In short: Yes, we will be closing our doors again for a short 6 week period.
The new restrictions coming into place today have big consequences for almost all Melbourne residents, but lets talk the specifics of what this means in relation to your Myotherapy or Remedial Massage treatment plan.
We've been advised that Myotherapy and Remedial Massage can't continue. Yes, we do screen every person we see, we clean thoroughly between every single appointment, and therapists and patients are both wearing masks. We've done everything we can to mitigate risks, and follow the ever-changing rules so we can keep you safe. But the DHHS have asked us to help by taking a temporary break.
There are significant fines for businesses and individuals who don't adhere to the new restrictions. The fines for a business staying open when they are not permitted is up to $10,000, and the fine for an individual is $1652. Thats a very expensive Myotherapy treatment!
Myotherapists and Remedial Massage Therapists are not alone in this restriction though. In fact, it will effect all Allied Health practitioners in some ways. Over the last few days the advice has changed, depending who you ask, but in general it appears that urgent care can still be accessed from Allied Health providers like Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors. The initial advice was that all patients would need a referral in the form of an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) or Chronic Disease Management Plan, but I have now seen the Chiropractic Association indicating that referrals may not be needed.
If you're in doubt over whether you can be seen by someone for urgent care, your GP is always a safe bet. They will be able to clarify which Allied Health practitioners you are able to see, and may also be able to give you additional guidance or prescribe you medication if its needed. Dr Wajib Dib at Together Medical Family Practice is a fantastic bulk billing GP, and is still taking new patients for phone consultations.
What does "urgent care" mean?
Urgent care may include things like:
Who should you see for urgent care?
We know and trust these local Allied Health practitioners:
I'm very sad to be closing my doors again, for the third time this year. One of the hardest parts for you, my local Knox and outer Eastern burbs patients, is that our local government area is actually one of the lowest in all of Melbourne for total and active cases. While other areas have huge rising numbers of cases, our area stays fairly low risk. I'm sorry I can't be here for you for face to face support for these next 6 weeks, but my phone and email are always here to offer advice, send you links to exercises and self care, or to answer questions.
As we've all seen over these last few weeks, there are a small number of people doing the wrong things, and unfortunately its come to that time where its now impacting everyone with a blanket restriction across the whole Melbourne Metro area.
Thank you for doing the right thing so we all get through this quicker. Thanks for getting tested if you show symptoms. Thanks for staying home til you get those test results.
Can't wait to see you again soon!
We took the last 10 days to take a slow and cautious approach to completing our risk assessment with the rolled back Stage 3 Restrictions here in Victoria.
I've just listened to Dan Andrews' update for Sunday 19/07/20, and after reviewing all the data of the last 10 days since the Stage 3 Restrictions were re-announced, I have some updates on our risk assessment.
And its good news!
Our local council area, Knox Council, has stayed a relatively low risk zone. Knox has remained one of the least effected regions of Metro Melbourne throughout the pandemic. As of 19/07/20, there are only 9 active cases of COVID19 in the Knox region, and the data shows good statistics on very low new cases occurring in our area, and good rates of recovery.
The Department of Health has advised that Myotherapy and Remedial Massage appointments are still allowed under the current Stage 3 Restrictions.
This means that you are currently allowed to continue getting treatment for chronic pain conditions, injuries, or pain from your new work from home set up!
We can help you with headaches, back pain, sciatica, shoulder pain, fibromyalgia pain, RSI, nerve symptoms like pins & needles and shooting pains, and these sorts of specific pains or injuries.
From Monday 20th July, we will be open these hours:
Monday, Tuesday & Friday 9am-7pm
Wednesday & Thursday 9am-4pm
Dan Andrews has announced today that from midnight on Wednesday this week, it is mandatory to wear protective face masks outside of your home. This is to protect you, your family and your community. We know this may not feel comfortable during your treatment, but we will ask that you keep your mask on during your appointment.
Help us to keep COVID19 out of our clinic:
What about Stage 4 Restrictions?
Theres a lot of talk going around about Stage 4 Restrictions, but Dan Andrews has not announced any plans to move to this level of restriction at this time.
If any further tightening of restrictions is announced, we will keep you informed with how that impacts your treatment plan.
To make a booking, go to our online booking page to see our current availabilities.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, if you live in Melbourne then you'll be aware that our local new COVID19 cases have been dramatically increasing, and that in response to the rapid rise of infection numbers, Premier Dan Andrews has rolled Metro Melbourne back into Stage 3 Restrictions.
What does this mean for your treatment plan with your Myotherapist or Remedial Massage Therapist?
The good news is that Myotherapy and Remedial Massage have been given the OK by the Health Department, and getting a treatment is included in the four reasons to leave your home under the Seeking Medical Care category.
However, we're taking a cautious approach.
We are planning a short closure from Thursday 9th July to Sunday 19th July, and aim to reopen from Monday 20th July.
Why are we closing if the Health Department have not forced us to close?
In short, we want time to gather more data about these spikes in infection to inform our risk assessment.
We closed for 9 weeks when the pandemic was first announced. At that time, most infections in Melbourne were coming from international travelers and people returning home from overseas. Health experts were unsure how the numbers would play out, and we followed the advice from the Association of Massage Therapists to close our doors for safety. The strict stay at home orders during March through til June appeared to keep our infection numbers low in Victoria, and these numbers have started rising quickly in the weeks since restrictions have been eased.
The situation now feels closer to home and even more serious than back in March. The infections Melbourne is experiencing right now are a high number of community transmissions.
Our choice to close for a short time is more of an ethical choice than a legal choice. Legally, we are allowed to remain open throughout the 6 week Stage 3 rollback. However, we always want to put patient health and safety first, and after a 9 week closure earlier this year we feel it would be irresponsible to ignore the very real risks that are present now.
Our current risk assessment
Thankfully, our clinic is in a location that has very few local cases. Knox has 2 active cases as of 9/7/2020, and has had less than 30 confirmed cases total throughout the pandemic, according to the Victorian Government website.
The majority of our patients live in Knox, Yarra Ranges, Casey, Maroondah and Monash council areas. Many of you are now working from home, but some are still traveling for work or have family living in other regions.
We know that some COVID19 test results are taking up to 5 days to process, which means the daily new case figures may be reflecting the test results of up to 5 days ago.
We have also seen many of our high risk patients choosing to stay home in isolation a little longer, including people with compromised immune systems, elderly or caring for elderly, or people with pre-existing respiratory conditions.
We currently expect that our risk level is relatively low due to our location, screening procedures, sanitisation and cleaning procedures.
However, we acknowledge that it would only take one infected person to potentially risk others.
What do we expect to learn by closing temporarily?
In the safety of closing for this short period, we expect to gain more insight on infection numbers close by to our clinic, and in Metro Melbourne as a whole.
We do expect numbers will continue to rise because of the delays between testing and results. We hope by taking an extra 10 days to wait on the numbers we will get a better understanding of the situation so we can modify our COVID19 Plan if we need to.
We hope to see the Knox and surrounding areas new case figures to stay low and stable.
Will we definitely reopen on Monday July 20th?
At this stage, that is our goal date. If our risk assessment findings start to indicate a higher level of risk, we will potentially extend the closure for safety of patients, our practitioners, and the doctor and staff of Together Medical Family Practice who we share facilities with.
What will happen when we reopen?
We'll continue to use our COVID19 Procedures that we created to maintain a clean and hygienic treatment environment. This includes continuing screening every person at every appointment they attend, and the longer periods between each appointment for ventilation and thorough sanitisation.
Our practitioners will be wearing masks, we'll be smiling underneath even though you can't see it!
The Together Medical Family Practice has also arranged a hygiene station at the front door for anyone who enters to use hand sanitiser and take a face mask.
Our waiting area has been rearranged to distance the chairs, and we are recommending that everyone waits in their car until we call you in to avoid the need to sit in the communal waiting room.
Who should you see if you urgently need an appointment while we are closed?
Our good friends at Tecoma Myotherapy are remaining open throughout the restrictions. Mat Richardson and his team are exceptionally caring and friendly therapists, offering Myotherapy and Remedial Massage. Let them know that we've asked them to take care of you while we are closed, we know you'll be in good hands.
We're pleased to say that after weeks of being closed due to COVID19, we're very close to reopening! We're sure you're as excited as Emily and I both are to get back into our treatment room for the myotherapy and remedial massage therapy treatments you've been missing!
We've been given the OK to reopen 4 days a week by our medical professional landlords, Dr Wajib Dib the GP we share our clinic with at Together Medical, and Amer Dib the pharmacist who owns and runs Knoxfield Pharmacy downstairs from us. They've been happy with the policies and procedures we've put in place for sanitisation and screening, and are welcoming us back from the start of June.
Needless to say, due to COVID19 we’ve needed to optimise the cleanliness of our space and put in place procedures to maintain social distancing outside of your treatment.
These are the changes we’ve made to ensure your health and safety during your appointment:
What else is new?
We've broken up Myotherapy and Remedial Massage into 2 categories. We hope this will make it easier for you to know what type of treatment you want to book.
If you have an injury to be assessed, a chronic condition needing expert maintenance, or want more advanced treatment techniques like dry needling, cupping, mobilisation, taping, or a tailored exercise plan, you can book a Myotherapy appointment.
We've also removed the need to book an Initial or a Return session for Myotherapy treatments, you can now just choose the appointment length you need.
This means if you would prefer "just a massage" to address your aches and pains, you can book for a Remedial Massage and get what you're expecting - feel good, hands on massage! Perfect for muscle soreness and general preventative care!
Appointment Length and Fees
From June 1st, we'll be offering the following appointment types:
Myotherapy - 30 mins ($79), 50 mins ($99), 80 mins ($134)
Remedial Massage - 30 mins ($70), 60 mins ($100), 90 mins ($130)
Ready to book in? Pick a time from our online booking page for when we return in June!
Yesterday, Premier Dan Andrews announced an update regarding COVID-19, and extended the State of Emergency til May 31st.
Some positive changes and updates were announced.
From tomorrow onwards, people can start to visit their loved ones, and have up to 5 guests in their homes.
The testing results from over 140,000 tests in Victoria identified 30 new cases, which is about 0.018% of all the tested individuals.
The numbers of infections and hospitalisations here in Victoria are relievingly low, compared to other similar sized cities across the world.
However, the Premier has encouraged people that if they can work from home, they must continue to work from home. The 1.5m social distancing requirements are still in place. There are now 5 reasons allowable to leave your home - seeking medical care, going to work, doing essential shopping, exercising, and now to visit family or friends.
We will remain closed a little longer, but we feel like things are starting to shift and we hope to bring better news of reopening soon!
I saw this 45 second clip on YouTube today, and thought this is an extremely relevant demo considering all the COVID-19 hype happening in the world right now.
Do you know how to wash your hands? This is the clinical method used in hospitals and health centres everywhere, and this video is such a great way to show exactly why its such a useful sequence of handwashing techniques.
Imagine the black paint is the soap, and see how this method makes sure you are cleaning every surface of your hands and fingers.
Before becoming a healthcare practitioner, I had never been taught to wash my hands like this before!
Shout out to David Gravelle on YouTube for this video.
This is a decision we have not made lightly.
We have decided to close temporarily from Monday March 23rd, as Premier Dan Andrews has introduced Stage 1 Restrictions as part of the Victorian State of Emergency to manage Covid-19.
As the multiple massage and myotherapy associations debate whether we are considered "essential" services, as a clinic here at Simple Wellness Myotherapy we have had some difficult discussions about our ethical position in regards to our response to the virus that is effecting people worldwide.
Both Emily and I considered carefully the patients we've seen since the beginning of 2020, and we made a list of high risk categories. We found that more than 75% of our patients fit one or more of these risk groups.
People who are personally at risk, including our patients with: Multiple Sclerosis who take immunosuppression medication; weakened immune systems and other autoimmune diseases; more than one chronic condition; elderly themselves or living with elderly family members; family and household members with immune diseases; pregnant.
People who are essential workers, including: nurses; Emergency Department staff; allied health practitioners; teachers; childcare workers; supermarket or distribution workers.
People with a high risk of coming in contact with infection, including: people who travel on public transport; travel interstate or internationally for work.
We had already increased our hygiene efforts between March 16, when Premier Andrews initially declared the State of Emergency, up until now. We had increased the time between appointments to allow more time to sanitise surfaces and tools, and to reduce the number of people in our waiting area. Dr Dib and the Together Medical Family Practice had also decreased their number of appointments, spaced out their waiting room chairs, and started taking phone consultations for anyone displaying any kind of respiratory symptoms.
Over this last week, we received many calls and messages from patients to cancel their appointments due to Covid-19 and the instructions from the Premier that if you can stay home, to do so.
We weighed up our options. We considered the nature of our treatments - we work hands on, on your body, usually for at least 50 minutes at a time, sometimes longer. It would only take one ill person visiting our clinic to put us and our patients at risk.
So with sadness, we made that decision to temporarily close so that we can stay at home, and encourage you to stay at home, too.
We understand that by closing for now, this may impact your treatment plan.
As best as we can, we will support you online, on the phone or through your exercise programs we've created for you using your PhysiTrack account. Any patients with current treatment plans who need support or help can email me at Mel@simplewellness.com.au
Here's hoping that the more people who stay at home means the quicker we all get back to a more normal looking life!
Meet Our Team
We have a team of three great practitioners available 7 days a week at our Knoxfield clinic.