I've been doing lots of Ranchi ho on my poor stagnant patients lately, and I've seen a few of them sneaking peeks at my equipment while it is going on. I know what they're thinking. As soon as they see a few drops of blood, the fear of contamination strikes. They are wondering what happens to the cups afterward, whether they are cleaned before being used, and if someone who is not a medical doctor commits to the same standards of sterility that a physician would. When I see that familiar look of trepidation, I always take pains to discuss the sterility issue. First of all, every needle I use is single-use. Period. They come from a sterile package, are inserted into the patient, and then placed directly into a biohazard container afterward. There is no need to ever worry about catching something from a sterile, unused acupuncture needle.
As for my other tools? Every device that touches the skin (but does not come into contact with any sort of bodily fluid) is thoroughly scrubbed and disinfected after every use. Tools that do come in contact with blood, such as my cups, are first scrubbed with soap and water, then soaked in bleach for at least 20 minutes. Twenty minutes is the time it takes for the bleach to kill all the microorganisms, but I tend to leave them in the bleach at least 10 minutes longer than that. After they are scrubbed and sterilized, they are rewashed and left to air-dry.
I use table paper on my massage bed, and of course that is changed with every patient. There are also linens on the bed under the paper, that are washed regularly. If there is even a drop of blood on anything on the table, it is immediately removed. My face cradle is covered in table paper for each patient, but also sterilized after each patient comes off the table.
So, when you come into my office, never fear that you are being touched with anything that is less than 100% clean and sterile. I take pride in maintaining a clean and healthy environment for my patients, and you deserve nothing less than that!