm

In every treatment, a practitioner must always weigh up benefit versus potential harm. Your health and the safety of our community is my top priority. For this reason, until the House of Prana is open for business and a COVID safety plan is in place for everybody using the space, then we cannot permit the space to be used as a clinic. The novel coronavirus is a highly contagious and potentially fatal pathogen for some in our community, so this harm is a possibility that must be taken seriously.

Restrictions are easing but the virus has not changed

Many countries in the world have experienced a second wave of COVID-19 cases. We do not want that to happen here in Australia, yes it is possible. And winter is also on the way with the usual winter cold and flu infections expected. Basically, this is not the time to reduce social distancing or relax hygiene standards. By all means, enjoy the freedoms we have been allowed in stage one, just do it safely.

How am I preparing for reopening?

Before the clinic temporarily closed I had already completed the Australian Government’s COVID-19 infection control program for health practitioners. Since then I have completed a further two hours of training in an international webinar addressing practice guidelines for acupuncturists returning to work with the view to maintaining a high level of infection control to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, I am reviewing my general Infection Control Management Plan and implementing a further COVID-19 Pandemic Workplace Safety Plan. Personal protective Equipment (PPE) which has been scarce to find (as I’m sure you’ve heard in the news), is being sourced for the return to clinic.

The House of Prana team are working together regularly to implement these safety plans throughout the centre for it’s reopening in June. We are excited (as you can see from our Zoom meeting photo!)

Are you pregnant, undergoing IVF, trying to conceive or in need of Chinese Medicine help for your health now?

Please do reach out to me if you are pregnant and needing support, or are preparing for the birth of your child, if you’re undergoing IVF or trying to conceive naturally, or perhaps you’re struggling with stress, sleep disturbances, digestive issues, low energy or pain. You are not facing this on your own.

I can still assist you through a Chinese Medicine telehealth consultation right now or provide an appropriate referral if other services are required. And until the clinic physically reopens for acupuncture the fees for Chinese Medicine telehealth consultations remain lower than those for acupuncture consultations (initial telehealth consultations are $100 and follow up telehealth consultations are $50). A video explaining how telehealth operates is here and further information is here.

If you need repeats of your herbs, supplements, moxa sticks or teas from the clinic tea menu you can take advantage of my free delivery service within Launceston (postcodes: 7248, 7249 & 7250) or I can express post them to you for $12. I’m regularly out doing deliveries these days and will continue until I return to clinic. You can place an order by contacting me via phone or email.

To book a Chinese Medicine telehealth consultation online please click here or contact me.

What else have I been doing?

It was actually an enormous task to dismantle the clinic and dispensary, bringing important items and the dispensary home and setting up telehealth consultations. I’ve created new information sheets for a variety of clinical areas to support the people who use my services.

I’ve also been keeping my skills sharp and up to date by undergoing several courses including a brilliant 3 day seminar on Chinese Medicine techniques for pregnancy and birth (with an online study group too). I have so much to share with women who are in need of Chinese Medicine obstetric (and gynaecology) support. Other study I have coming up to blend into my clinic work when I’m back is completing the Mental Health First Aid course, something we may need more than ever right now, and taking part in UTAS’ The Wellbeing Toolkit.

I’m also taking an active role in the Acupuncture Now Foundation. The purpose of this organisation is to find and provide the high level evidence for the use of acupuncture and share it widely amounting to a more well-informed community.

There’s also two podcasts/facebook lives that I have been involved in. The first was with a chat about fertility and pregnancy, Chinese Medicine and COVID-19 times with the wonderful fertility naturopath, Jaclyn Harris. You can catch the conversation on my Facebook page. The second was with Shahna Sarpi on the Nutrition Grad Guide podcast which is aimed at mentoring new health practitioners to start up their clinics (coming soon).

Like a lot of you, I’m also trying to keep up with daily exercise (I’m loving the online qigong available), cooking healthy food, starting a new veggie garden, sewing and staying in touch (from a distance) with people I care about.

What about some positive, feel good vibes?

Well we have read, seen and experienced some beautiful stories to warm our hearts in this time, like:

And I have to draw your attention to this gorgeous little Australian youtube series, called Love in Lockdown. You’ll recognise the Aussie actors and be able to relate to so many of the things that have defined lockdown for us. It’s clever, funny, adorable, topical and each episode is only 7 minutes!

Finally,

Most of all, I wish for you and your loved ones, that you stay safe and well. Let’s all work together, support the local businesses, artists and musicians, and help those who are vulnerable, because we are all in this together. Let’s do what we can to create a ‘new normal’ that works well for all of us.

See you back in clinic via telehealth now or for acupuncture next month. I’ll be in touch with more news on the reopening soon. Stay well.

acupuncture, health, Traditional Chinese Medicine

COVID-19 Important Update: the clinic is moving online

ABC How every single Australian's actions affect the spread of coronavirusWith the latest federal and state government announcements and requests from frontline medical staff to #stayhome in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, I can no longer see that¬†offering face-to-face consultations in my clinic is responsible practice. Despite always maintaining a high level of infection control, beyond what is prescribed in the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Infection Control Training for health professionals, it seems higher level precautions to keep everyone safe are required now with the use of additional personal protective equipment (PPE), temperature monitoring and most importantly social distancing. As a stand alone clinician, I don’t have the capacity to provide all of this myself in a situation with close contact.

I know that for many of you, your acupuncture consultation with me as an allied health professional is essential to your ability to function or manage your health. I take this responsibility extremely seriously. This decision is not taken as complying with the minimum level of responsibility I can, but rather doing what I believe is right for you and our community. As I close my doors to the physical clinic at House of Prana (for now), I want to assure you that there is a plan in place to continue your care with the myriad of treatment styles that Chinese Medicine has to offer. You are not alone. I am still here for you. And I have a bigger bag of strategies than you could imagine. 

If you have an appointment booked with me I will be in touch with you this week.

The thing is, acupuncture is only one part of Chinese Medicine. Those of you who already attend appointments with me know that a large part of my consultations involve diet, lifestyle and herbal strategies. Some of you have had moxibustion (that herbal stick) and acupressure homework. There is still so much more I can teach you to do in your home accompanied by appropriate prescriptions.¬† In fact, you are likely to learn more about Chinese Medicine for your health condition and be empowered with self-care strategies that are individualised to you. Better still, you can attend the appointment in the comfort of your own home, while self-isolating for the good of the community. The small number of you who haven’t managed to learn to love needles can avoid them, for now.

I plan to bring you two styles of health support:

  1. Telehealth consultations (with a delivery service for herbs, teas and other prescribed items)
  2. A webinar series

Most of you know I have been lecturing and writing courses in Chinese Medicine for years and the chance to be able to share my knowledge with you through online consultations and webinars gives you access to more information that you can use in your home to benefit your own health.

Currently, I am putting everything into place to ensure that both of these services are both professional and run smoothly so that your care is continued seamlessly. Please indulge me with a few more days to organise these services for you. But do contact me if you need assistance before you hear from me.

For now, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, this website and your emails if you are subscribed to my mailing list for updates, tips and some lighthearted distractions too.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge that a lot of you and the people you know are hurting right now. Please reach out if I can help. If you need support for your mental health please contact these Lifeline: 13 11 14, BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636 or Headspace: 1800 650 890.

I’m wishing each and everyone of you all the best right now. Stay home, wash your hands, stay in contact with friends and loved ones, be well and keep an eye out for further updates.

To book an appointment online 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.

acupuncture, health, Traditional Chinese Medicine

COVID-19: important information about acupuncture and Chinese medicine services

wall mounted open signage
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

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:

  1. 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 sarah@sarahgeorgeacupuncture.com.au or visiting the online booking system.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 ‚Äėclose contact‚Äô with a confirmed case.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

health, Traditional Chinese Medicine

COVID-19: stay calm and be informed with these useful links

3913708645_8db9db532c_zCoronavirus is here in Tasmania and at my Launceston acupuncture clinic I have been collating resources to benefit us all.

First of all, pay close attention to our two relevant government websites. Information is changing quickly and these are the best sources to get information from. These are also the best sites for hygiene and preventative measures:

For information about the virus itself and frequently asked questions for myth busting so you don’t end up sharing misinformation:

General and interesting information:

I’ll respond further as the situation here in Tasmania changes. Remember to keep checking the government websites for the best and up-to-date information.

But for now stay informed, keep calm and be kind. Follow the preventive guidelines. Stay well. Reach out to those who might need assistance.

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.