Most of you know that we have decided to close Watershed Wellness to in-person visits for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping through our nation. This was a very difficult decision, not made lightly, and made mostly to ensure that we are neither exposed to the virus ourselves, nor spreading it around to potentially vulnerable populations in our coastal community.
This may seem counterintuitive, as it seems to eliminate our ability to contribute positively to your wellness at the precise moment when you need it most! Indeed – that was one of the reasons the decision was so challenging! However, through the magic of the Internet, there is an option available to help you continue your treatment, bolster your wellness in the wake of this pandemic, or to help you treat the symptoms of the virus should you happen to catch it.
Herbal consultation visits via video are now available
As many of you know, my primary passion is Chinese herbalism. I have advanced training in classical herbal medicine through National University of Natural Medicine as well as the Institute of Classics in East Asian Medicine, where I recently had the honor to begin teaching. This herbal tradition was founded on the work of Zhang zhong jing who was inspired to write his great work chiefly because of an epidemic that wiped out 7/10 of the people in his family. I practice using the same theoretical background, same formulas and – as much as possible – same administration methods as he prescribed all those years ago. And it is POWERFUL stuff – though not always good tasting stuff. 🙂
I feel very strongly about doing everything in my power to assist my community during these difficult times. So, I’m offering herbal consultations using a HIPAA compliant video conferencing tool called Doxy.me. It doesn’t require anything more than a device with audio & video support and a stable Internet connection to use (your computer on your home network would work just fine).
You can learn more about Doxy.me here, including technological requirements and supported devices by clicking here. You do NOT have to sign up for a Doxy.me account to do a video consultation with me.
Details about how to get set up for the call will be sent to you via email soon after you schedule. Be sure to check your spam or trash folders if you don’t see it come – and get in touch with me by email if anything seems to be awry. firstname.lastname@example.org
What good can I do via video?
These 15-30 minute video sessions will run similarly to my in-person intakes, with discussion of your symptoms being the bulk of the conversation. While during a video consult, I will obviously not be able to take your pulse, I will rely on previous pulse readings as well as a close analysis of your symptoms to arrive at an appropriate prescription. I may also ask to see your tongue and any visible abnormalities (swelling, rashes) during our session to assist with my diagnosis.
You will also be receiving a questionnaire prior to the appointment to give me important information that will help us be more efficient during our calls together.
Aside from arriving at a helpful herbal formula, this time can be used just like our time talking before treatment. As always we can discuss home care practices that will help you with symptoms and the general stress of our situation. We can discuss how you’re feeling and get answers to some of your questions, not just about regular health, but also this virus and its complications. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I will find it. For many of us stuck at home, a video chat may bring a helpful point of human contact that makes isolation easier to bear. So, these video chats can have multiple purposes!
In general, these consults are going to be far more effective if I have seen you as a patient at some point in the past. I am willing to do my best for others, but having some sense of your pulse and general body condition will assist me in accurate diagnosis.
What if you don’t have video capability or stable internet?
If you don’t have video capability or a decent internet connection, we can do your visit by phone/voice. While the visual is very helpful for me, and may make my diagnosis more accurate, there is much we can do by just talking. It is crucial, however, that you don’t use speaker phone or similar devices to talk with me, both for privacy and for audio quality purposes. More details will be sent to you when you schedule.
How much does it cost & what about billing insurance?
I am not billing insurance for these appointments. Aside from questions about whether the insurance companies are likely to pay telemedicine codes for acupuncturists, it’s simply too difficult to manage with our reduced staffing and increased financial pressures. I’m sorry for any inconvenience.
For the first time ever, and only for the duration of this crisis, I am offering appointments at a sliding scale. The minimum cost for a consultation is $40, which is as low as I can go and still justify the extensive research and work I do to formulate a custom herbal mixture for you.
Herbs themselves are an additional expense, and depending on the situation, can run anywhere from $1-$3/day. You will receive an invoice, payable online, after your formula is created and is out for delivery.
Normally, I charge $60 for herbal consultations like these, but I want to make the work accessible to as many people as possible. That said, we do need financial support right now to keep ourselves afloat. Therefore, you will be given an option to pay extra for your consultation by altering the amount of your transaction online.
Anybody who has the financial means to do so can contribute as much as they like to the WW survival fund in this way. This is deeply appreciated.
If you'd like to prepay, you can use the button below. If you prefer, you can pay after your consult.
How will you get your herbs?
For the time being, I am offering two options for you to get your herbs:
- USPS priority mail $9 shipping/handling fee, to you within 1-3 days, depending on your location and how the USPS holds up under all of this stress.
- If you live in Astoria city limits, I will deliver your herbs to your porch or stoop or similar. I’m sorry I cannot offer a wider delivery area at this time.
In the consult we will discuss how much you need and whether you’ll need another appointment.
Will the herbs be safe / free of coronavirus?
I will be the only one coming in contact with the herbs, and filling them in the fully sanitized clinic where nobody is working except me. I will be utilizing personal protective equipment and taking other measures to ensure that in the unlikely situation that I am infected, I do not pass it on to your herbs. What happens once the USPS picks up your package is in their capable hands. Hopefully sanitized hands. 🙂
I will provide suggested instructions for transferring the herbs to a container of your choice and getting rid of the packaging safely to minimize your exposure.
When am I taking appointments & how can you sign up?
I’m starting out with the following schedule:
- Monday 9am – 2pm
- Wednesday 2pm – 7pm
- Saturday 10am – 2pm
I am hoping this variety of times and days will help any scheduling issues. I may change the schedule depending on how things are going.
You can schedule online in the normal way here : https://www.watershedwellnessastoria.com/patient-tools/schedule/
If scheduling online doesn’t work for you, you can email me at email@example.com, and if none of those options work, please call the main office line and leave a message. Let us know your name, why you are calling, and your preferred time using the days & times listed above, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.