Therapy at Pain & Swelling Solutions
During COVID-19

Therapy at
Pain & Swelling Solutions
During COVID-19

COVID-19 massage precautions

COVID FAQ / General Info

When Will You Be Open Again?

July1, 2020

I hope this message finds you all well in this trying time.

I am now open at a reduced capacity (to allow time for cleaning).

You must call or text me to make an appointment – 505-554-5185.  I’m not quite ready to turn on my online booking.

There are new things you need to know about for when you come back to see me,
so please check out the new protocols.

I will ask things like: “Have you been out of New Mexico in the last 14 days?”  It’s the standard questions that you would be asked going to a doctor’s office, and they are important. 

Be sure that you understand that there are travel restrictions and that I can’t see you if you have signs or symptoms of COVID or have been exposed to someone recently.

The protocols are pretty standard for other types of health-care offices – masks that cover mouth and nose, temperature taking, COVID questionnaire, etc.  Just make sure you are aware of these things before you come.

Also, I’m periodically getting tested for COVID to help ensure your safety.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

–Shannon

So Much Has Changed…

So many things have changed, and we are all very eager to get back to “normal,” whatever that will look like.

My biggest concern is that there are many asymptomatic, or “silent carriers,” of the virus who show absolutely no symptoms and who can spread it to others.

I work directly on people’s bodies, so I’m just as close to potentially infected people as are doctors and nurses.  That means I have to be very careful in everything I do at work. 

I have worked very hard to ensure that I have protocols in place that provide the best possible protection for my clients.

That being said, it is paramount that my clients understand that despite me taking every possible precaution to ensure your safety, that you are taking a risk by volunteering to be in close contact with me for 60-90 minutes. 

Current CDC guidelines define “prolonged exposure” as 15 minutes, and the use of PPE does not guarantee safety. While useful, it cannot fully compensate for the concentrated exposure of people breathing together in a small space for an hour or more at a time.

I have been tested with the swab test and for antibodies, and they were both negative, but that could change at any time without my knowledge.

What COVID-19 Training Have You Had?

I have taken a number of continuing education courses on COVID-19 and infection transmission from organizations such as the World Health Organization to various medical, nursing, aesthetician, and massage associations.

You may view the courses that I took here.

Based on my training and the recommendations of my multiple professions’ national organizations, I have been developing protocols to ensure the safety of my clients. 

Why All the Fuss?

My Building Is Classified as a “Primary Health Care Facility”

My building is owned by an acupuncturist who operates in the front offices.  In New Mexico, acupuncturists are primary health care providers.

Per the New Mexico Department of Health, the protocols for everyone in our building must operate under the same protocols as you would find in a doctor’s office.

My Clients are at Higher Risk

The majority of the people I see are health-compromised in some way.  They have suppressed immune systems from cancer treatment, are at an advanced age, or have recently had surgery and have scars that are not completely closed. 

These factors mean that my clients are at a higher risk than the average population, so the protocols for my business will reflect this and will apply to everyone who comes for therapy regardless of their personal health status.

I ask that everyone please keep this fact in mind before coming to see me.  If you know that you are not complying with recommended practices such as social distancing, please think about the welfare of my high-risk clients and postpone coming back for your appointments until times are safer.

What If I Or Someone I’ve Been In Contact With Has Had COVID-19?

  • You are required to reschedule your appointment (without penalty) if any of the following statements are true:
    • If you, a family member, or someone with whom you have been in contact has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 30 days.
      • Additionally, you must test negative for COVID-19 prior to rescheduling.
    • In the last 14 days if you, a family member, or someone with whom you have been in contact has had any of the following symptoms:
      • Fever
      • Unusual Fatigue
      • Dry Cough
      • Difficulty Breathing
      • Sore Throat
      • Any flu-like symptoms including chills and body aches

What If I’ve Traveled?

At a bare minimum you must wait the minimum of 14 days after your return before coming to your appointment.  https://cv.nmhealth.org/travel-recommendations/

 

After speaking with medical professionals who are performing the Coronavirus testing, I have come up with the following protocol for travelers to ensure the safety of all of my clients.

 

  1. You must wait the minimum of 14 days after your return before coming to your appointment.  https://cv.nmhealth.org/travel-recommendations/

  2. I need to see proof of your travel dates.
    To protect all of my clients (including you), for my business insurance purposes, and to be able to answer the questions of Contact Tracers who will be in touch with me if any of my clients ever have a COVID-positive test, I need to be certain that people traveled when they say they did. 

    I am obligated to verify this information to ensure that the 14 day waiting period has been met after travel.  Failure to do so could put my clients at great risk and leave me in a legally questionable position.

    The only way I can do this is to see some evidence of your return travel date. 

    Please send me a picture of one of the following items showing dates of travel.  You may block out any information you wish to keep private.  I just need to see your name, date, and the origin and destination (like Miami to Albuquerque).

      1. Your ticket or boarding pass
      2. Receipt from the purchase of your airline ticket that shows the dates of travel
      3. Any other official airline document that can show me that you returned on a given date.

  3. You will need to get a COVID swab test after your return home if you wish to have an appointment within 30 days of your return.  (The antibody test does not tell me whether or not you have active COVID – only the swab test does.)

    Your test should be done 7 days or later after you return.  It is necessary to wait at least that long, otherwise a COVID infection might not show up on the test.


    It will take 4-7 days to get your test results.  When they are in (assuming the result is negative), please call to make your appointment.

    Many people I work on travel for plastic surgery.  Plastic surgeons are requiring COVID tests for people getting surgery before they spend several hours with them in the surgical suite.  We will be spending several hours together over a period of several weeks.  Experts say duration of contact time is what really raises your risk.  Therapy sessions are concentrated exposure of people breathing together in a small space for an hour or more at a time.  I know that this is frustrating, and I know you are in pain and just want relief, but I need the same assurance as your surgical team.
 
How to Get a Free COVID Test

I have done a lot of research to help find out what you need to know to help you get COVID testing done quickly, easily, and for free.   I am listing this information based on what I was told.  Feel free to double-check it. 

Everywhere I have called said that testing supplies can run out during the day at any site, so you are advised to show up as early as possible.  Also, as the day goes on, the sites get busier.

If something changes and you are having difficulty finding free testing, contact the Coronavirus Health Hotline at 1-855-600-3453.  Select Option 1.

Be aware that some sites (like UNMH) may charge you for testing if you do not have symptoms.

Lovelace Downtown – 9AM and 3PM open Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun.  I am told this site does free testing for everyone.  They do not require an order from your doctor, and they don’t screen for who needs the test and who doesn’t.  They just test whomever shows up.  You may register in advance for your test at the website below, but it is not required.

Go to the lot across from Lovelace Medical Center
The south side of Martin Luther King Jr. Ave at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Ave and Walter Street NE, between Walter Street and High Street.  Map and information for testing at Lovelace:  https://lovelace.com/covid-testing

Midtown Public Health.  You must call ahead 505-841-4100.  They are open Monday through Friday.  They do require an appointment.  I have less info about this testing site, so ask questions before you go.

NextCare at 5504 Menaul Boulevard Northeast provides free testing, but there are some things to know.  505-348-2868

  • Do not go to this location if you have signs of COVID.  This location only tests people with no symptoms.  If you want to go to a different NextCare location, please call that location for information.
  • You will be asked for your insurance card. There is no cost to you, but they will bill your insurance for the visit.
  • They take all insurance except for Presbyterian.  That is because Presbyterian wants you to use Presbyterian facilities to get your test.  
  • Be sure to get the COVID swab test for active COVID.  That is what I need.  They also offer the antibody test, but that does not tell me what your current status is.

What Is Your Cancellation Policy?

  • There will be no penalty for cancellations due to COVID-19 related concerns.
    • The health of my clients is more important than anything, so cancellations for COVID-related issues will not result in you losing a prepaid appointment.  But you must let me know.
  • No-Shows will result in a lost appointment.
    • You must let me know if you can’t make your appointment. 
    • If you just don’t show up that will count against your pre-paid visits.
    • You must CALL or TEXT me at 505-554-5185 to let me know you can’t make your appointment.  Leave a message if I don’t answer.   (I don’t have time to check email often during the day.)
  • Please be considerate, as business is going to be hard for me moving forward.
    • I ask that you please give me as much notice as possible if you have to cancel.  This is why I’m asking people to self-screen at home.
    • My schedule will be spaced apart more than before to allow for more time to clean. 
      • That means I will already be taking home less money because I can see fewer people during the day.  Additionally, business will probably be slower.
    • By all means, cancel if you need to due to COVID issues, but please don’t take advantage of the policy if you don’t have a true COVID-related reason to cancel.
       
  • Regular Cancellation Policy Rules of 24 Hours Notice apply to all normal reasons (not COVID-related) for cancellation.
      • You may reschedule online up to 24 hours before your appointment.  Just click the “Reschedule or Cancel” button at the bottom of your appointment confirmation/reminder email.
      • Failure to provide 24 hours notice will result in a lost prepaid appointment.

New Protocols at Pain & Swelling Solutions

Self-Screening At Home

  • Take your temperature before coming to your appointment.
    • If your temperature is above 99.5 degrees you will need to reschedule.  Please text or call to let me know as soon as possible.
    • Per the National Institutes of Health, “For practical clinical purposes, a patient is considered febrile … if the temperature exceeds 37.5°C (99.5°F)…” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK331/ 

Screening at Your Appointment

  • Upon your arrival you will be asked standard screening questions about your health and possible exposure to COVID-19. 
taking temperature before appointments during COVID-19
  • Your temperature will be taken before the appointment using an infrared non-touch thermometer. 
    • If your temperature is above 99.5 degrees you will not be seen that day and you will be asked to reschedule. 
  • You must wait 14 days before an appointment if you have traveled out of the state or to a COVID “hotspot.”  
    • If you are planning surgery out of state, please keep this in mind for your recovery.
    • If you travel often for work, this may be a bit challenging for now.  I will do my best to find time for you that fits both your travel schedule and the 14 day wait time.

Masks and Hygiene

Mask wearing after COVID-19
  • You must wear a cloth mask at all times in our facility, per the Governor’s order
    • Your mask may be manufactured or homemade.  
    • The mask must cover your mouth and nose 
    • This helps keep the room sanitized for others.
  • Please shower before your appointment if possible.
    • I realize that this is not always possible, but if you are coming from home, please shower first.
    • If you won’t be coming directly from home, please shower that morning.  (Some people normally shower at night.)

New Building Policies

handwashing for COVID-19 protection
  • You must wash your hands when you enter and leave the building.
    • Please head to the back bathroom to wash your hands before entering the treatment room.
      • This helps keep the treatment room clean.
    • After your appointment, please wash your hands again.
      • This reduces the risk of contamination of door handles going in and out of the building.
  • Please do not bring anyone else with you to your appointment. 
    • If someone drives you, they must wait in the car or come back after your appointment.  They may no longer wait in the waiting room. 
    • If you have a special need for a second person at your appointment, please contact me directly so that we can discuss it prior to your arrival.

My Personal Protective Gear

Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), a national membership and insurance organization makes the following recommendation regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for massage therapists:

“The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be central to moving forward and reopening your practice when the time comes.” –ABMP

Protective gear for COVID-19
  • I will be wearing nitrile gloves (not rubber).
    • A new pair will be put on before each client, changed following the removal of dirty linens, after disinfection, and before new linens are put on the table.
  • My PPE gear will include:

    • KN95 mask
    • Eye protection
    • A cap to cover my hair (so I don’t touch it and to keep viruses from landing there).  
    • My jacket, pants, and hair covering will be changed after each client  

Room, Table, and Equipment Disinfection

  • For the time being, I will use Clorox/Lysol wipes, Isopropyl Alcohol, Cavicide, and Pine Sol (all of which contain registered agents to kill COVID-19) will be used on door handles, light switches, the floor and other commonly touched surfaces.
    I am still awaiting the arrival of the unscented disinfectant listed below.  It has been on backorder for 2 months.
  • A silver ion and citric acid disinfectant called PureGreen24/AXEN30 (ingredients registered with the EPA and American Chemistry Council as disinfectants that are shown to kill COVID-19) will be used to wipe down surfaces in the treatment room between clients. 
    • It works quickly, has no smell, is very safe, and is not bothersome for people (like me) with chemical sensitivities. 
disinfecting surfaces COVID-19
  • I will be ventilating the room between clients.
  • I have two UV-C air filters that will be running full-time to kill airborne pathogens.
  • All linens (including blankets) are changed between clients.
    • Linens will be kept and transported in separate designated bags – one for dirty and one for clean.
    • Linens will be laundered on hot with a high-quality unscented detergent.   (Soap and heat kill the virus.)
    • Surfaces for folding clean linens will also be routinely sanitized to prevent possible cross-contamination.
  • There is now a touchless hand sanitizer dispenser for my room that clients may use.

  • There are waterproof table protectors and pillow covers to keep contaminants from getting through the sheets and into the soft bedding. 
    • These waterproof coverings will be changed after each client and laundered.
  • Disinfecting between client sessions will include: tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, handles, desks, toilets, sinks, etc. in the treatment room and bathrooms.

Gosh, that sure is a lot!

Yes, it is a lot. I think I may have to clone myself just to do all the extra cleaning and laundry! 

I really wish it weren’t necessary, but it is.  I don’t want to catch this virus, and I sure as heck don’t want anyone coming through my office to get it either.

To ensure everyone’s safety, I’m doing my very best to implement sensible, science-based measures.  Although there are a lot of new things to take into account when I reopen, eventually it will become routine for everyone. 

Hopefully, one day this will all be old news, and we won’t need to be so paranoid. For now, though, I ask that my clients please follow these new guidelines to keep everyone safe.   

I’m always open to questions, so if you have concerns or questions, get in contact with me and let’s chat.  505-554-5185  I’m sure that there are things I’ve not thought to address here, and I know that there will be people with special circumstances.

Most importantly I miss seeing all of you.  I hope you are all doing well, and I can’t wait to have you guys back at the office.  🙂 
Thank you!  

–Shannon