Office News

Re-opening Plans

I can’t wait to get back in the office and start treating again! Our tentative date for re-opening is June 9. We are not doing any scheduling yet; another email will go out some time next week when the schedule is open.

In the meantime, there are a lot of changes coming that we want you to be aware of. Like all businesses, we have had to pivot quickly to incorporate all of the necessary regulations and suggestions for keeping everyone safe.

Keep in mind, this is a work in progress. Not all of these changes are necessarily permanent, and some of our procedures may change as we continue to seek out best practices. Please bear with us through this time. We know change can be distressing, but please know that we are doing our best to make this work and continue to help our patients.

Important Changes
New office procedures: These will be detailed below.

New office hours: To begin, we will be in the office Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-6:00pm and Saturday 9:30am-1:00pm

New scheduler: We are switching our scheduler to Schedulicity. When scheduling is open, you will have to create an account with Schedulicity to make your DTE appointments.

New scheduling limits: We will be scheduling 4 people per hour, with treatments lasting 45 minutes, to minimize overlap. New Patient appointments will be unavailable for the month of June. We will also not be taking walk-ins for the foreseeable future.

New payment options: You will now be able to pay by credit card when you schedule online. You can also pay by credit card, cash, or check in the office. However, we do prefer contactless payments (paying online or using your prepaid package) whenever possible. We will no longer be signing prepaid cards but instead tracking them through the scheduler. We will not be able to provide change for cash payments.

New prices: To offset the impact of scheduling less people per hour and per week, effective immediately our new sliding scale for returning patients will be $25-$45. New patient appointments will be a flat fee of $45 and new patients must pay for their appointment in advance.

Eventually, we plan to offer a discounted package deal. If you have a current prepaid package, your prices will not change for the duration of your remaining package.

We continue to ask for 24-hours’ notice for cancellations and changes. This is especially important now that there will be less time slots available. The new late-cancellation/no-show fee will be $25 for returning patients and $45 for new patients. The cancellation fee may be waived for emergencies or illness.

Credit cards are now required to book an appointment online; they will not be charged unless you choose to use your card to pay for your appointment, or unless you no-show or late-cancel. If you do not have a credit card and need to make an appointment, please call the office and we can schedule your appointment for you.

What we are doing to help keep you safe
As you know, we have always taken office cleanliness and patient safety very seriously. We will continue to wipe surfaces regularly and sanitize hands frequently. In addition, we have instituted these new procedures:

Patient screening (see below).
Requiring masks in the office.
Reducing the number of patients in the office.
No waiting area usage.
Minimal touch points.
Cloth barriers between chairs.
Vinyl coverings on chairs that will be wiped down between patients.

Feel free to ask to see our DPH attestation form, which all businesses are required to fill out before reopening.

What you can do to help

Don’t come in if you’re sick. We will happily reschedule for another time.
Bring your mask. We will have some surgical masks available for sale for $2.50 each. However, as the medical supply chain is still stressed, please plan to bring a mask from home. Surgical masks, fabric masks, bandanas are all acceptable so long as they cover your nose and mouth. Valve masks are NOT allowed.
Cleaning supplies have been among the hardest to procure for reopening purposes. If you have any cleaning supplies that you are willing to donate or sell, please contact us.

Office Procedures
Here are our current office procedures, which may be revised in the future.

Please be aware that being on time for your appointment is now more important than ever. If you are more than 10 minutes late, we will need to reschedule you for another time (cancellation fees may apply).

When you arrive in the parking lot, please call the office at (508) 890-8899. We will ask you some screening questions (see below) and let you know if we are ready for you to come upstairs.
Put on your mask and head to our office. If you have a sheet or blanket you would like to use on your recliner, please bring it. There will be no sheets or blankets available in the office for the time being.
The office door will be open, or we will open it for you. If you must open the door, please push with your body not with your hands.
We will take your temperature. If you have a fever over 100.4, you can’t stay for treatment. We will be happy to reschedule you.
We will give you a pump of hand sanitizer and show you to your chair.
At the chair, you will pay for your treatment (unless you have prepaid). You will take off your shoes and roll up your pants and sleeves. We will then give you another pump of hand sanitizer.
We will recline the chair for you.
We will insert the needles and allow you to rest. For the time being, we will not be doing any head or ear points, and we will keep talking to a minimum.
Treatments will last for 45 minutes, to allow us time to sanitize your chair before the next patient appointment.
We will pull the handle and help you sit the chair back up.
After your appointment, we can schedule your next visit, or you are welcome to do it online.
We will walk you out and open the door for you.

COVID- 19 Screening Questions
In the past 24 hours, have you experienced any of the following new symptoms that you cannot attribute to another health condition?

Fever
Cough
Chills
Shortness of breath
Sore throat
Muscle aches that aren’t caused by specific activity such as exercise
Headache
Loss of taste or smell
Diarrhea
Red/painful/itchy toes

Have you been in close contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days? Close contact means being within 6 feet of a person for 15 minutes or more.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you will not be able to receive a treatment.

Next Steps
In the next week, we will start contacting patients about scheduling. We will be calling patients who have sessions left on their package deals, as well as anyone who had an appointment that was cancelled from March 17-present.

If you are not included in that list, don’t worry—we will send out another email when we have opened the schedule up for everyone (new patients will be asked to wait until July, while we fine-tune our office procedures).

While you are waiting to get in for an appointment, feel free to peruse our Facebook page for some suggestions on how to treat yourself with acupressure at home. We have videos about acupressure for shoulder pain, headache & neck pain, and one of my favorite points for a wide variety of conditions. There is also a video showing you how to use acupressure ear seeds, which are available here (affiliate link) for many different conditions.

Additional Considerations
What if I am in an “at risk” population? At this time, the governor’s office is still recommending that at-risk folks stay home as much as possible. Please keep your level of risk in mind when you decide whether to come in for treatment.

What if I can’t or don’t want to wear a mask? This may not be the right time for you to come back. We understand that some people are uncomfortable wearing masks. However, they are required for treatment at this point. This will not always be the case, and we will let everyone know when that changes. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, we respectfully suggest that you wait for later phases of reopening before coming in.

Which Phase are we in? We are being optimistic and assuming that Phase 2 of the state reopening plan will begin on June 8, just in time for our first week of treatments. Phase 2 means that providers can offer a wider range of preventative and wellness treatments.

If Phase 1 is still in effect when we reopen, we are limited to seeing patients with conditions that will likely worsen if they don’t receive acupuncture during this time. This would mean, for example, that your pain, stress, anxiety, or other condition would be likely to deteriorate if you miss your acupuncture treatment. We know that for many people, this has already been the case.

We ask you to use the honor system when deciding which Phase is most appropriate for you and your condition(s).

Thank you for your attention! Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you all soon!

Closing Temporarily

We are following the lead of schools and other community organizations and closing for at least one week in order to help “flatten the curve” of coronavirus spread.

To be clear, there is NO evidence that anyone involved with DTE has been sick or exposed to the virus.  However, sometimes being a responsible community member means taking proactive steps to help protect everyone.

We will be closed for the entire week of March 16.  After that, we will decide on a week-by-week basis as more information becomes available.

We know that many people rely on their weekly acupuncture sessions for pain management, stress, and many other issues.  We truly regret that we will not be there to help you during this time.

Similarly, as a small business we have no other income streams besides seeing patients in the office.  While we do not anticipate that this temporary closure will cause us undue hardship, an extended closure could put us in a precarious financial situation.  If you are able and so inclined, purchasing a 5-pack or 10-pack gift certificate from our website could really help us weather this “storm.”

Please do your best to take care of yourselves and each other during these trying times.  We will try to stay active on social media with any tips or information that we think might be useful.  We very much look forward to seeing you again soon.

Friendly Fridays

All month long, when a returning patient brings a new patient (1st visit to DTE) for treatment on a Friday, the New Patient will pay only $10 for their first treatment.

Please share this news with someone you love!

5 for $85: December 7-21

We will once again be running our 5 for $85 special. For a *very* limited time, we are offering 5 acupuncture treatments for just $85, when you purchase a 5-treatment card in advance. Please read the following details carefully:

* Special runs December 7-21 only.
* Limit of 2 cards per person.
* You must come into the office during office hours to purchase.
* Cash or check only.

When you come in, make sure we know that you want to buy a 5-treatment card. You must pay in full, in advance, in cash or check. There is no expiration date to the cards once you have bought them.

You may also buy 5 for $85 cards as gifts, with a limit of 2 per gift recipient. Let us know if you are buying the card as a holiday gift, and we will include one of our full-color gift certificates to give out with the card.

We will only be selling the cards from December 7-21, so make sure you get into the office before the time runs out!

FREE Acupuncture to Quit Smoking

As some of you know, I lost my mom, Michaelann Bewsee, in August due to complications from metastatic lung cancer.

My mom was a wonderfully kind and giving person, who worked in the non-profit sector helping others for almost her entire life. Unfortunately, she was not able to help herself by quitting smoking, until it was too late.

No one should have to suffer the way my mom did at the hands of this disease. And no family should have to watch a loved one decline from this largely preventable illness.

Quitting smoking is hard. There is no easy way or magic answer. But there are things that can make quitting easier, including acupuncture.

That’s why we will be offering FREE smoking cessation acupuncture treatments in November, to coincide with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke Out.

These free treatments will be offered on the following dates and times:

Saturday, November 9 & Saturday November 16 (2 dates)
1:15pm-2:15pm

Monday, November 18 – Thursday November 21 (4 dates)
6:45pm- 7:45pm

If you are attempting to quit smoking, we encourage you to attend as many of these sessions as possible. All treatments take place at Down to Earth Acupuncture, 120 Stafford St. Suite 204 in Worcester.

Smoking cessation acupuncture involves 5 acupuncture points done in one or both ears (your choice). Treatments last approximately 20-30 minutes and are offered on a walk-in, first come first served basis.

Please help us to spread the word and make this event a success.

Sound Healing and Acupuncture: Saturday, October 19

Our next Sound Healing and acupuncture workshop with Laryssa Robideau will be Saturday, October 19 at 2:30pm.

This is a unique experience in which traditional sound bowls and chimes will be played continuously; along with each individual being treated with select acupuncture points to support the overall calming and healing effects of the sound vibrations.

Only 10 spots are available– reserve yours by calling the office at 508-890-8899. The cost is $25 per person. (Please note the price increase from previous workshops).

5 for $85: July 23- August 3

We will once again be running our 5 for $85 special. For a *very* limited time, we are offering 5 acupuncture treatments for just $85, when you purchase a 5-treatment card in advance. Please read the following details carefully:

Special runs July 23- August 3 only.
Limit of 2 cards per person
You must come into the office during office hours to purchase
Cash or check only

When you come in, make sure we know that you want to buy a 5-treatment card. You must pay in full, in advance, in cash or check. There is no expiration date to the cards once you have bought them.

You may also buy 5 for $85 cards as gifts, with a limit of 2 per gift recipient.

We will only be selling the cards from July 23- August 3, so make sure you get into the office during that time frame!

POCA Membership Drive

POCA, the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture, is a coalition of community acupuncturists, clinics, patients, and community members across the country. We share ideas and resources and support each other in our goal of making affordable acupuncture more accessible throughout the U.S.

Support from POCA was (and still is) a vital part of what has made DTE successful over the years. This month, you can help POCA by becoming a member and you will also receive lots of goodies in return.

Join POCA this month and receive:
*One FREE treatment at DTE during the week of May 21-25
*A FREE acupuncture treatment on your birthday
*3 FREE acupuncture passes to share with friends & family for visits at DTE or any POCA-member clinic (New Patients only)
*NO intake fee at any POCA clinic across the U.S.

You also get:
*Access to the online POCA forums for asking questions and supporting other members
*The monthly e-newsletter, “Sticking Together”
*Your membership contribution helps support the continued growth of affordable acupuncture across the country, including our community acupuncture school POCA Tech and small business loans to other community acupuncture practices
*The ability to volunteer at POCA clinics

The cost of yearly membership is a sliding scale of $25-$100 per person. Please join today and help support the Community Acupuncture movement!
Join at pocacoop.com

Introduction to Acupuncture: March 23

When: Saturday, March 23, 2:30 – 3:30pm
Where: Down to Earth Acupuncture, 120 Stafford St., Suite 204, Worcester MA 01610
What: This event is for anyone who is new to acupuncture.
Cost: FREE
Meet with our acupuncturist Emily for a brief overview of how acupuncture works.

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about acupuncture, and have a chance to ask your own questions.

All participants will have a chance to experience a FREE 15-minute acupuncture sample treatment and find out how acupuncture can be tailored to address their specific health concerns.

This workshop is limited to 12 participants. Sign up by calling the office at 508-890-8899. Please spread the word!

Spring Fundraiser: Abby’s House

This month we would like to show some love to a very important local organization, Abby’s House. Abby’s House provides shelter, affordable housing, food, and education for women and children. As a non-profit organization, their work is dependent upon grants and community donations.

On Tuesday, March 12 and Wednesday March 13, DTE will be donating 20% of all of our cash or check* payments for treatments to Abby’s House. We will also have a donation jar out for the entire week, so please feel free to give generously!

You can also donate to Abby’s House through their website. *If you have a pre-paid treatment card and would like to donate to Abby’s House, please pay in cash that day, or add a donation to the jar.

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Changes Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

** Re-opening June 9, by appointment only** Please note that we are currently updating office information and procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any or all of the information contained on the pages of this website may be obsolete or subject to change without notice. Please use the contact form on this site for any questions. We appreciate your patience and look forward to seeing you again as soon as possible.