Bill and Libby Schecher
16 Middle Street
Hallowell, ME 04347
As you know, our acupuncture clinic, along with most Maine businesses, has been closed since March 16 due safety concerns regarding the spread of the new Coronavirus. We are writing to let you know that we are re-opening our acupuncture practice, and to describe what we are doing with our clinic to ensure your safety as well as ours.
Our Five Element acupuncture practice offers treatment and support to both healthy people seeking to sustain and reinforce their general well-being and also to people who have significantly compromised immune systems. Our primary goal in re-opening is to do so in an informed and vigilant manner, protecting our most vulnerable patients while making acupuncture available to everyone who wishes to return for treatment. We will be re-starting slowly; if you would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call.
Because people can transmit Covid-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, long before they are symptomatic, it is imperative that we create a safe and healthy clinic environment. To that end, you will find changes to the clinic that make it safer, but less cozy and intimate. However, we believe that it is not the physical setting that gives Five Element acupuncture its capacity for transformation. As you know, this style of acupuncture supports the entirety of a person, on all levels of body, mind and spirit, and it is access to that depth of experience which gives it power.
What follows is an outline of the changes you can expect to see at this office.
What we require of you:
● As always, we ask that you not come to the clinic if you are feeling unwell or are having symptoms of cold or flu. Please call us as soon as possible if you are symptomatic, but be assured that we do not expect payment for last minute cancellations due to ill health.
● Please make sure you arrive five minutes early and wait in your car until we come to get you. If someone accompanies you to these appointments, they must wait in the vehicle while you are being treated. The waiting room is closed for now.
● We will come out to your vehicle, ask you some screening questions about your recent activities and possible Covid-19 exposure, and (with your consent) take your temperature using an infrared thermometer near your forehead. If your temperature is above 100.4o F, we will advise you to return home and contact your primary care provider.
● Please leave all non essential items in your car - coat, jewelry, purse, water bottle, etc. If you plan to pay by check, please have it made out in advance.
● You will be required to wear a mask from the time we come out to your vehicle, throughout the acupuncture treatment, and until you exit the building. A cloth mask that covers your nose and mouth is acceptable.
● Please remove your shoes and leave them in the shoe tray in the front hallway, as always.
● You will be required to sanitize your hands and wrists when you enter the office. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available for your use. Please note that the currently available hand sanitizer is made with plant-based ethanol and so it has a slight liquor scent to it. Alternatively, if you prefer, we have a small stock of Purell on hand or you may use soap and water in the restroom.
● You will be brought into the treatment room right away. The restroom is still available.
Changes to the clinic space:
● The soft-cushioned chairs have been removed since they are impossible to disinfect. We will be using vinyl pillow covers and a single sheet on the treatment table.
● A wooden chair and a wooden table are available for your use. Please use them to hold all your belongings, including clothes.
● Before you arrive, we will complete an extensive and time-consuming cleaning and disinfecting protocol. All items and surfaces associated with treatment will be disinfected, including the furniture used by clients; the treatment table, bolsters and pillows; and our acupuncture work surface and tools. All household door knobs and surfaces in the restroom will be disinfected between patients.
● All robes and drapes will be single-use, as always, and any additional blankets and sheets will also be laundered daily.
What you can expect of us:
● We will take and document our temperatures every morning to confirm that they are not elevated.
● We will strive to be on time when beginning and ending the sessions. We will stagger our appointments so that people will not be in the public area of the office at the same time.
● The comprehensive cleaning protocol we have put in place will reduce the number of clients we can see in a day. We will make every effort to ensure that appointments remain available but we expect there to be less flexibility in our schedules.
● We will wear tri-layer procedural masks the entire time we are in your presence. We will continue to meticulously clean our hands as we have always done, using soap and water, isopropyl alcohol or hand sanitizer.
● As always, we will continue to hold you in warm and thoughtful regard and to care for you in a way that supports the highest level of your physical, mental and psycho-spiritual health.
A quick summary:
● Stay home if you feel sick.
● Please arrive 5 minutes early and wait in your car.
● Write out your check before you enter the office.
● Bring a mask to wear when you are in the clinic.
● We will guide you through the rest.
With no vaccine in sight and allopathic medical care addressing only symptoms, not cure, the means to control the spread of this virus in the Western world is firmly grounded in the preventive measures of hand hygiene, wearing masks and social distancing. Communities are generally doing a good job with these actions and the growth in Covid-19 cases is in decline. However, as the economy begins to re-open, it is imperative that everyone takes steps to avoid exposure and the spread of this disease. This reality is at the root of the changes you will find at our acupuncture clinic. Our goal is to make the clinic safe for everyone, especially the most vulnerable of our patients.
As the year progresses, it is estimated that 70% of the population will be exposed to the virus. Most people will have mild to moderate symptoms while others will get gravely ill. The difference between these two will be the strength of the immune system in each individual. While Western medicine is very good at treating critical conditions, Asian medicine is very good at prevention. Factors such as emotional stress and loss of sleep make us more susceptible to getting sick. That is why, at a time like this, we see acupuncture as essential in helping us cope and stay healthy.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call the clinic at 622-0163.
Stay safe. Be well.
With warm regard,
Bill and Libby
Also, there are contact pages for both of us if you want to connect with us through this website.
It would be helpful if you send us an email so that we know we have everyone’s address. That will allow more efficient communication about any changes to clinic schedules or policies.