COVID Practices throughout Our Community
As we all know, COVID-19 is again on the rise in Sonoma County. We want to take this opportunity to reach out to our community, and remind us how we can support each other to ensure that Flourish remains a clean and safe space.
Please be thoughtful about how your exposure outside of the clinic brings risk to our practitioners and other patients. Keeping our community safe is the responsibility of every person in our community. We work hard to minimize any risk of spread in the clinic. However, every person who enters the clinic can bring risk to others, so we want to reinforce what’s needed to keep everyone safe and healthy, and find the best care options for you based on your exposure level (see below).
If you are not strictly following social distancing guidelines (including being 6 feet apart from others, wearing masks as recommended, and not attending indoor functions) in your personal life, please move your care with Flourish to virtual instead of in-person. We feel confident in our ability to support you virtually, and look forward to seeing you online as is needed.
As a reminder… you may not feel vulnerable to this illness – however, we do have patients (and family members) that are pregnant, elderly, or otherwise immunocompromised, and at heightened risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. Any inadvertent transmission may be devastating or fatal to others.
Please consider if your care can be provided through virtual sessions, or a hybrid of virtual & in-person care, until the rate of infection has decreased. Our practitioners have become experienced at providing virtual care, and we’ve seen excellent results with fertility, pain management, stress relief, and a variety of other complaints! We have numerous modalities aside from acupuncture: Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system, and we can support and improve your health with or without needles.
If you’re interested, you can ask your practitioner about putting together a schedule of hybrid care: for example, a fertility patient might opt for weekly virtual care, with monthly in-person visits prior to ovulation. Or, if you don’t yet have a Flourish provider, email us, and we would be happy to talk through options and find the best wellness plan for you at this time.
What does a virtual session look like? Virtual care with your practitioner takes place on Zoom or a phone call, to (1) do a check-in on your current health and your wellness goals, and (2) provide guidance and tools that you can implement to address your issues from home, including acupressure/self-massage, herbs/ supplements, dietary changes, breathing/meditation techniques and lifestyle modifications.
For most patients, virtual care is actually cheaper than in-person visits! Fees: $25/15 mins, $50/30 mins, $90/60 mins (note: the two shorter options will usually do the trick). You can book virtual care online using the Jane system, or reach out to your provider to help you book.
We remain strongly committed to the cleaning and safety protocols that we have been implementing since reopening in June. We have also added the use of a UVC lamp after treatments to further sterilize the clinic for everyone’s safety. All the practitioners are thoughtful in both our personal and professional lives, practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and disinfecting everything, checking our own temperatures, monitoring ourselves for symptoms, and getting regular COVID testing as appropriate.
It is our priority to ensure that our patients are safe when working with us, and that we, the practitioners, are safe when we return home to our families at the end of our shifts. Thank you for your continued support, and your commitment to preserving community safety so that we can continue to keep our doors open and provide care to those in need. We are truly all in this together.
Addressing Stress with Acupuncture
A common thread amongst many of the patients that we’ve seen recently is STRESS! At this moment in time, we are, as a community, facing a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, political turmoil, and the return of fire season. Sigh.
How Stress Impacts the Body
These stressors throw our nervous system into fight flight or freeze response, which can lead to a variety of physical and emotional imbalances that affect everyone in unique ways. For some patients, stress can lead to insomnia and restlessness; for others, anxiety might flare up or their digestion might be on the fritz.
These imbalances are frustrating in the moment. Over time, they can turn into more serious issues – such as high blood pressure, oxidative stress, decreased immune response, and general inflammation – and can wreak havoc on all of the body’s systems.
How Acupuncture Can Help with Stress
One of the things that we love about acupuncture is the significant impact that it can have on a patient’s stress levels.
You may have already experienced the deep sense of relaxation that can come with a few needles, but did you know that research has measured the physiological effects of acupuncture on stress markers? It has been shown to increase heart rate variability, inhibit inflammation, and reduce the hormonal stress response of the HPA axis, to name a few. In fact, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) recommends acupuncture as a complementary treatment for anxiety and depression, citing growing evidence of its efficacy.
From a more holistic perspective, acupuncture gives our patients an opportunity to rest and relax, helps to pull the body back into balance, and allows our patients to be present with their body and their emotions. And Chinese medicine treatment doesn’t end when we remove your needles! We ensure that our patients have tools that they can use to address stress in their everyday lives – including qigong exercises, mindfulness-meditation, breathing exercises, acupressure points, and herbal or supplemental remedies.
Feeling Stressed? Come See Us!
Click here to contact us with any questions you might have about how Chinese medicine can help you address stress, or to schedule an appointment for acupuncture today.
Clinic Safety Protocols for Coronavirus
Here at Flourish Integrative Health, your safety and the safety of our practitioners is always at top of mind. As we start to get back to in-person acupuncture treatments, we are working hard to ensure that the protocols we have in place will keep any potential for exposure to the coronavirus to a minimum. We wanted to share our new protocols with you – both what we are doing, and what we are asking patients to do – so that you can have peace of mind that you will be as safe as possible in the clinic.
Here’s what we’re doing to keep the clinic clean and safe:
- Our practitioners wear masks at all times when working with patients.
- Our treatment tables have been stripped of linens – we now use table paper and disposable plastic-lined pillow cases instead. Of course, the table is sprayed and wiped down between patients.
- Anywhere that a patient is likely to have touched will be wiped down after their departure.
- Our practitioners wash their hands with soap and water before and after treatment with each patient, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as necessary when in the room with the patient.
- Each treatment room is left empty for at least 30 minutes before the next patient enters that room.
- Air filters are used in every room.
- Any frequently touched surface will be wiped down at the beginning and end of the practitioner’s shift.
Here’s what we’re asking patients to do while in the clinic, to ensure that they are safe, to minimize their time spent in the clinic, and to avoid any potential exposures:
- Each patient is screened by phone for potential COVID-19 symptoms or exposure prior to entering the clinic for their treatment.
- The majority of the intake (talking portion of the treatment) is conducted by phone or Zoom, either right before their treatment or earlier in the day.
- Patients are expected to wear a mask the entire time that they are in the clinic.
- The waiting room is no longer used. Patients wait in their car until contacted by their provider to enter the clinic. The practitioner opens the door to the clinic and the door to the treatment room for them, so they don’t need to touch any handles.
- Patients’ temperature will be taken, using a contactless thermometer, prior to entering the clinic.
- Patients are asked to prepare by bringing in / wearing appropriate items for minimal undressing.
- Patients are given hand sanitizer when they enter the clinic, and then again when they are leaving the treatment room.
- Payment is made via online invoicing, to avoid the need for exchange of credit cards or money in the clinic.
If you have any questions or concerns about our safety practices, please feel free to contact us anytime. We hope to see you in the clinic soon!