Welcome to the Rose City Acupuncture blog!

Featured

1) To the left are the “top articles” that people read the most.

2) Below that, you’ll find articles categorized by topic. I’m big on self-care, so one of the topics is “Acupressure YOU can use.”

3) Use the SEARCH bar (upper left) to seek for something you’re curious about.

4) Please feel free to leave comments/questions!

Virtual appointments

My online booking is temporarily closed – please CALL ME to make an appointment or ask any questions.

If you can be socially isolated for the two weeks before your appointment, I’d love to see you in person! You can read about the safety protocols here: http://rosecityacupuncture.com/blog/soft-re-open/ If that’s not possible for you, we can do a virtual session over a HIPAA-compliant secure videochat. This will be a full hour (half hours for very simple or followup appts) of customized information and instruction for you, including:

  •  discussion of possible causes of your issue(s) and identify lifestyle changes you can make
  •  acupressure and medical massage lessons, so you can treat yourself and your loved ones
  • teaching your partner / housemate how to do acupressure or medical massage for you
  • nutrition counseling to reduce pain and speed up healing
  • movement instruction – including rehab exercises and stretches (did you know I used to be an ACE-certified personal trainer and bodybuilder?)
  • anxiety and trauma self-care solutions
  • explanations of what’s happening in your body and brain, in easy-to-understand language
  • help with reframing your internal monologue

This list is bound to grow, as I discover new ways to help you!
Some patients like to take notes, but I will send you an email afterwards with links to information we talked about, acupressure points, etc. so you don’t have to worry about remembering everything.

Call, text, or email me to schedule! 

I invite you to check out my reviews on Yelp and Google. Here are a few recent ones:

JG: 5 stars

Sharon treated me in a virtual appointment for autoimmune issues (I am not strictly isolating and I respect her safety measures). Not only did she help with acupressure and nutrition advice (which has improved my issues tremendously), she was very considerate of my autism-related communication needs. Thank you so much for the valuable help!

RS: 5 stars

Sharon is a wonderful practitioner, compassionate and dedicated. Even during the time of coronavirus she was able to help me with a virtual session deal with some pulled muscles and give me feedback on stretches, diet changes and other things that would help me move better. It was so great to have access to that and to be able to consult with her. Highly recommend.

AK: 5 stars

I set up a virtual appointment with Sharon for pain in my feet that my other doctors haven’t even talked to me about. Since we are in quarantine Sharon showed me self massage and pressure points that I could do to manage my pain. After only one appointment my feet feel SO much better!

DG: 5 stars

Sharon is the most wonderful, caring, and knowledgeable therapist I have ever seen. She’s the best of both Acupuncture and Manual Therapy all wrapped into the perfect package. I have seen a large handful of other medical therapists and she is the only one who has been able to help with my chronic pain. My only wish is I lived in the same town so I could see her more regularly. I saw her last weekend and when I got home my Physical Therapist exclaimed “who is this woman and where can I find her?!? You look great!”

UPDATE: I ended up taking a week off of work to stay in Portland and get treatment (I live in Spokane, Wa), and a few follow up sessions over the next couple months. After three years struggling to find anyone to help, she finally helped me be pain free in a matter of months!! Anytime I do anything stupid to reinjure myself, I know where to go. There are no words to express my eternal gratefulness for this kind hearted healer. 💕

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I’m here for you!

Sharon

Soft Re-open

My online booking is temporarily closed – please CALL ME to make an appointment or ask any questions.

I’m happy to be treating people again! Because many of my patients fall into the higher risk categories, I am taking all possible precautions to reduce our exposure to Covid-19. I am only seeing patients in person who are able to socially isolate for the two weeks before their appointment, including their entire households. If you can’t isolate, read about my virtual appointments here!

Here are the full details. PLEASE READ THIS COMPLETELY BEFORE MAKING YOUR APPOINTMENT.

1) Changes to the office (the Oregon state guidelines are here https://assets.documentcloud.org/…/OHA-2342F-Phase-One-Reop… )

UV-C air sanitizers have been placed in each room.
Plastic sheeting is under the linens, and is sanitized between each patient. Of course sheets will continue to be changed between each patient, as always.
A touchless thermometer is used to test all patients. Temps above 99F cannot be treated.
There is a touchless hand sanitizer (alcohol) dispenser in the waiting room for your use.

2) My actions:

I’ll be wiping down surfaces between each patient.
I’ll be masked and gloved. I’m wearing clothing coverings that can be changed between patients, as recommended by the Oregon Medical Board.
I’ll be conducting a phone call screening the day before you come in (please call me back if I leave a message). If you are sick, have had any symptoms in the past 2 weeks, or have been exposed to someone you know is sick in the past two weeks, I cannot treat you.
I have touchless methods of payment (square, paypal, etc). I can also take cash, but will not have change handy. The cash will simply go into quarantine.

Hugs are not happening.  I will miss that part of our time together, but the Vulcan salute or jazz hands will have to do for now.

3) Changes you’ll make:
You will need to wear a mask, and keep it on the entire time. Please come with one if at all possible. I have a limited number of cloth masks to loan you, but if they are used / not yet laundered, I won’t be able to see you.
Please do not bring your entourage. Although I usually enjoy seeing your family and friends, I am limiting companions to those needed for medical disability or language translation.
If you arrive early, please wait in your car. I will not be able to take you early. Please keep in mind I am spacing patients apart both for extra cleaning time in between, and to allow potential air particles to settle.

Once you are on the 5th floor, I’ll ask you to wash your hands in the public bathrooms. There is a single ADA bathroom as well as men’s and ladies’ rooms on my floor. Please use a paper towel to open the bathroom door and the door to my office.
Please limit unnecessary touching of surfaces (leaning, etc).

WHAT I NEED FROM YOU:

If you plan to come see me, please limit your potential exposures in the two weeks before your appointment. Use curbside pickup instead of going into the grocery store (I’ve been using Fred Meyer – they don’t charge for it and you can get same-day slots now). Stay away from people you aren’t living with. If you do venture out, wash yourself and your clothes when you get home. Remember that exposing me means also exposing the rest of my patients, including the medically fragile. Please be considerate and careful.

PLEASE don’t make an appointment if you (and spouses, parents, children, or anyone else you live with) cannot stay isolated before coming in.

If you are in a high-risk group, remember I am in a large office building with shared HVAC. The good news is that represents a small risk rather than a large one, but I am working on getting out of my lease so I can move to a more secure place.

I know this all sounds like a lot.

I know this is scary.

By being smart about this, and taking precautions, we can get back to normal life as soon as possible. 

Ok, now that you’ve read all that  please call / text (503-964-3422) / or email me with options on when you’d like to come in (sharon@rosecityacupuncture.com).

COVID-19 & office tour

UPDATE: WHOOPS…. while I was typing this, a state mandate went out to shut down all non-emergency healthcare providers (to preserve personal protective equipment). I’ll see you soon… stay healthy! <3

Yes, I am still open (for now).

1) As always, I only see one patient at a time. It’s safer than picking up food “to go” at a restaurant.

2) It’s been my policy for years to refuse service to people with anything contagious. This is even more important now! If you are sick, or have been exposed to anyone who’s sick with anything contagious, please stay home.

3) I have the time to throughly clean surfaces between each contact with my current reduced number of appointments.

4) All my social plans have been cancelled. I am basically only going out to go to work. I feel this is important for both your health and mine.

Obviously if I find out I’ve been exposed to anyone who later became sick, I would shut down the office. In the meantime, I am hoping to continue to provide care for those who need it.

Please let me know if you have any questions! By the way, I am running reduced hours, so if you want to come by to get a gift certificate, CBD (tinctures are great for anxiety), or pain relief products like salves or the topical anti-inflammatory spray, please contact me first to be sure I’m here.

Virtual office tour here!

Ankle Supination

A patient came in today with lower back pain. When she got onto the table, I saw this familiar pattern: Take a look at her ankles. Before I started work, both of them looked like the “before” (left) side. This tendency for the foot to turn in is called “ankle supination.” It can be caused by many things, but in her case she had some fascial adhesions on the medial (inside) ankle.

She’s lying face down on a table with a pillow under her ankles. Notice the curvature in the left (before) ankle.

The way our feet strike the ground affects the entire chain … the ankle, the knee, the hips, the back. In extreme cases, a dysfunctional gait can even affect your neck! I knew I needed to address her ankle supination for long-term back improvement. Having canted ankles can also contribute to more foot movement inside the shoe and create blisters / calluses.

After acupuncture to treat her back pain, we did some medical massage. I reset the the function of her back muscles and finished with some myofascial release on the medial ankles. After I worked on the left, the difference was so striking I wanted to share it. Of course after I snapped the evidence pic, I went on to correct the right ankle, too.

When she stood up, she felt good, but a little unsteady. This is normal – she was used to the adhesions doing the work of stabilizing for her. I instructed her to go for a little walk. Now that the musculoskeletal system is corrected, light movement will provide feedback between the brain and muscles. They will reintegrate, and start doing the supporting they’ve been neglecting. Typically, at the end of this walk my patients tell me they feel terrific!

Sit or lie down and take a look at how your feet are aligned at rest. Do they curve in (ankle supination)? Out (ankle pronation)? Or maybe just one is crooked? If the answer to any of those is yes, come see me, and let me help you straighten out your gait! :)

Dazed and confused…

Purely coincidentally, I’ve had two patients in the past two days with the exact same complaint: Lightheadedness / confusion / disassociation from the body. One had gone to get an MRI and X- rays, but everything came back fine. One had severe neck pain, one didn’t.

Both had had dental work recently. Imagine lying back at an awkward angle for a long time, while tense…. Sure enough, both had upper cervical (neck) vertebrae out of place. The bones were cutting off the blood supply to the brain!


I treated both with acupuncture and medical massage, relaxing the muscles and gently easing the vertebrae back into place. Both patients reported instant improvement. Please remember this next time you have a headache / confusion following dental work, or any other stress on your neck.


Note: Chiropractic would have jammed the bone back in place, but not treated the cause of the problem – the tight muscle pulling on that bone – so the misalignment would be likely to return. I prefer to work upstream, on the neurological and muscular system. My method also avoids that whole risk-of-stroke thing (!).

Continuing education!

Last weekend was a full two days of continuing ed – 5 classes! Two were based in Chinese philosophy: Ghost points (used here to treat intrusive thoughts, or “haunting” memories) and Korean 4 needle technique, which is based on the elements. Those two weren’t really clicking with me, but I thoroughly enjoyed the three on Sunday. One covered the energetics of food, and how to adjust your ingredients to match your health needs and the seasons. One covered important legal aspects of running a practice (HIPAA, security, malpractice, etc). But the best one covered my favorite topic of all – the nervous system. Keep an eye out for a followup post that will explain in detail, but the short version is this: In chronic pain conditions, the brain thinks you are being continually damaged, and amplifies its reporting of pain above what’s physically happening in your body. By understanding the how and why of this, we can stop the ramping up and quiet the alarm bells. This both reduces the amount of pain you perceive in the moment, and allows the movement you need to heal. I’m really excited about incorporating this into both my practice and my personal life.

I’m giving myself a raise.

I’ve put this off for a long time… I’ve only raised my rates once (6 years ago) since I started practicing 15 years ago. I prefer to stay accessible to *all* people, but my rent keeps going up and my student loans are still horrific. So, starting July 1st, my new rates (which remain on the low end for my industry) will be as follows:

An hour of acupuncture and medical massage: $100

4 pack of hour sessions: $360 ($40 off)

A half hour of acupuncture OR medical massage: $60

5-pack of half hours: $270 ($30 off)

Birthday hours will retain their $20 discount, for $80. Smoking cessation and Returning Veteran treatments will still be free.

Any packages purchased at the old rates will be honored. In fact, feel free to stock up before July 1st, if you like. Thank you, and I look forward to serving you all for the next 15 years!

Restaurant cards for Nightshade avoidance

Explaining Nightshade sensitivities to busy waitstaff can be a nightmare… so I made these handy cards. This way they can bring one back to the kitchen for the chef to review. I’m not going to say they work perfectly – I still get cherry tomatoes in my salads! – but they definitely help.

Print these out on card stock and keep a few in your wallet. Bon appetit!

English front  English back

Spanish front  Spanish back

French front  French back

Dutch front Dutch back

German front   German back

Italian front  Italian back

If you notice a mistake or possible improvement in any of these translations, PLEASE let me know! :)

Fascia – the best kept secret in healthcare

I’ve talked about fascia before in this blog, but I wanted to share this video:  It explains the work I do beautifully. It’s so frustrating to me that fascia is unknown by average people, and ignored by so many types of healthcare practitioners. It’s ESSENTIAL in understanding biomechanical dysfunction and healing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swlXzrguPxY&feature=share

Once I bought a rotisserie chicken from a regular grocery store. As I was taking it apart, I was stunned at how bound up the bird was, compared to the free-range chickens I was used to. A lifetime of forced inactivity had created fascial adhesions all over – you know, that white sheeting? The muscles were all shrink-wrapped in place. “This poor chicken needed a massage!” I told Robert. I felt so bad for it. Just another lesson on how important light, frequent movement is for our bodies.

Connective tissue / fascia (white) and muscle fibers (tan)

Tight fascia will pull on our muscles and bones, preventing free movement and potentially causing misalignments. In severe cases, it can constrict nerve and blood vessel function, creating swelling, pain, or numbness & tingling.

Resolving fascial adhesions is as simple as knowing the right medical massage technique, myofascial release. I can do it for you, and I can show you how to treat yourself and your loved ones.

For hard-to-reach areas, you can use a foam roller to soften the adhesions. I advise people to use it against a wall, rather than lying down on it, because you can control the pressure better. Remember you do NOT want to cause intense pain – that will spark an alarm response. The body will think you have a new injury and will send sticky connective tissue to glue up whatever is torn or bleeding – which means the adhesions you just broke up will reform themselves.  It’s best to use the roller gently, then move. Go for a walk or do your usual workout. Movement will help release those weakened adhesions.

Want to learn more? There’s a treasure trove of articles here.

Let me know if you have any questions!