About Sharon Rose

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

Office Visits in the Time of Covid

UPDATE 8/13/21: The state of Oregon has instituted an indoor mask mandate. Cover up!

UPDATE 7/3/21: The July 1st relaxing of Oregon mask requirements specifically excluded health care settings, airplanes, airports, and public transit. MASKS ARE STILL REQUIRED IN THE OFFICE by federal regulation from OSHA. I’m no longer required to wear gloves, although I will happily do so if you ask for it.

I’m currently seeing people who are either fully vaccinated OR strictly isolating in person. Masks are still required. 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. If you can’t isolate or get vaccinated, read about my telehealth appointments here!

“Fully vaccinated” means two weeks past your second shot (or single J&J shot).

If not fully vaccinated, please limit your potential exposures in the TWO WEEKS before your appointment.

To me, strictly isolating means:

  • Not going into buildings like grocery stores (I’ve been using Fred Meyer curbside pickup- they don’t charge for it and you can usually get same-day slots)
  • Not eating at restaurants
  • Not going to a bar or gym
  • Not using public transport
  • Not hanging out with people you aren’t living with
  • Wearing a tightly woven cotton mask over your nose and mouth if coming in contact with people (when outside, doing curbside pickup, etc).

PLEASE don’t make an appointment if you’re unvaccinated and you (and spouses, parents, children, or anyone else you live with or have contact with) cannot stay isolated before coming in. Remember that exposing me means also exposing the rest of my patients, including the medically fragile. Please be considerate and careful.

Here are the full details:

1) Changes to the office (the Oregon Health Authority guidelines are here)

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.

The new location opens right to the parking lot, so there are no hallways or bathrooms shared with the unscreened public.

2) My actions:

I’ll be wiping down surfaces between each patient.
I’ll be masked (N95) and wearing a shield for close contact (neck & facial work).
You’ll get an automated email screening the day before you come in. Please complete it, every time. 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 (credit cards via square, paypal, venmo). I can also take cash, but will not have change handy. The cash will simply go into quarantine.

I am, of course, fully vaccinated.

3) Changes you’ll make:

You will get a Covid screening email 24 hrs before each appointment. Please complete it. :)


You will need to wear a mask, and keep it on the entire time. 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 or outside the building. 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.

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 schedule online here, or call me (503-964-3422) to book or ask questions. I’m looking forward to seeing you!

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!

CBD salve – New solutions for pain relief!

GREAT NEWS! At the office, in addition to my usual high-potency arnica for bruises, and anti-inflammatory spray (great for arthritis, sunburn, etc) I will have CBD salve! I did a lot of research and gave samples to patients before deciding on a brand, and I really like this one, from Frogsong. It’s CBD from hemp, no THC, so you won’t get high and it won’t show up on drug tests. It’s completely legal in all 50 states, so you can take it on road trips. I’ve been getting strongly positive responses from my test cases, especially for nerve pain (neuropathy, neuralgia, shingles, sciatic pain, etc).

The CBD oil is in a base of shea butter, coconut oil, argan oil (a Moroccan nut), sweet almond oil, beeswax, and essential oils. Ingredients are sustainably grown, non-GMO, preservative free, gluten free, cruelty free and packaged in BPA-free containers.

Come on by the clinic if you want to try it!

UPDATE: I now carry two salves. The one listed above is minty and highly moisturizing – great for feet – the other is light and lemony, in an aloe vera gel, and penetrates quickly. I also have their CBD Drops, an oral supplement you can use to help reduce anxiety, etc.

Before and After: A/C Separation

Anterior view of shoulder joint with muscles. SOURCE: Based on AMuscsk_20131017_v0_001.

This 40 year old gentleman separated his acromioclavicular joint 2 years ago, in the April of 2016. Since then, he’s had shoulder pain and a lot of crunching noise with movement.

I treated him with acupuncture and medical massage. The goal was to break up fascial adhesions (scar tissue) and his muscles working properly again.

These pictures were taken on 4/3/18 and 4/25/18. He received 4 sessions of care.

First, look at the outside curves of the shoulders. He is much more symmetrical in the after pic. His deltoid (“shoulder cap” muscle”) has filled out now that he’s using it. Secondly, the shoulder girdle is no longer being held

forward. See the difference in the shadow at Arrow 2? And the A/C joint isn’t sticking out as sharply.

Here in the side view, you can see how the shoulder has rotated back to its normal position. In the Before pic you can’t see his chest at all at the top. His scapula (shoulder blade) is also sticking out in the Before shot.

Most importantly, the patient reports less pain, less crunching, better range of motion, and generally better performance. :)