About Sharon Rose

Acupuncturist, medical massage specialist, scientist, roadtripper, historian, cat herder, gamer, belly-laugher.

OVERACTIVE BLADDER

When a patient arrives for an appointment, I always ask if they need to use the bathroom. It’s better to get that taken care of before they are undressed and full of needles! One lady responded “When do I ever NOT need to?” with a laugh. I giggled with her, agreeing wholeheartedly. Then it occurred to me… that’s not normal!

Over the years it snuck up on me, and I hadn’t even noticed… just cracked jokes about having the world’s tiniest bladder, etc. I was getting up to pee at least once a night, and up to three times on a bad one. This is a pretty common situation with more mature women, especially those who are heavier or had children, but that doesn’t mean I had to be stuck with it!

There are two issues here – urgency and incontinence. I did some reading, and some thinking, and here’s what I came up with:

URGENCY:

There are two warning systems for your bladder. One triggers when it starts to fill: That’s the early notification, “Hey, start thinking about a biobreak?” Then there’s the demanding “NO, REALLY!! FIND A BATHROOM NOW!” when it’s completely full. Apparently if you always relieve yourself when the first alarm goes off, the two start to merge, and the urgency gets ramped up even at the early stages. The best way to combat this is to deliberately delay at the first warning. Distract yourself. Do something engaging so you forget you need to pee. When I first started doing this, I couldn’t put it off for long… maybe 5 minutes. But soon it became an hour, and then two! The trick here is to relax. When you feel that sudden NEED to go, the tendency is to panic, to squeeze your legs and try to hold it in while rushing to the toilet. Unfortunately, that’s just going to push it out! Instead, think about consciously relaxing your abdomen, pelvis, and thighs. Focus on your work or something else (maybe as you make your way to the bathroom, in the early stages). It can be a bit of a roulette at first, but keep with it! Retraining takes some time.

Secondly, I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to always be in a hurry. I was squeezing and firing off a pressurized firehose out of some misguided attempt to “be efficient.” This led to a buff bladder that was prone to “going hard” when activated. Instead, I made a conscious effort to relax when peeing, and just let it stream.

INCONTINENCE:

Pelvic floor health is super important. We’ve all heard of Kegels, and some docs recommend doing them while brushing your teeth, just to make it a frequent habit. Likewise, sexual activity and orgasm (alone or with a partner) can help get those muscles strong and healthy.

Absorbent “period panties” can be useful for containing small leaks. Thinx, TomboyX, and plenty of other brands make use of new fabric technology. These garments are machine washable (hang to dry) and – while the crotch panel may be slightly stiffer than usual – they are generally comfortable. They can be useful in the training period while challenging yourself to hold out. In worst case scenarios, if you are unable to retrain, they are a more dignified option than adult diapers (and cheaper, long term).

RESULTS:

Obviously, your mileage may vary, but I started seeing changes pretty quickly. A month after I started my experiment, I slept through the night! It’s now been three nights in a row, and one was a 10 hr lazy sleep-in over the weekend. Sleep is sacred, and anything you can do to improve your slumber will have a positive impact on the rest of your day.

Another important benefit to reducing overactive bladder symptoms is the freedom to hydrate yourself. I know far too many women who stay perpetually dehydrated because they are nervous about the end result. Take your control back by learning to relax… it may sound counterintuitive, but it’s working for me. Let me know how it works for you!

UPDATE 12/23/22: The retraining held until I rediscovered tea. It turns out caffeine brings back the frequent pit-stops for 24-48 hrs. I do just fine on herbals. :)

Heroes wear masks, not capes!

Covid isn’t going away, at least not anytime soon. So it’s time to sign on to wearing a proper mask whenever you are interacting with people outside your pod.

The Oregon Health Authority put this out (see below for their full text):

It’s important to note that not all fabric masks are the same. You want tightly woven cotton: Knit fabrics and anything you can see through are not as useful.

Also, they should fit tightly around the edges. Your mask should have a wire across the nose that you can adjust for your face shape. If your glasses are fogging up, air is escaping out the top: Find a mask with a better fit, or use medical tape along the top edge. If your mask is falling off your face and you find yourself adjusting it constantly, the straps are too loose. For the ear loop type, try twisting them, or using a short strap with buttons on the ends on the back of your head. More tips here!

Yes, wearing a properly fitted, actually filtering mask will be warmer and feel like it’s harder to breathe – you are still getting PLENTY of oxygen (just ask all the doctors and industrial workers who wear them all day). Most people* will get used to it pretty quickly. I hardly notice it anymore – I’ve been wearing N95s this whole time.

N95 / KN95 / KF94s are meant to be worn about 8 hours. If you only did a quick trip in one, you can set it aside and use it again. They don’t last forever though – if your mask gets soaked or soiled, throw it away.

Stay safe!

*For those with sensory issues, I’m sorry. It really stinks. But please try to endure them when you should, or reduce your exposure by using curbside delivery, etc.

The full text of the OHA post:

With the highly contagious Omicron variant still spreading across Oregon, some of our masks may not be protecting us as much as they did against previous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Recently, the CDC updated their masking recommendations: N​95 and KN​95 respirators provide greater protection than cloth or disposable medical masks.They are made to fit tightly to the face, and when worn properly do a better job than cloth or medical masks at keeping virus-carrying particles from passing through and around the mask.◌ N​95 masks ideally filter at least 95% of airborne particles with the proper fit, and they are approved by the NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.◌ KN​95 masks also ideally filter at least 95% of airborne particles but are not approved by NIOSH. They are manufactured in China and meet China’s standard of quality requirements.◌ KF​94 masks ideally filter at least 94% of airborne particles, are made in South Korea and meet Korea’s standard of quality requirements. They are not approved by NIOSH.These types of respirator masks may not be necessary to wear in all situations, but the CDC recommends them in certain high-risk circumstances (http://ow.ly/h2Ng50HH7mr), such as if you’re caring for someone who is sick with COVID-19, traveling on public transportation or if you’re unvaccinated.To learn more about the differences between your mask options and how to spot a counterfeit or low-quality mask, visit our blog: http://ow.ly/SRNM50HH7mp

A brief medical leave…

I’m having a total hysterectomy on Nov 10. I’ll be out of the office completely from Wednesday 11/10 until Monday 11/29 at least. After that I’m going to play it by ear. I’ll come back first just for acupuncture. Once I can engage my core again (about 6 weeks, towards the end of December) I’ll resume offering medical massage.

Feel free to use the WAIT LIST option at the top of the booking page to let me know you want an appointment when I’m ready.

If you already have an appointment with me during this time, I’ll be contacting you shortly. All dates are subject to change depending on how my recovery goes.

I still have some openings available before the surgery, so grab those if you need some care before I shut down. Also, let me know if you need to pick up more CBD / anti-inflammatory supplies, or gift certificates for the holidays.

CBD for you & your furry friends, too!

First – the basics. There are two major types of active chemicals in marijuana. THC gets you high, and is federally regulated. CBD doesn’t, and isn’t. With CBD there’s no high or sleepiness, and with the sublinguals (liquid you drop under your tongue) you don’t get that weird feeling that edibles can create. It’s amazing for nerve pain and anxiety. Another reason I prefer the sublinguals to edibles is that they take effect within minutes, instead of hours. That also means it’s easier to dose: You can try a small amount and increase as needed with very quick feedback.

Bottles and tubs of Frogsong CBD products.

I did a lot of research before I decided which brand of CBD supplies to carry… The vast majority of products out there are low potency, low quality, and are in a cheap substrate (base) which means they don’t absorb well. Please don’t buy your medication at a grocery store, head shop, or gas station!

I started carrying Frogsong in 2018. This is a local family company run by some really terrific people. They actually derive their CBD from hemp. From them, I have:

Drops: Sublingual tincture, best for anxiety and all-over pain, like Fibromyalgia or widespread arthritis.

Drops for Pets: Frogsong is now offering a version for fur babies, too! You can put it in their food, or have them lick it from your hands. I used to dose my critters with Rescue Remedy by putting it on their ears for quick absorption with no hassle. I believe this will work for the CBD Drops as well. The packaging contains dosing instructions, and this information:

Body Balm: A light, lemony, aloe-based gel that absorbs quickly into the skin.

Rubbit: A heavier, moisturizing, minty salve. Fantastic for foot neuropathy or any place your skin needs a little extra help.

Earlier this year I added Kannaco to my line. They offer a topical CBD salve with menthol (nice for immediate pain relief) and Snooze Sleep Aid, a capsule with CBD and melatonin. My patients have been reporting excellent results with both.

Note: CBD is generally regarded as safer to combine with prescription medication than THC, but you should talk to your doctor if you have a question about drug interaction safety. I have a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, but I’m not a doctor and pharmacology is not my area of expertise.

If you prefer to avoid CBD, I still have the ever-popular anti-inflammatory Hai Tong Pi Tang, or “pancake spray” – named for its distinctive maple syrup scent. I’ve been using this for a decade on sore joints, sunburns, etc. and am always amazed at how powerful this ancient Chinese herbal formula can be. And if breakfast food perfume isn’t your thing, I also have a lavender version.

Feel free to ask me about any of these pain-relief solutions. I am happy to use the topicals on you during your treatment, so you can see if they work for you.

New location!

The clinic has moved! The new location is 8249 SW Cirrus Dr, Beaverton, 97008. It’s off Hall St, near the 217 exit. See you there!

No more shared hallways or bathrooms with anti-maskers! No broken elevators! There’s plenty of parking, and the building is easily visible from Hall St.
Waiting room with comfortable couch and beautiful art
Enjoy the comfortable waiting room. :)
The treatment room is so spacious it allows for some gait analysis!
The bathroom is stocked with personal supplies in case you need them. The soap dispenser and water faucet are motion-activated to reduce germ contact.

The entire space is set up to make my beloved patients feel welcome and relaxed. Come visit! :)

Rate Change

I’ve deliberately kept my rates low for years because I can’t stand the idea of someone not getting care because they can’t afford it… but my office rent, malpractice insurance, and other costs keep rising, and I’m now priced at a level far below my colleagues with similar experience and expertise. It’s time I gave myself a raise.

Starting Sept 1, hour appointments will be $130, and half hours will be $80. Packages of 4 hours or 5 half hours will still be $30 off. I’m also introducing a Complex New Patient option at $160 for 75 minutes. New Patient sessions for simpler cases will remain at the hour rate.

Any packages purchased before the rate change will be honored, of course, so stock up now!

NOTE for established patients: If this increase is a financial hardship for you, let me know, and I’ll honor the old rates as long as you need me to. Please don’t compromise your health.

Your body is not a traitor.

Someone posts this meme on my Facebook wall every time it comes around and it makes me sad.

Look, I HAVE BEEN THERE. I was in severe chronic pain (9/10 on the pain scale) for years after my car accident. I was supposedly “crippled for life” and I UNDERSTAND the frustration and dark humor that arises from being in that situation. And I am the last person to try to tell you how to feel.

BUT… I also know as a professional healthcare provider, with 20 years of experience treating that chronic severe pain that you will heal better – and handle it better emotionally if it CANNOT be healed – if you are able to think of your body as a sick or injured friend instead of an enemy. Your traps and paraspinal muscles do not hate you. They are struggling.

Imagine you had plans with your friend, and they cancelled because they had strep throat. You wouldn’t be mad at them and call them terrible names. You would wish them speedy healing, and maybe bring them soup, right?

Your muscles have been damaged by injury, repetitive stress, or poor ergonomics. They are doing the best they can. What if they are screaming because they are under duress, and need your help?

LISTEN TO THEM.

Fix your posture (Lift the head and relax everything else – don’t do the forced-back rigid thing). Get some light, frequent movement. Start as small and briefly as you need, even if it’s making snow angels in bed, and gradually increase your level of exercise as you can. Weed out ergonomic problems at your desk. You want to challenge the body part instead of stressing it, which also means avoiding retraumatizing it with violent chiropractic or overly aggressive massage. Find a skilled acupuncturist and / or therapeutic medical massage specialist who can retrain your neurological and fascial systems. If you’re storing stress in your body, try to find ways to release it. Reduce inflammation, via meds if necessary, but also via your nutritional choices (sugar increases your pain). Learn to consciously relax your muscles – it’s difficult at first, but incredibly powerful when
you practice, and will change your life. Please talk to me if I can help you learn about these self-care ideas or give you hands-on care.


WHAT IF YOU BROUGHT YOUR MUSCLES SOME SOUP?

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Points Incompatible with Pregnancy

Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) is based on energy management. I know that sounds woo-woo, and it was hard for me to wrap my scientific brain around that at first. I thought all those meridians (channels of energetic flow) were just superstition or a handy mnemonic to remember neuro-muscular junctions (where nerves join with muscles to control them). Instead, decades of experience has proved over and over to me that these energetics are real. I think we just don’t have the technology to see it yet, so it seems as mystical as an X-ray would to a medieval doctor.

There is a category of points used to promote the movement of stagnant energy. These are enormously helpful to reduce pain, and I also use them to evict overdue babies (along with some lower back points and the uterus point on the ear). I can usually help patients avoid a chemical induction that way. For a baby that’s not yet at term, I will need a doctor’s note saying it’s okay to stimulate labor before your due date.

STIMULATION OF THESE POINTS, ESPECIALLY EARLY IN A PREGNANCY, CAN LEAD TO MISCARRIAGE.

Other acupuncture is perfectly safe for pregnancy. If you have pain, I can use indirect methods to treat it symptomatically, and do the musculoskeletal work to relax your muscles and realign the bones.

If you are pregnant and want to stay that way, AVOID THESE POINTS when getting a massage, etc. The first three have links to more information and pictures.

silhouette of a female body with four acupuncture points marked
Avoid acupressure and acupuncture on these points if you are pregnant and want to stay that way.

Note: These points are on both the left and right. I just marked one side for simplicity.

LI4: Moves stagnation in the upper body

LV3: Moves stagnation in the lower body

GB 21: Descends energy

SP 6: Stimulates uterine contractions

Sp6: Do not use if you’re pregnant and want to stay that way!