Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist Work Hard to Keep Clients Safe During Pandemic
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George Sedlack is exercising caution as he returns to offering therapeutic massage.
   
Thursday, June 4, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Hailey acupuncturist Rosemary Cody was not in a rush to reopen her practice, even after she was cleared to do so on May 1 under the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

Her focus was on safety for herself and for her clients.

“Obviously, you can’t do tele-acupuncture. And I know people need me now more than ever because of the anxiety and stress they’ve been experiencing. But I just want to make sure I’ve got all my ducks in order,” she said.

 
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George and Kristine Sedlack ask clients entering Integrated Bodywork to wear masks and reschedule appointments if they feel ill.
 

Cody has spent the past several weeks undergoing Zoom training to learn best practices on a state, national and international level. She took a class through an acupuncture association in Canada to learn how to create a safe environment.

Since, she has deep cleaned her office, sanitizing carpets, drapes, walls and baseboards. She’s removed porous surfaces. She’s installed a motion-sanitizer soap pump and UV light to clean surfaces.

She’s installed hand sanitizer at the door, along with a temperature thermometer.

And she’s outfitting herself in uniform—a faceshield her husband found at D&B Supply in Twin Falls, masks, gloves and a lab coat that she can change out of after treating a patient.

“I want to make sure the front-liners have enough N95 masks before I start using those,” she said.

“It’s a brave new world,” she added. “But I did a dry run and I think I could do surgery in there. I just want to make sure it’s really comfortable for my clients.”

In truth, all this attention to sanitation is nothing new for Cody. She has long been instructed to treat everyone as if they have hepatitis or AIDS so she’s exercised safe protocols all along.

“It’s just that we’re going the extra length to be as safe as possible,” she said. “And I’m scheduling more time between clients so no one has to wait in the waiting room.”

As health practitioners scramble to figure out how to make their workplace safe, some dentist offices are letting their rooms set vacant for an hour between patients to let particles aroused by ultrasound settle to the floor. Some are even going back to manual teeth cleaning, and they’re keeping instruments in separate clean rooms after sterilization.

Some hair stylists are using paper covers on chairs that they can throw away between clients, and nail stylists are cleaning instruments in an autoclave, which kills both bacteria and viruses.

George and Kristine Sedlack are being equally fastidious about safety precautions in their Integrated Bodywork clinic in Ketchum.

Kristine went through a rough patch with what she believes was a case of the coronavirus in mid-March.  And, even though she later tested negative for antibodies, she and her husband are adamant about safeguarding their clients against it.

They took on a few clients by appointment over the past two months, doing treatments in the clients’ home rather than their office. But they’ve put off body work that was deemed non-essential, such as that of athletes recovering from workouts.

“Bodywork is a very discretionary luxury. It’s not lifesaving but, rather, a matter of health maintenance that helps people get back on their feet,” George Sedlack says. “It can, for instance, flush lactic acids so an athlete can go out the next day ready to go. It can help in athletes’ recovery from training so they can get back readily to performing to the highest level of performance that they can achieve.

“But people are cautious right now. I have clients who are in their 90s, and they’re not ready to come back yet.”

An EMT for 18 years, George Sedlack was used to donning masks and gloves anytime he went on a call where he might be exposed to a communicable disease.

He and Kristine are covering themselves in masks and gloves as they work now.

“It’s dumbfounding to me to be going into stores and seeing people without masks. It’s unconscionable to me that someone might think that he or she can’t infect anyone else. The minute I go out I put on a mask to protect the community. And I wear a mask to protect my clients,” said George.

The Sedlacks are also disinfecting surfaces between clients--that includes spraying countertops, doorknobs, chairs and tables in the office. They’re also spacing clients out so no one has to wait in the waiting room.

“I’m very committed to keeping my clients safe—and myself,” said George Sedlack. “I’m conscious of my clients’ health and mine. If I’m not healthy, I can’t work.”

 

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