No more daily masking!

I took some huge steps today. I made masks optional – rather than encouraged – and I eliminated the vax requirement. It’s been so long, and everyone has been exposed so much, they should have natural antibodies by now. I understand that some of my more fragile patients & friends may be concerned about this. I assure you, I will still be running my air cleaner. I am happy to wear a mask if you prefer (there’s a box you can check on my contagious disease screening email, which I’m still using for every appointment). If you want the first slot of the day, let me know and I’ll make that work.

Chronic Pain – So much more than just physical pain receptors!

Acupuncture license renewed! This year the Oregon Medical Board required everyone to take an online course on “Changing the Conversation on Pain,” which was as cheesy and awkward as you’d expect a state government-produced video to be, but contained excellent information on how mood, nutrition, movement, social contact, and cultural factors (stress / bad care from racism, etc) can impact chronic perception of pain. They even covered neuroplasticity (how the brain changes) and becomes “better” at creating pain. This is all stuff I’ve learned before, but I’m super excited the OMB is forcing ALL practitioners to hear it, because based on what my patients tell me, most docs are still just pushing drugs and PT.

I’ve lived this – you feel lousy, so you quit moving, eat garbage, and watch TV. Then you feel worse and the cycle continues.

Instead, making small incremental changes (some stretches, an apple instead of chips, shifting your internal monologue) can literally reduce how much pain you experience… which frees you up to move a little more, cook something, see a friend… and you feel slightly better! I’m NOT saying smile and ignore it – pain is real! But making these adjustments will retrain your brain. Every little bit helps.

There’s a website with tools for both practitioners and for patients, in English y español.

Check it out!

It’s that time again.

My patient this morning just gave me a huge lecture. He noticed that I hadn’t raised my rates from 2023. He’s a fellow business owner and understands that costs have risen dramatically. And he’s right… not only has my rent and insurance gone up every year, but utilities and even needles have gotten more expensive. I haven’t given myself a raise in over 4 years. I’m always reluctant, because I don’t want people to forgo medical care due to financial concerns, but he’s correct that this isn’t sustainable. I need keep my doors open, so… Rates are going up May 1st. I think you’ll find that the new prices are still quite low as an industry standard for someone with my decades of experience and advanced techniques.

Any sessions or packages purchased before the increase will be honored going forward, so feel free to stock up! If you are financially challenged and can’t handle this increase, please message me. Let’s talk. I’m still doing smoking cessation treatments for free, and volunteering for the Returning Veterans Project.

New patient: 90 min, intake, acupuncture, medical massage, self-care instruction: $195

Followup: 60 min, acupuncture & medical massage: $150. A package of 4 hours is $40 off ($560).

Half hour of either acupuncture or massage: $95. A package of 5 half-hours is $40 off ($435).

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.

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?

Let’s try this again…

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