Office News

Remote Consultations Now Available

First of all, many thanks to those of you who have supported DTE through these uncertain times. I know that some folks do not feel comfortable coming into the office for treatment right now, but you have still been supporting us through social media, word-of-mouth referrals, and buying gift certificates.

I would love to be able to expand my in-office hours, but with Worcester schools offering only remote options, we have not found a child-care situation that would work for our family. Thank you for your understanding!

In the meantime, I will be once again offering remote consultations through the winter (and perhaps permanently). These consultations can be used for questions about acupressure or general health, ear seeds kits, or traditional Chinese herbal medicine.

The cost of a remote consult is $30 for a 20-30 minute consult. This cost does not include the price of herbal medicine, ear seeds, etc. And as with all services, 24-hours’ notice is required for changes and cancellations.

I am most excited about the herbal medicine consults. Herbal medicine has been a passion of mine since even before acupuncture school. Unfortunately, the cost of maintaining an herbal inventory as well as the time required to educate patients about the benefits of traditional herbal medicine has meant that I haven’t promoted herbs much in the past several years.

Luckily, I have found an online service that allows me access to a vast number of traditional herbal formulas that can be conveniently shipped to your home! These formulas generally come in capsule or tablet form, and two or more formulas can be combined to better suit your needs.

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine can be used to help with many conditions, including (but not limited to): stress/anxiety/depression, headaches and body pain, digestive issues, seasonal allergies, and women’s health conditions.

While most people can benefit from traditional herbal medicine, there are some instances where I wouldn’t advise it. I will not provide herbs for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or for patients on anti-arrhythmia medication or bloodthinning-medication (a daily aspirin regimen may be ok with approval from your doctor). Also, if you are taking more than 2-3 Western medical prescriptions, please contact me first to see if herbs would be appropriate.

You also must be a Massachusetts resident for me to provide a remote consult.

If you are currently coming in for acupuncture treatment and your case is relatively straightforward, you do not need to make a separate remote consult appointment for herbs (however, if I feel that your case is quite complicated, I will advise doing a consult).

For both in-office and remote herbal consults, I am offering a one-time 20% discount on your first herbal order from now through November 30.

Remote consultation appointments are now available through our online scheduler. If you don’t find a time that works for you, feel free to reply to this email to ask about additional times.

Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

New Patient Appointments Temporarily Suspended

For the next few weeks we will not be taking any more New Patient appointments, to make sure there is enough room for current patients to book.

— If you are a New Patient who has already scheduled an appointment, you are still all set. Please remember to have your paperwork with you when you come.
— If you have previously bought a New Patient gift certificate but haven’t had a chance to redeem it, call the office and I will help you schedule.
— I will post again when New Patient appointments are back on the schedule.

Thanks for understanding!

New COVID Requirements

Masks are required at all times and must cover both the nose and mouth.

By attending an appointment at our office, you are confirming that the answers to the following questions are all negative:

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, 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?

Have you traveled outside of northeast in past 14 days?

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?

Shortness of breath
Sore throat
Muscle aches that aren’t caused by specific activity such as exercise
Loss of taste or smell
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)

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!

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