Covid-19 secure and what to expect from treatment

Keeping everyone safe – COVID-19 secure

Your acupuncture treatment – what to expect

Acupuncture itself

Social distancing

Fees, payment options and cancellations

My patients enjoy coming for their treatments, and I do my very best to make everyone who walks through my door as warmly welcome as I can. I always work to the highest safety and hygiene standards. Now, to keep us all as safe as possible, I have of course, put in place special measures to minimise any risk of transmission and to ensure that my premises are COVID-19 Secure. You’ll find me wearing a mask and visor – as per government guidelines – but hopefully you’ll see the smile in my eyes!

The processes I have in place are regularly reviewed and updated to incorporate latest government advice and stringent guidelines on best practice from my professional body, the British Acupuncture Council. Special measures include continuing risk assessment and social distancing, hygiene, handwashing and PPE procedures. Further details on what I’m doing to comply with government regulations and on how you can help us all stay safe when you come for your treatment session are included in the information on what to expect at your acupuncture treatment below.  

During in-person appointments maintaining two and even one metre distancing is of course not possible. I will meet very high standards of infection protection control, but I’m sure you’ll understand that it is impossible to eliminate risk completely. Before treatment starts, I will ask you to sign a consent form specifically confirming that you understand this and are happy to proceed with the treatment.  This will include an additional risk assessment if you are classed as clinically vulnerable.

I am now required to share your contact details with the NHS Test and Trace service. Find out more about this by clicking on the link here: Sharing your information with NHS Test and Trace service

Your acupuncture treatment: what to expect 

I hope you’ll find the following information helpful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Preparing for your initial consultation 

  • It will useful if you can have a list the names/doses of any medications you are taking to hand. 

 I will ask you about your current and past health, as well as your general wellbeing. As you know, in Chinese medicine, diagnosis involves looking at the whole person, looking beyond the labels of symptoms or illnesses, so some of my questions may at first seem unrelated to your condition. Please be reassured that I am seeking information in a structured way, in order to make a diagnosis and treatment plan that is customised to you as an individual. You do not need to share any information that makes you feel uncomfortable.  

Your first in-person appointment 

As you will be aware, all public places are subject to government rules for visitors’ own safety and the safety of others. Please read through the measures I’m taking before coming for your in-person appointment. If you have any further questions, please get in touch. 

I will contact you the day before your appointment – usually by text – as a courtesy reminder and also to check that you are free of any symptoms which may indicate you have been exposed to the coronavirus. If you do have symptoms, we will reschedule your appointment.   

Social distancing   

My treatment room has moved and I now see patients in a dedicated treatment room in my home.

For social distancing reasons, unless you require assistance for specific support and care needs, I ask you to come alone for the appointment, unless a chaperone, parent or carer is required. We will have discussed arrangements for this beforehand.  

Please leave accessory items (bags and coats) in the car, or travel with as little as possible.   

You will receive a specific time for your appointment. I’d be grateful if you could wait outside until that time, when I will call you inside. There is a car parking space immediately outside if you wish to wait in your car.

Appointments are spaced to allow time for thorough cleaning of the treatment area between each patient. However, it’s now clear that the main mechanism of transmission of the coronavirus and variants is by aerosol droplets. I will be wearing a medical grade mask and will ask all patients to wear a face mask to enter and leave the building and during the bulk of your treatment session. The decision to request all patients to wear masks is made solely on the basis of a risk assessment of the individual circumstances of my practice.

I understand that some people may have compelling reasons not a wear a mask, and if this is so, I’d be grateful if you could mention this before coming for your treatment. I may refer you to another practitioner.

Sessions do involve an element of physical examination, including any tender or problem areas, temperature distribution and left/right balance. This examination is relevant  whatever your health issues may be, as it tells me about the way your individual system works. I will ask you to loosen or remove some items of clothing (never your underwear). You may wish to wear loose fitting clothes to your appointment. I will keep touch to a minimum and will lose count of the times I will hand wash and sanitise during your treatment! 

Consent to treatment 

Your signature to consent to treatment is required by my professional body, the British Acupuncture Council. I will also ask you to confirm you do not have any symptoms associated with the coronavirus.  

At last – the acupuncture treatment itself! What does treatment involve? 

I will be using very fine, sterilised, single-use needles for your treatment. The number of needles is kept to a minimum, and I may insert and remove them immediately, or leave them in place for a few minutes. Some people notice a tingling or slight dull ache on some points and not others, while some feel nothing at all. Most find the whole experience very relaxing.  As treatment progresses, I may use additional techniques which I will fully explain and for which I will seek your consent on the day.  

  • It will be very helpful if you keep make up and scented products to a minimum (please do not use perfume, for example), and you may wish to wear loose, comfortable clothing.  
  • It’s good idea to make sure you are hydrated, and you may wish to have a light snack up to an hour before treatment.  

Before you leave 

Again in line with safe practice guidelines, I will remind you to contact me if you develop any symptoms associated with the coronavirus within 48 hours of your appointment. This will help keep me and all my patients safe.  

You may wish to wash or sanitise your hands before leaving.  

After the treatment 

Some people find that they feel more relaxed, even to the point of being quite sleepy, after their first acupuncture treatment. You will be fine to drive, but you may wish to have a snack and drink in the car for after your appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever after your treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  

Data, privacy and marketing consent 

All personal details that you share with me will remain absolutely confidential.  There’s more information on how I comply with data handling legislation in my privacy policy.

I’m now obliged by law to retain your contact information and, if requested to do so, share it with NHS Test and Trace. Read here for specific information on obligations during the pandemic.

Fees and payment options 

Each session is £50. Payments by bank transfer or card. I’m sorry I can’t accept cash or cheques. 

Cancelling or rescheduling an appointment 

If you find you can’t make an appointment, please contact me as soon as possible. I understand that life – and illness – get in the way and am happy to book another appointment that’s convenient for you.  

However, please be aware that I do operate a cancellation policy, which may mean that if you reschedule or cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours’ notice, you may incur the full treatment fee. I always use discretion about applying charges: if you do need to miss or reschedule an appointment, simply contact me as soon as possible.  

NHS Test and Trace: recording your details and how your information is used

To support NHS Test and Trace (part of the Department for Health and Social Care) in England, I have been mandated by law to collect and keep a limited record of patients and visitors who come onto the premises, for the purpose of contact tracing.

For more details of how I keep your date private and secure see my privacy notice page .

Thank you for wading through all this! I look forward to seeing you in my treatment room, for a relaxing and restorative acupuncture treatment.